The main features of the pronunciation of ancient Greek may be established through the study of contemporary documents, literary texts, spelling mistakes, puns, grammarians' statements, etc. (see next entry). In many points we may claim only approximate accuracy, but it is certain that the pronunciation of ancient Greek was different from that of Modern Greek. The early Greek accent was one of pitch, i.e. the prominence given within the word to the accented syllable was obtained through a rise of the pitch. The date at which the ‘musical’ or pitch accent was replaced by an accent like that of Modern Greek where stress is a primary component is uncertain. The change may have developed for a long time, but probably was completed by the end of the 4th cent. ad.
Subjects: Classical Studies.