ἀ- (1)

ἀ-
Grammatical information: pref.
Meaning: privative prefix (α στερητικόν);
Other forms: antevocalic ἀν-.
Origin: IE [Indo-European] [757] *n-
Etymology: Through the loss of initial consonants (Ϝ-, σ-) the original distribution was disturbed: ἄισος (\< *ἀ-Ϝισος) beside newly made ἄνισος; this led a few times to analogical forms like ἄ-οζος beside original ἄν-οζος. In Myc. aupono \/Ahupnos\/, a proper name, the a- stands before h-; thus class. ἄυπνος. Also before o- the wau was originally retained: ἀόριστος. ἀ(ν)- was in Greek as elsewhere originally limited to verbal adjectives and Bahuvrīhis. Frisk Adj. priv. 4ff., 44ff., Subst. priv. 8ff., Wackernagel Syntax 2, 284ff., 1, 282f., Puhvel Lang. 29, 14ff., Moorhouse Studies Negatives (1959). In other languages e.g. Skt. a(n)-, Lat. in-, Germ., e.g. Goth. un-, PIE *n̥-. The sentence negative was *ne, in Lat. ne-scio, ne-fas etc. (not in νέποδες q.v.). Some formations may be inherited, as ἄν-υδρ-ος = Skt. an-udr-á-, ἄγνωτος = Skt. ájñāta-, Lat. ignotus. If the following word begins with laryngeal + cons., Greek gets νη-, νᾱ-, νω- as in νήγρετος, νωδός \< *n-h₁gr-, *n-h₃d-); these adjectives were again reshaped, as in ἀνώνυμος; Beekes, Lar. Greek. -- Supposed ἀνα- only in ἀνάεδος, ἀνά-ελπτος and ἀνάπνευστος (the last two are analogical, the first may stand for ἀν-εεδν-).
See also: On pleonastic ἀ(ν)- cf. ἀβέλτερος.
Page in Frisk: 1,1

Greek-English etymological dictionary (Ελληνικά-Αγγλικά ετυμολογική λεξικό). . 2010.

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.