Final -αι and -οι are regarded as
short: μοῦσαι, βούλομαι, πρόπαλαι, ἄνθρωποι. But in the optative -αι and
-οι are long (λύ̄σαι, βουλεύοι), as in contracted syllables. So also in
the locative οἴκοι at home (but οἶκοι
The difference in the quantitative
treatment of -αι and -οι depends on an original difference of
accentuation that may have vanished in Greek. -αι and -οι, when short,
were pronounced with a clipped, or simple, tone; when long, with a
drawled, or compound, tone.
170. The quantity of α, ι, υ
may often be learned from the
accent. Thus, in θάλαττα, ἥμισυς, πῆχυς, δύναμις, μῆνις, the
vowel of the last syllable must be short; in φίλος the ι must be short
– If either of the syllables to be contracted had an accent, the
contracted syllable has an accent. Thus:
A contracted antepenult has the acute:
φιλεόμενος = φιλούμενος.
A contracted penult has the circumflex
when the ultima is short; the acute, when the ultima is long:
φιλέουσι = φιλοῦσι, φιλεόντων = φιλούντων.
A contracted ultima has the acute when
the uncontracted form was oxytone: ἑσταώς = ἑστώς; otherwise, the
circumflex: φιλέω φιλῶ.
N. 1. – A contracted
syllable has the circumflex only when, in the uncontracted form, an
acute was followed by the (unwritten) grave. Thus, Περικλέὴς =
Περικλῆς, τῑμάὼ τῑμῶ. In all other cases we have the acute:
φιλὲόντων = φιλούντων, βεβὰώς = βεβώς.
N. 2. – Exceptions to
171 are often due to the analogy of other forms.