"His wife drinks milk."
Translation:Η σύζυγός του πίνει γάλα.
Yes, there are.
It means that there are two stresses on the word.
In a Greek word, the stress can be on the last syllable (ultima), the next-to-last syllable (penult), or the third-from-last syllable (antepenult).
However, some words (clitics) - most of them just one syllable - do not have a stress of their own; they sort of "attach" to the word before them or after them and the combination is then stressed like a single word.
If such a single-syllable clitic comes after a word that has the stress on the third syllable from the end, then in the combined "word", the stress would fall on the fourth syllable from the end: too far.
So an additional stress gets added on the next-to-last syllable of the "word" (the last syllable of the original word): σύζυγος but ο σύζυγός μου.
Compare English words such as "authentification" which have at least two stresses: authéntificátion.
A final note: there are sentences in this course where this required second accent is not present, for technical reasons which I hope will slowly be resolved.
In all such cases, I believe the intention is to accept the correct version in an English-to-Greek translation exercise, but you may be shown the incorrect version in a Greek-to-English translation exercise.
Thank you very much, mizinamo. I seem to remember Ancient Greek (and presumably Katharevousa) doing something much like this with its much more complex system of multiple accent markings. Would this, then, be a situation where there is a primary and a secondary stress, as in the English example?
When referring to most languages, I would use the word "penult" to describe the second to last, or penultimate, syllable. Do you know whether this is used for the last syllable in Modern Greek, because there was some ultima, some final syllable, that dropped off?
In our only example sentence here, it is η σύζυγος, but you refer to ο σύζυγος. Does it change gender for the natural gender of the spouse without changing form?
I do apologize for the multiple questions. Feel free to ignore any or all of them.
Re "penult" - I was just getting my linguistic terms mixed up. The penult is the next-to-last syllable, as you say. I've tried to fix my previous comment. Thanks!
Re gender of σύζυγος - yes, it's a word that can be either masculine or feminine depending on whether it refers to a male spouse (= husband) or a female one (= wife).
Re primary/secondary stress: I'm not quite sure. I believe, though, that the primary stress is the new one (on the penult of the phonological word that includes the clitic) while the original stress becomes a secondary one.
I think the general rule is that if an adjective is a compound word, it will have two endings (m=f + n) rather than three (m + f + n), at least in Ancient Greek -- so this would follow that rule since σύζυγος is from συν + ζυγός "yoked together" or something like that.
I'm not sure whether σύζυγος is used as an adjective as well (nowadays) but this may be the noun form of an adjective.
About σύζυγός: it is invariable and the distinction between husband and wife is marked only by ο or η. There is a similarity with the French: conjoint/ conjointe. The English word syzygy is used to describe a conjunction or opposition of planets. In other words: a marriage.
Spouse is either masculine or feminine in English in the same way as "σύζυγός" is in Greek.
But in this sentence, it's specifically feminine (η σύζυγος), and so it makes sense to translate it with the specifically feminine "wife".
(But "spouse" is also accepted in the reverse translation, Greek to English.)
They are most certainly not. They have always been taught in school but a lot of people just don't write properly in texts/emails. Tons of native speakers don't even add the accent mark, if you can imagine that! Double accents are in fact used by all self-respecting publications with decent sub-editors. You'll see them in print and online and there's no excuse for not teaching them here. :)