Greek Language/Syllable Separation

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following rules hold for Modern Greek syllabification:

1. A vowel can be a syllable by itself (usually when two vowels that do not diphthongize are next to each other)
ex: α-έ-ρας, αι-ώ-νας

2. Diphthongs, vowel combinations that are read as single vowels (ει, οι, ου, etc.) and vowel combinations that are read as vowel-consonant (αυ, ευ) are treated as single vowels for syllabification, and thus are never separated
ex: αίσ-χος, ευ-χή, γάι-δα-ρος, ά-πια-στο

3. Series of consonants that are read as single sounds (ντ, γκ, γγ in almost all cases, μπ in most accents) are treated as single consonants and never separated
ex: κά-μπος, ά-ντρας

4. Consonants before the first vowel are grouped with the first vowel and consonants after the last vowel are grouped with the last vowel. ex: ντό-πιος

5. One consonant between two vowels is grouped with the second vowel: ex: για-τί, βρα-βι-ο

6. Two consonants between two vowels are sometimes both grouped with the second vowel, and are sometimes split between the vowels, depending on the consonants. The vowels are grouped together if and only if the two consonants have attestations at the start of other words (ex: τρ is attested in words like τραπέζι and therefore is not split, but ρτ is not and therefore is split)
ex: νε-κτα-ρί-νια (κτίριο)
ex: ορ-μή, ελ-πίς

7. Doubled consonants are always separated (really a restatement of rule 6; no Greek words begin with doubled consonants)
ex: άλ-λος, υ-δρορ-ρο-ή

8. Three consonants between vowels are grouped to the right if and only if either the first two or all three consonants are attested at the start of of other words. If they are not attested, then the leftmost consonant is grouped with the proceeding vowel
ex: ε-χθρος (χθές), α-στρa-πή (στρέφω)
ex: εκ-θρο-νί-ζω (θρήνος), αν-θροπος

9. In compound words or words formed with prefixes, a syllable always terminates where the prefix or initial of the compound terminates, unless the prefix or compound has undergone vowel change in its terminal vowel, in which case the word is treated as if it were not a compound.
ex: εξ-έρ-χο-μαι (εξ-), Ελ-λήσ-πο-ντος (Ελλης-)
ex: πα-ρέρ-χο-μαι (παρα-), Φί-λι-πος (φίλο-)