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832. Root-determinatives.—A consonant standing between root and suffix (or ending), and not modifying the meaning of the root, is called a root-determinative.

βά-θ-ρο-ν pedestal, from βαίνω go (βα-); ἔσ-θ-ω (poetical for ἐσθίω) eat, for εδ-θ-ω, cp. Ionic ἔδ-ω; πλή-θ-ω (poet.) am full, πλῆ-θ-ος crowd, πλη-θ-ώρη satiety, cp. πίμ-πλη-μι; στα-θ-μός day's journey, στά-θ-μη a rule, from ἵστημι (στα-); σμή-χ-ω wipe, cp. σμάω wipe.—On the insertion of ς, see 836.

a. The origin of root-determinatives is obscure. In part they may be relics of roots, in part due to the analogy of words containing the consonants in question.

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