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Encyclopedia > Attic Greek

Attic Greek is the ancient dialect of the Greek language that was spoken in Attica, which includes Athens. Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to later Greek. It differs from Ionic in not changing the neuter plural ending to "", from Doric (?) in changing some long "a" to "", from Homeric in not losing the augment on the past tenses, and from Koine and most of the other dialects in saying "tt" for "ss" (e.g. tettares tattomenoi for tessares tassomenoi).


Attic Greek nouns have three numbers (singular, dual, and plural), three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and five cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and vocative). The two major noun declensions are the vowel declension and the consonant declension. The vowel declension is split into the alpha-declension and the omicron-declension (the alpha declesion is predominantly, but not exclusively, feminine, and the omicron declension is predominantly, but not exclusively, masculine and neuter). There is also the minor Attic declension.

Attic Greek has only a definite article, which declines with its noun. Frequently proper names take the definitive article. A common construction is a definite article followed by a definite article in the gentive, the noun in the genitive, and finally the noun of the first article. For example: τό τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔργον. Translated literally as "the (of the man) deed", or more clearly rendered in English: "The deed of the man."

Verbs have three numbers (singular, dual, plural), three persons (first person, second person, third person), seven aspects (present, imperfect, aorist, future, present perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect), three voices (active voice, middle voice, passive voice), and four moods (indicative mood, imperative mood, subjunctive mood, optative mood).

External links

  • Greek Grammar on the Web (http://www.kuleuven.ac.be/~u0013314/greekg.htm)
  • Ancient Greek Tutorials (http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ancient_greek_start.html)
  • Textkit - Greek and Latin Learning Tools (http://www.textkit.com/index.php)

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