Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek. By Silvia Luraghi, Anna Pompei, and Stavros Skopeteas. Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2005. Pp. 101. ISBN 3895862398. $70.56.

Reviewed by Edmund P. Cueva, Xavier University

Ancient Greek is a book written for linguists who are not familiar with the language. The authors write that this text should serve as a ‘sort of guide to steer non-specialists through the complexities of specialistic literature’ (3). The book provides a good review for classicists who wants to reacquaint themselves with the varied, complex nature of Ancient Greek. It is also useful for the nonclassicist scholar interested in tackling the many Ancient Greek grammars that abound in the field of classics. The text has a preface, a list of abbreviations, five chapters, and a bibliography.

‘Introductory remarks’ (7–12) includes a succinct report on the genetic affiliation of Ancient Greek and its language history. It comments on the geographical and social element and continues to outline dialectical variations, forms of writing, and documentation. Ch. 1, ‘Phonology’ (13–23), covers segments (syllabics, nonsyllabics (consonants, glides)), accents (general properties, rules for lexical accents, clitics), phonotactics (syllables, diphthongs, geminates, phonotactic constraints), and phonological processes. Ch. 2, ‘Morphological processes’ (23–26), deals with affixation, reduplication, apophony, position of accent, and word formation (affixation and compounds). Ch. 3, ‘Parts of speech and grammatical categories: Morphosyntax’ (27– 71), includes sections on nouns (number, gender, definiteness, case, possession), pronouns (personal pronouns, demonstratives, relative pronouns, reflexives, interrogative and indefinite pronouns), adjectives (general properties, comparison), numerals, adverbs, adpositions, verbs (person and number, tense and aspect, mood, nonfinite verb forms, voice), negation, conjunctions, and particles. The last chapter, ‘Syntax’ (71–97), assesses such sentence types as statements, wishes, questions, and commands. It also focuses on the word order, and the subject, object, and predicate components of the simple sentence structure. The authors end the chapter with sections on interclausal coordination, subordination, relative clauses, adverbial clauses, complement clauses, infinitives, and participles.

Ancient Greek is well written and concise. In its 97 pages it supplies a thorough introduction (or review) of Ancient Greek and most of its rules of grammar, syntax, and morphology.