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Hi, I noticed that lots of verbs in modern Greek underwent alterations compared to ancient Greek. However, the compositum verbs do not have these changes. E.g.

δέω > δένω, but υποδέω

Κόπτω > κόβω, but διακόπτω

Στέλλω > στέλνω, but αποστέλλω

1. Why did modern Greek change the simplex forms?

2. Why didn’t modern Greek change the compositum forms?


1 Answer

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There is no specific rule.   Modern Greek is the evolution of Ancient Greek.  Sometimes we keep the ancient form of a verb when we use it as a compositum verb.

Δίνω > Δίδω, παραδίδω
Λέω > Λέγω, διαλέγω
Κρύβω > Κρύπτω, αποκρύπτω

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Ok, so there is no pattern in the alterations of the simplex; it is just evolution.

Nevertheless, it is conspicuous that it is always the compositum that keeps the Ancient Greek spelling.

Do you have any idea what it is always the compositum? Is it because it is used less often than the simplex?

And are there composita that actually did undergo changes, like the simplices?
I am not sure I understand exactly your question.

When we use a preposition before a verb, sometimes we keep the ancient form of the verb. But it is not necessary for all the cases.
Βάλλω > βάλλω, παραβάλλω
Μένω > μένω, αναμένω

Most of the propositions are the same with those in Ancient Greek. (Παρά, κατά, υπό, εκ, μετα, επι etc) and we use them in the same way with no changes.
Are there compounds the do have alterations? Or does this only occurs with simplices?

Thank you!
Yes,  there are compounds that do have alterations in the past tense.
Εκ+ βάλλω = εξέβαλα
Δια + λύω = διέλυσα
Κατά + κλείω = κατέκλεισα
Μετά + βάλλω = μετέβαλα
Απο + βάλλω = απέβαλα
Yes, I know that. But I mean in the present tense.

So, I mean the opposite pattern of: δένω - υποδέω / κόβω - διακόπτω
Νο, we can not use them in the opposite way.
We have:
Δίνω > Δίδω, παραδίδω
Λέω > Λέγω, διαλέγω
Κρύβω > Κρύπτω, αποκρύπτω
Λύνω > λύω, καταλύω

But we can not use the opposite form.  These are incorrect : παραδίνω, διαλέω, αποκρύβω, καταλύνω.
Do you have any idea why these changes only occur in the simplex verbs and never the compositum verbs? That is actually the thing I'd like to know.
The Modern Greek language has evolved. But we have still many forms from Ancient Greek, especially verbs. For this reason many changes only occur in the simplex verbs of modern Greek and never the compositum verbs which are formed according to the Ancient Greek rules.
Ok, that was the confirmation I was looking for: composita kept their Ancient Greek forms, while simplices have evolved.

Thank you!