[quote author=Raya link=board=2;threadid=157;start=0#745 date=1055097119]<br />Um... c is like the English X (ks). I believe you mean x, which is like the 'ch' in loch
or German ich
, or the Arabic letter 'khaa'. It's a grating sound from the back of the throat, but should sound more like 'k' than the French 'r'...<br />[/quote]<br /><br />That's how it is pronounced in Modern Greek, which is where the conventional pronunciation of classical Greek comes from.<br /><br />In classical Greek (including Homer, and into Hellenistic times), the letters with the 'h' after them were in fact strongly aspirated. Most native English speakers aspirate initial consonants when not in a cluster. So, the word 'pin' the 'p' has a puff after it, but in 'spin' the 'p' has rather less puff behind it. In the Greek alphabet: fin, spin.<br /><br />So, classical Greek made a consonant distinction most English speakers have a hard time hearing, since for us the distinction has no impact on meaning, which is why when we hear a Spanish speaker, say, not aspirating the initial p,t and k, we don't notice anything but an accent.<br /><br />In languages where p/ph are distinguished, like modern Indic languages in India, the difference between non-aspiration and aspiration can be fairly strong. Greek probably sounded pretty windy.
<br /><br />So, to be most strict q is not
like English thin
but a 't' with strong aspiration; f is not 'free' but an aspirated 'p' and x is not the German ach-laut, but an aspirated 'k' sound.<br /><br />This is why you get a)faire/w, not a)paire/w. The 'p' hasn't become an 'f', but rather it is followed by the initial 'h' of ai(re/w.<br />