Re: Greek double-sigma / double-tau

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 16484
Date: 2002-10-21

--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> I answered a similar question at length some time ago. I'll try to
find the relevant posting(s) in our vast archives. Briefly: -tt-/-ss-
reflect as old affricate (not unlike "ch" in English) from still
older *-tj- or *-kj-. (Cf. gotcha < got ya).

I've been hunting the archives on this topic. What I've found is
adequate for most puposes, but I don't think I've found Piotr's
lengthy answer. (Mind you, one of the postings packs a great deal
into a small space.) What I found were:

One thing puzzles me. My Greek grammar implies that -gj- normally
became -ss-, exceptionally -z-. (It also fails to mention -tj-!) A
possible example is plé:ssein 'to strike', which Scott and Liddell
associate (perhaps incorrectly) with 'dasplêtis' = 'horrible'.
Obvious forms associated with plé:ssein show -g-, and the Latin
cognates (e.g. pla:ga 'blow' and plangere 'beat noisily'). It seems
one has to look to Old Norse flengja 'flog' to find -k-.

What is going on here? Is Greek simply riddled with hidden -g- v. -k-