Hellenistic Greek Accent and Optimality Theory

While we’re on the topic of Optimality Theory (see “Case Attraction in Ancient Greek“), I thought you might like to know about Philomen Probert’s article on Hellenistic Greek Accents that appeared in April of this year. It’s available as a PDF download. The article discusses the way Generative Phonology and Optimality Theory handle accent, and uses Hellenistic Greek as a test case to critique and challenge those theories.

3 Replies to “Hellenistic Greek Accent and Optimality Theory”

  1. Probert’s article was published in Language and Linguistics Compass, Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 1–26, January 2010. It appeared online before that, though, in 2009.

    1. The full citation for Kiparsky’s article is:

      Kiparsky, Paul. “Accent, Syllable Structure, and Morphology in Ancient Greek.” In Elizabeth Mela Athanasopoulou (ed.), Selected Papers from the 15th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, 2003.

      The article discusses the pitch accent in Classical Greek. No similar work discussing the stress accent system of the Hellenistic period is yet available as far as I know.

      Kiparsky’s work is typically tightly argued and filled with lots of detail. In this particular article, he gives a very clear explanation of the nature of acute and circumflex accent (p. 1) that could be used to show how the accentuation system changed over time to stress rather than pitch, but he does not make that historical argument.

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