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Headword: Ai
Adler number: alphaiota,1
Translated headword: ai, if
Vetting Status: high
With smooth breathing and circumflex accent, it means "would that", by a shortening of ai)=qe ['if only'], but with rough breathing [it is] the feminine article and relative pronoun.[1]
With smooth breathing and circumflex it also denotes an adverb[2] of lament, especially when doubled: "Ai, ai, wretched nurse burnt [....]"[3]
Greek Original:
Ai: psiloumenon kai perispômenon to ophelon sêmainei, kata apokopên tou aithe, dasunomenon de arthron thêlukon kai anaphorikon. sêmainei de kai epirrêma thrênêtikon perispômenon kai psiloumenon, ho kai diplasiazetai. ai ai talaina thêlamôn kekaumenê.
= Synagoge (Codex B) alpha484, and Photius, Lexicon alpha501; cf. Apollonius Sophistes, Homeric Lexicon 13.19, and Hesychius alpha1652.
[1] That is, ai(, pronounced like English "high", the nominative plural feminine form of the definite article and the relative pronoun.
[2] The word translated here as 'adverb', e)pi/rrhma, is perhaps better understood as "interjection" in this context; cf. Dickey 2007: 126-7.
[3] Lycophron, Alexandra 31; the 'wretched nurse' in this context is the city of Troy.
Dickey, E. 1997. Ancient Greek Scholarship. Oxford.
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; imagery; poetry; women
Translated by: Anne Mahoney on 21 May 1999@14:26:33.
Vetted by:
Eric Nelson on 31 December 1999@22:48:41.
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 26 June 2001@06:21:37.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 25 February 2003@17:19:40.
William Hutton (augmented notes, added keywords, cosmetics, raised status) on 13 April 2008@10:07:17.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 10 May 2012@04:55:09.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 10 May 2012@14:44:07.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 20 November 2015@07:24:57.


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