iotacism, vowel leveling, phonemes, linguistics, language, Byzantine, Roman, corpus, phonology, diffusion, origins
After centuries of debate surrounding the change of the Greek simple vowels and diphthongs ι, υ, η, οι, and ει into the phoneme /i/, the process known as iotacism (sometimes referred to as itacism) has become not only an anomaly of philological analysis, but the phonetic reality of this vowel shift and leveling from the phonemes /i/, /oi/, /e:/, /y/, and /ei/ to /i/ have yet to be linguistically analyzed successfully within various systems of linguistic modeling. In order to fill this important gap within the history of the Greek language, this research seeks to use the Roman and Byzantine period papyri corpus of Francis Thomas Gignac (see Gignac, 1976) and review the data according to η>ι, ι>η, υ>ι, ι>υ, and οι>ι orthographic shift instances in order to outline the statistical parameters, within which Greek iotacism began to become more widespread throughout the Greek literature. Through mapping these parameters, this paper aims to more precisely outline the process of iotacism leveling in terms of its possible phonological origins and its diffusion throughout the Ancient Greek vowel system as a product of phonological origins and its diffusion throughout the Ancient Greek vowel system as a product of phonological change as well as acknowledge the need for supplemental manuscript ad theoretical studies in order to present a more holistic model of iotacism.
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BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Meister, Craig, "Iotacism and the Pattern of Vowel Leveling in Roman to Byzantine Era Manuscripts: Perspectives from the Thomas Gignac Corpus" (2012). Student Works. 76.
Harold B. Lee Library
© 2012 Craig Meister
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