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314. Adjectives in -ος with a short penult lengthen ο to ω: ϝέο-ς new, ϝεώ-τερος, νεώ-τατος, χαλεπό-ς difficult, χαλεπώ-τερος, χαλεπώ-τατος. An undue succession of short syllables is thus avoided.

a. If the penult is long either by nature or by position (144), ο is not lengthened: λεπτός lean, λεπτότερος, λεπτότατος. A stop and a liquid almost always make position here (cp. 145); as πικρός bitter, πικρότερος, πικρότατος. κενός empty and στενός narrow were originally κενϝος, στενϝος (Ionic κεινός, στεινός, 37 D. 1), hence κενότερος, στενότερος.

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