Wiktionary:About Proto-Hellenic

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Proto-Hellenic is the common ancestor of the Category:Hellenic languages, which include the various dialects of Greek.

Definitions[edit]

Various sources use a variety of terms and definitions that don't always agree with each other. In particular:

  1. Hellenic and Greek are synonyms, and include the Ancient Macedonian language. (Ancient Macedonian is then considered a divergent dialect of Greek.)
  2. Hellenic and Greek are synonyms, but do not include the Ancient Macedonian language. (The combination of Ancient Macedonian and Greek is then "Greco-Macedonian", but some sources may disagree on whether this existed.)
  3. Greek does not include Ancient Macedonian, while Hellenic includes it. (Thus, Hellenic is Greek plus Ancient Macedonian.)

It is important to take note of which definition is used in a given source. For example, what one source calls "Proto-Greek" may correspond to what another source calls "Proto-Hellenic" while a third source uses both terms synonymously.

For the purposes of consistency, Wiktionary has adopted the second definition. This means that Ancient Macedonian is not considered a descendant of Proto-Hellenic.

Notation[edit]

  • Voiceless stop consonants: p t k kʷ
  • Voiceless aspirated consonants: pʰ tʰ kʰ kʷʰ
  • Voiced stop consonants: b d g gʷ
  • Fricatives: s h
  • Sonorants: l r m n w y
  • Palatalised voiceless stop consonants: ts pť ťť
  • Palatalised voiced stop consonants: dz ďď
  • Palatalised sonorants: ľľ ňň řř yy
  • Short vowels: a e i o u ə
  • Long vowels: ā ē ī ō ū
  • Short diphthongs: ai ei oi au eu ou
  • Long diphthongs: āi ēi ōi

The vowel is a placeholder for the vowel that formed from the Proto-Indo-European syllabic sonorants *l̥, *r̥, *m̥ and *n̥. It usually appears as a in the attested forms of Greek, but some dialects have o in certain cases as well. Therefore this symbol is used to stand in for these different outcomes, without committing on any particular phonetic realisation.

See also[edit]