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Ancient GreekEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From earlier *θύγατηρ (*thúgatēr) (compare with the Homeric accusative form θύγατρα (thúgatra) created to avoid the four syllables of θυγατέρα (thugatéra) and fit the hexameter) via Limitation Law which required the accent to be placed on the last two syllables, due to the long final syllable. Further via Proto-Hellenic *tʰugatēr (compare Mycenaean Greek 𐀶𐀏𐀳 (tu-ka-te)), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰugh₂tḗr. Cognate with Sanskrit दुहितृ (dúhitṛ), Gothic 𐌳𐌰𐌿𐌷𐍄𐌰𐍂 (dauhtar), Old Church Slavonic дъщи (dŭšti), and Old English dohtor (English daughter).




θυγάτηρ (thugátērf (genitive θῠγᾰτέρος or θῠγᾰτρός); third declension

  1. daughter
  2. female slave, maid-servant

Usage notesEdit

The forms with three or more syllables do not fit the meter of Homer and other Epic poets, so in these forms the (u) of the stem is usually lengthened to (ū). In the following example, the σ (s) of the dative plural ending has also been doubled to σσ (ss) to make it fit the meter.

  • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 15.197–198
    θῡγατέρεσσιν γάρ τε καὶ υἱάσι βέλτερον εἴη
    ἐκπάγλοις ἐπέεσσιν ἐνισσέμεν οὓς τέκεν αὐτός
    thūgatéressin gár te kaì huiási bélteron eíē
    ekpáglois epéessin enissémen hoùs téken autós
    since it would be better for him to use his violent words to attack the daughters and sons whom he himself beget

In the following example, the accusative singular ending -ᾰ (-a) appears to be lengthened to (ā), because its syllable is heavy (long), but the actual reason that the syllable is heavy is because in Homer's time the possessive pronoun ἥν (hḗn) began with a doubled voiceless /ʍʍ/ that was changed to an initial (rough breathing) in the Attic version of the text.

  • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 13.374–376
    Ὀθρυονεῦ περὶ δή σε βροτῶν αἰνίζομ' ἁπάντων
    εἰ ἐτεὸν δὴ πάντα τελευτήσεις ὅσ' ὑπέστης
    Δαρδανίδῃ Πριάμῳ· ὃ δ' ὑπέσχετο θῡγατέρᾱ ἥν [= *-ᾰ ῾ϝϝήν].
    Othruoneû perì dḗ se brotôn ainízom' hapántōn
    ei eteòn dḕ pánta teleutḗseis hós' hupéstēs
    Dardanídēi Priámōi; hò d' hupéskheto thūgatérā hḗn [= *-a ῾wwḗn].
    Othryoneus, I congratulate you beyond all mortals
    if you will truly bring to pass what you promised
    to Priam son of Dardanus: he has promised [you] his daughter.


Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit