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Are undergrads supposed to memorise vowel length and accents

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Are undergrads supposed to memorise vowel length and accents

Postby CRCulver » Sun Jul 06, 2003 1:25 am

I'm currently studying Greek and Latin at the university level and hope to<br />major in them. Right now I attend a Jesuit university that teaches Greek<br />and Latin only because of their importance in Christian history and not<br />out of a desire to offer a rigorous education in the classics. I hope to<br />transfer after the next school year to a university with a solid classics<br />program to complete my degree.<br /><br />However, I'm somewhat worried about how my current learning will fit in<br />once I reach a classics department. Though I already can read easier texts<br />(Xenophon and Caesar nearly at sight, Euripides and Virgil with occasional<br />reference to a dictionary), I've almost entirely neglected vowel length in<br />Latin & Greek, and accent in Greek when learning vocabulary. Must<br />undergraduate students memorize these minutiae, or is reading<br />comprehension the most important thing?<br /><br />I hope a professor or grad student of a good classics program can advise me.<br /><br />Christopher Culver
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Re:Are undergrads supposed to memorise vowel length and acce

Postby Elucubrator » Sun Jul 06, 2003 10:36 pm

Hi Chris:<br /><br />First of all don't worry; although knowing such things as vowel quantities and accentuation are a great help (Frankly, I don't know how people get by without it.) it is still not something that will hold you back from switching over to a Classics focused department. In truth, sad as this is to me, most people pay no attention to vowel quantity and accent when reading.<br /><br />You would still do well to learn it, as it will help you a great deal in reading verse correctly and in scanning it without a problem, and also because there seems to be a fresh surge in interest in the reconstructed pronunciation, so if you decide to continue in Classics professionally you may be a more popular candidate if you can read it with attention to all of these details. That wouldn't be such a bad thing in a field in which many will find no work. But again, you don't have much to worry about when switching over to an undergraduate programme in classics.<br /><br />Good luck,<br /><br />-S.<br /><br />PD The sooner you learn the right way, the easier it will be for you.
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