Ancient Greek had two (*) different types of accent on long vowels: the "circumflex" accent indicates high tone on the first mora, and the "acute" accent indicates high tone on the second. (Short vowels only have one mora, so they don't have this distinction.)

Are there any words that are distinguished solely by these two accents? In other words, is there a valid, attested Greek word, that changes into a different valid, attested Greek word, if an acute is swapped out for a circumflex (or vice versa)?

(*) I'm ignoring the grave, since to my understanding it indicates the lack of an accent, not the presence of one. It's also a predictable "allophone" (allotone?) of the acute.


Two examples come to mind:

λῦσαι (aorist masculine imperative 2nd person singular, or aorist active infinitive, of λύω) contrasts with λύσαι (aorist active optative 3rd person singular of the same verb). (Smyth's grammar)

And this minimal pair isn't strictly between two different words (since γαλήν᾽ is an apocope of γαλήνα), but it's worth mentioning the oft-quoted mistake by an actor playing Euripides' Orestes (279).

The line goes, ἐκ κυμάτων γὰρ αὖθις αὖ γαλήν᾽ ὁρῶ, "After the storm I see calm waters." The actor mistakenly changed the accent to γαλῆν ὁρῶ, "I see a weasel."


In the comments, Alex B added another example: φώς "man", but φῶς "light" (that is, φάος with Attic contraction). As he put it, "this shows btw the importance of morae for stress placement".

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