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[86] For both a and gres are short, but the latter lengthens the former, thereby transferring to it something of its own time-length. But how can it do this, unless it possesses greater length than is the portion of the shortest syllables, to which it would itself belong if the consonants st were removed? As it is, it lends one time-length to the preceding syllable, and subtracts one from that which follows.1 Thus two syllables which are naturally short have their time-value doubled by position.

1 This theory involves the allotment of a time-value to consonants: gres gives the time-value of gr to a, and itself borrows an equivalent time-value from st. This view is more explicitly expressed by the fifth-century grammarian Pompeius (112. 26k), who allots the value of half a time-length to each consonant. Therefore to ă (= one time-length) are added the two half time-lengths represented by gr (see Lindsay, Lat. Language, p. 129).

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