ἀ-

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See also: α-, ά-, and ἁ-

Ancient Greek[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Hellenic *ə-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-. The form ἀν- (an-) appears when followed by a laryngeal and a vowel: that is, in an open syllable of the n̥HV- form. Akin to νη- (nē-), νᾱ- (nā-) and νω- (nō-), which are closed-syllable reflexes of the n̥h₁C-, n̥h₂C-, n̥h₃C- forms, respectively.

Cognate with Old English and English un-, Latin in-, Sanskrit अ- (a-), Old Irish in-,an-, Armenian ան- (an-), and Albanian e-.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • ἀν- (an-)before vowels
  • νη- (nē-), νᾱ- (nā-), νω- (nō-)before a Proto-Indo-European laryngeal and consonant

Prefix[edit]

ᾰ̓- (a-)

  1. The alpha privativum, used to make words that have a sense opposite to the word (or stem) to which the prefix is attached. It is also known as privative a and alpha privative.
Usage notes[edit]

The alpha is usually short, but long when added to a stem that begins with three short syllables. Thus, words such as ἀ-δάματος (a-dámatos)) begin with long alpha in Epic, and frequently also in Lyric, Tragic, or Comic poetry. ἀθάνατος (athánatos) and all its compounds always have long alpha.

Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Greek: α- (a-)

Etymology 2[edit]

Prefix[edit]

ᾰ̓- (a-)

  1. Alternative form of ἁ- (ha-)

Etymology 3[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Prefix[edit]

ᾰ̓- (a-)

  1. The alpha intensivum, used to strengthen the force of compounds.

Etymology 4[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Prefix[edit]

ᾰ̓- (a-)

  1. The alpha euphonicum, used to soften pronunciation before two consonants.

References[edit]

  • ἀ- in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • ἀ- in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Woodhouse, S. C. (1910) English–Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language[1], London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited.
    • free idem, page 343.
  • Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), volume I, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 1