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Pronunciation website

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Pronunciation website

Postby Eureka » Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:26 am

Hello everyone, I recently decided to learn ancient Greek and found some useful websites. (Well, two to be exact. :) )

This one has audible words and letters:
http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ ... start.html

I'd like to know what people here think of those pronunciations. Also, their pitch accents seem to be very subtle, in general. Sometimes, they don't appear to be there at all; or am I missing them?

I realise that the correct pronunciation is fairly speculative, but I just want to know if I'm being led astray. :?
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Postby chad » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:08 am

hi, the pronunciations on that site use the "stress" accent system instead of the ancient "pitch" accent. it depends which pronunciation system you want to learn. to hear the pitch accent, try these sites:

http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/agp/ (for prose)
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/sh/ (for poetry)

everyone has good things to say about the sound clips on these sites. :)

also, if you've just started greek and you're looking for good websites, this is the site to see:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... cs.gr.html

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:39 am

Thanks, Chad. On that site the words don't sound forced. :) I see also, the pitch accents are much more pronounced than I thought they'd be.


What about the pronunciation of letters on this site:
http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ ... guide.html

Can that be followed? (If not I'm very close to square one. :( )
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Postby chad » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:11 am

i just had a look at that site. it explains the "standard" (i.e. school/university) pronunciation of each character. then in little footnotes on the same pages it explains the correct attic pronunciation (if that differs).

so you can trust the site, if you read the fine print :)

Also Professor Harris' article on pronunciation explains the different pronunciation systems:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... cents.html

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:42 am

Hmmmmmmmmm...
I don't know why so many people think stress accents are easier to learn. It seems to me that the logical flow of the language can be seen in the pitch accents.
If Attic were available in High School, I probably would have taken it. So now I'd be having to unlearn pitch accents. :roll:
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Postby chad » Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:11 am

yeah that's right... as a self-taught beginner you can make your choices (if you want to) on how you want to speak and hear greek. there are lots of things to think about:

1. obviously, to either pronounce accents as stress or as pitch

2. whether to pronounce long vowels (eta and omega) as different in quality from short vowels (like long and short vowels in english) or as different in time (sustaining the vowel twice as long as short vowels, but keeping the same basic quality whether long or short)

3. whether to pronounce long syllables (basically a syllable including a long vowel, or a syll. with 2 or more consonants after it) twice as long in time as short syllables

4. whether to pronounce a diphthong ("2-sounds") as a monophthong ("single-sound") or as a glide (e.g. alpha + iota could be "igh", like "sigh, high" or "ah-ee", gliding from the alpha to the iota)

5. whether to pronounce the consonants the standard way today or the ancient way (e.g. phi as an "f" or as a "p" with the aspirate "h" sound carrying into the vowel following)

people who learn in school or uni naturally adopt the pronunciation choices of their teachers...
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Postby Eureka » Thu Feb 19, 2004 2:02 am

I think I'll try to stick as closely to the language spoken during the golden age of Athens as possible. Pity most textbooks have Attic with a medieval accent. :?
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Postby 1%homeless » Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:12 am

Here's the link I got from Chad.

http://arts.anu.edu.au/linguistics/Peop ... ews/Homer/

His article on pitch is somewhat informative. His "half-singing" approach just sounds awful though. But I think you need to get the book by Devine and Stephens if you seriously want to learn about the latest theories of Greek prosody. I don't have the book so I can't compare its theories with previous ideas. It's still hard to swallow that they were able to figure out the grave accent. Also theories about how the accents affect the pitch of the surounding syllables sounds very bold as well. Generally, the finer the detail, the more theoretical it is. The book is probably very terse anways so I would probably just use it's general ideas and improvise from there because I won't every learn Greek if I keep wracking my brain over prosody. I would just know how to make sounds out of my mouth and that would be it.
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Postby Eureka » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:09 am

1%homeless wrote:His article on pitch is somewhat informative. His "half-singing" approach just sounds awful though.
I Agree, this was a culture that saw speeches as a form of popular entertainment. There's no way they would have "spoken" like that. :P
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