Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Open Access An iota of difference: Attitudes to

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

An iota of difference: Attitudes to

  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Greek Linguistics

The factors controlling synizesis and hiatus in Modern Greek have long been debated. Some accounts, e.g., Kazazis (1968, 1992), suggest that a speaker’s knowledge of a word’s origin (or alternatively, its appropriateness in a formal setting) plays a role. Other accounts, e.g., Nyman (1981), discount this factor. Petrounias (1987) cites word frequency as a factor, claiming that “rarer words follow [the synizesis rule] less frequently” especially if the words seem more formal. <br /> To test the influence of frequency and perceived formality of {-ια} words on their pronunciation, two experiments were conducted, in which ten native speakers of Modern Greek heard 40 words pronounced with hiatus (e.g., σχέδια /sxeðia/ “plans”) and synizesis (e.g., πόδια /poðja/ “feet”). They rated these words on (1) word familiarity, (2) appropriateness of the word in informal conversation, and (3) appropriateness of the word in formal proceedings. In the first experiment, they heard the canonical pronunciations of each word. In the second they also heard non-canonical pronunciations, e.g., [sxe.ðja] and [po.ði.a]. In a third experiment, speakers produced the words in question in a sentence-reading task. The results of these experiments suggest that speakers still have an awareness of the connection between hiatus and formality (contra Nyman 1981), and that this awareness may play a role in favoring hiatus not predicted by declensional class for less frequent items, consistent with Petrounias’ (1987) predictions.

Affiliations: 1: The Ohio State University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation