This study is concerned with the relationship between word formation and foot structure in Ancient Greek. Evidence for foot structure in the language has previously been primarily sough in patterns of versification and in accentual phenomena, especially the recessive accent calculus.2 Here, I offer an analysis of a change in word formation that affected the productive class of verbal nouns in -μα(τ)I- (§2). I propose that the innovative word formation pattern reflects Trochaic Shortening, a process whereby word-final H(eavy)L(ight) syllable sequences are converted to LL sequences (§3.1). Since Trochaic Shortening is though to be found only in languages with moraic trochaic feet, the analysis presented here corroborates studies such as Golston 1990 that have analyzed Greek as such a language on the independent grounds (§3.2).

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Copyright © 2011 München. This article first appeared in Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 65 (2011), 77-103.

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