Many compounds or derivatives of the Greek word ἅλς hals "salt, sea" seem to be built on the form ἁλι- hali-: ἁλιά(ι)ετος "sea-eagle", ἁλιαής "blowing seaward", ἁλιανθής "sea-blooming" (I saw some others as well).

I'm not sure where the -ι- comes from: since ἅλς seems to have an inflectional stem ending in the consonant λ /l/, I would expect instead to see "*ἁλά(ι)ετος, *ἁλαής, *ἁλανθής".

Is ἁλι- derived from the dative singular form ἁλί, or is there some other source of the -ι-? Or is it different for different words?


1 Answer 1


Beekes suggests (somewhat cryptically) that the compounding stem hali- is by analogy to i-stem nouns. Another possibility is that hali is an old locative, giving us compounds with inflected vorderglied.

  • 1
    Chantraine thinks it may actually preserve an old neuter i-stem, and gives some comparanda, e.g. Old Latin sale.
    – TKR
    Mar 7, 2021 at 19:44

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