- Ancient Greek was spoken with variations in pitch.
- During the 3rd Century B.C., Aristophanes of Byzantium developed a series of accent marks to help non-native Greek speakers pronounce the pitch variations of the language.
- These accent marks are used in digitized versions of ancient Greek texts.
- Modern Greek does not have these pitch variations, and instead uses an accent mark to denote stress in a syllable.
- There are thee types of accents: acute (‘), grave (`), and circumflex (~). Each accent denotes a different pitch variation: acute accents denote a rise in pitch, grave accents denote a drop in pitch (although this is debated by scholars), and circumflexes denote a rise followed by a drop in pitch.
- When used in diphthongs, accents are placed above the second vowel of a proper diphthong, and above the first vowel of an improper diphthong.
- Accents are typically placed in one of the final three syllables of a word. The last syllable of a word is called the ultima, the second-to-last syllable is the penult, and the third-to-last syllable is the antepenult. Acute accents can appear on either the ultima, penult, and antepenult; Grave accents only appear on the ultima when followed by another word; Circumflexes only appear on the ultima or penult and cannot be used on ε nor ο.
Transliterate the following words into Greek and place the indicated accents. Note that a long e and long o are transliterated as η and ω, respectively:
- harmonia, acute on penult.
- ainigma, acute on antepenult, proper diphthong.
- glotta, circumflex on penult, long o.
- mechane, acute on ultima, long e’s.
- rhapsoidia, acute on penult, improper diphthong, long o.
- symptoma, acute on antepenult, long o.
- ichthys, acute on ultima.
- thlipsis, circumflex on penult.
- exangelia, acute on penult.
- kinesis, acute on antepenult, long e.