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V-sound in ancient Greek missing?

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V-sound in ancient Greek missing?

Postby ThomasGR » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:56 pm

In some sites with Greek alphabet I read that beta Β stands for B sound, though in modern Greek it is pronounced V.

Didn't the ancients have any V sounds or what letter did they used for this?
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Postby Aurelia » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:58 pm

I think they used digamma.
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Postby ThomasGR » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:01 pm

Digamma was not standardized in the Attic alphabet, which became the standard one for the whole Greek speaking world.
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Re: V-sound in ancient Greek missing?

Postby annis » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:02 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Didn't the ancients have any V sounds or what letter did they used for this?


The ancient Greeks had no v. They did have a w, but that disappeared from most dialects, and consequently isn't usually found in printed texts.
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Postby annis » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:03 pm

Aurelia wrote:I think they used digamma.


That was actually a w.

Although V in SPIonic will give you the digamma. :)

[face=spionic]Va/nac[/face]
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Postby ThomasGR » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:05 pm

How is it possible? I mean, V-sounds are most common in other Indo-European languages.


You maybe right, but I cannot believe it!
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Postby annis » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:20 pm

ThomasGR wrote:How is it possible? I mean, V-sounds are most common in other Indo-European languages.


It's not in Latin (that 'v' is a 'w'); it's not in Sanskrit (again, 'w' is usually transcribed 'v'); it's not in some of the early Germanic dialects.

However, the 'v' sound develops readily, usually from 'b' between vowels or from that 'w' sound.
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Postby ThomasGR » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:23 pm

In Koine is the v sound present, or in what time area has it developed?
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Postby annis » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:33 pm

ThomasGR wrote:In Koine is the v sound present, or in what time area has it developed?


According to Palmer (The Greek Language, 1980) this started to happen in the first century A.D. This change may not have happened in all Greek speaking communities at the same time.
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Postby Bert » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 pm

annis wrote:
ThomasGR wrote:How is it possible? I mean, V-sounds are most common in other Indo-European languages.


It's not in Latin (that 'v' is a 'w'); it's not in Sanskrit (again, 'w' is usually transcribed 'v'); it's not in some of the early Germanic dialects.

However, the 'v' sound develops readily, usually from 'b' between vowels or from that 'w' sound.


There is no V sound in Dutch either.
There is a V in the alphabet but it is pronounced the same as the F, or in some cases just barely distinguishable.
I remember that this caused considerable confusion in spelling. "Is this word spelled with a 'Shot f (ie. v) or a long f (ie. f)."

Edit: There are many many different dialects in The Netherlands.
It is very well possible that in some dialects the V is pronounced as a V.
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Postby Eureka » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:31 pm

Bert wrote:Edit: There are many many different dialects in The Netherlands.
It is very well possible that in some dialects the V is pronounced as a V.

Many dialects in The Netherlands. :shock:

So, how you speak must depend on which side of the street you live on? :wink:
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Postby chad » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:48 pm

the greeks used either the ou diphthong, or the consonant b, to represent the (latin) "v" sound, which is like our "w" as others have said above. they didn't have our "v" sound (or the related "f" fricative).

e.g. to write Octavius, they wrote )Oktaoui/a, and to write "Aventine Hill", they wrote to\ )Abenti=non. see woodhouse:

http://colet.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/chuck ... e_num=1018

http://colet.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/chuck ... e_num=1003

:)
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Postby Bert » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:53 am

Eureka wrote:
Bert wrote:Edit: There are many many different dialects in The Netherlands.
It is very well possible that in some dialects the V is pronounced as a V.

Many dialects in The Netherlands. :shock:

So, how you speak must depend on which side of the street you live on? :wink:

Seems strange doesn't it, a country as small as that, having many dialects. One province of The Netherlands (Friesland) claims to have its own language, and I think they are right (though I usually tell them that it is not a language but a speech impediment.)
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Postby John L » Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:50 am

What about the J sound? Did they ever have it?
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Postby annis » Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:56 am

John L wrote:What about the J sound? Did they ever have it?


For a moment I was about to say, "yes, of course," but I think I should verify which version of that sound you're asking about.

Like the 'j' in job? No.
Like the 'j' in 'ja' (Gmn. "yes", English 'y')? Yes. But it went away in the historical period for the dialects most of us worry about.
Like the 'j' in 'jour' (Fr. "day")? No.
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Postby chad » Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:02 am

hi john, they didn't have the english "j".

(but in a sense they had the latin "j", i.e. consonantal "i" (where "i" sounds like "y" at the beginning of the english word "yes"), which is where our "j" comes from.

for greek diphthongs ending in "i" followed by a vowel in the next syllable, e.g. )Axaioi/, vox graeca says that the vowel in the next syllable is pronounced with a consonantal "i" (so the last 2 syllables sound like "igh-yoy"). the same thing happens in latin in certain circumstances.)
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Postby ThomasGR » Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:51 am

Bert wrote:
annis wrote:
ThomasGR wrote:How is it possible? I mean, V-sounds are most common in other Indo-European languages.


It's not in Latin (that 'v' is a 'w'); it's not in Sanskrit (again, 'w' is usually transcribed 'v'); it's not in some of the early Germanic dialects.

However, the 'v' sound develops readily, usually from 'b' between vowels or from that 'w' sound.


There is no V sound in Dutch either.
There is a V in the alphabet but it is pronounced the same as the F, or in some cases just barely distinguishable.
I remember that this caused considerable confusion in spelling. "Is this word spelled with a 'Shot f (ie. v) or a long f (ie. f)."

Edit: There are many many different dialects in The Netherlands.
It is very well possible that in some dialects the V is pronounced as a V.


Don't they use the letter 'w' for v, like in all modern German languages, whereas 'v' stands for f?

I know 'wat', pronounced vat, for 'what', 'wie' pronounced 'vee', 'waa' for 'vaar', and a lot of other words.
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Postby Bert » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:57 am

ThomasGR wrote:

Don't they use the letter 'w' for v, like in all modern German languages, whereas 'v' stands for f?

I know 'wat', pronounced vat, for 'what', 'wie' pronounced 'vee', 'waa' for 'vaar', and a lot of other words.


The only other Germanic language I've studied is German but that was 27 years ago. Maybe Emma can enlighten us regarding Modern German.
In Dutch the w is not pronounced like a v. Pronounce the English w with your upper teeth touching your lower lip without a lot of air escaping, then you are pretty close to the Dutch w.
Sorry for the amateurish way of discribing it, I'm a carpenter not a linguist :)
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Postby benissimus » Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:28 am

Bert wrote:In Dutch the w is not pronounced like a v. Pronounce the English w with your upper teeth touching your lower lip without a lot of air escaping, then you are pretty close to the Dutch w.
Sorry for the amateurish way of discribing it, I'm a carpenter not a linguist :)

Interesting... that is how I pronounce a Latin V.
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:32 pm

Is v not pronounced always this way?
I mean, how many ways do exist there to pronounce a v-sound?

I speak v by low lip against upper teeth and a lot of air escaping.
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Postby Bert » Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:26 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Is v not pronounced always this way?
I mean, how many ways do exist there to pronounce a v-sound?

I speak v by low lip against upper teeth and a lot of air escaping.

The Dutch w is pronounced without a lot of air escaping. Just enough to pronounce the next letter. Maybe a better way of saying this is, you can't hear just a w without a following vowel.
The Dutch v - lower lip against upper teeth and let a lot of air escape but not voiced.
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Postby Thucydides » Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:21 pm

annis wrote:
ThomasGR wrote:How is it possible? I mean, V-sounds are most common in other Indo-European languages.


It's not in Latin (that 'v' is a 'w'); it's not in Sanskrit (again, 'w' is usually transcribed 'v'); it's not in some of the early Germanic dialects.

However, the 'v' sound develops readily, usually from 'b' between vowels or from that 'w' sound.


Indeed, it was probably not in PIE either. PIE seems to (unusually) have had only one fricative, [s]. This marks it out as different from, say, semitic languages. Hebrew has a whole sea of S-like sounds.
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Postby Michaelyus » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:01 pm

Spanish has the b corta, b larga for v and b, meaning short and large b respectively (it's a rather non-standard way of saying b and v, v normally being called uve, while b is be).

The Dutch "v" is a labiodental approximant (unvoiced? That's unusual); an English "l" pronunced while your mouth is in a position to say the English "v". As I stated (or postulated) at this forum, I found that Classical to post-Augustan era speech would have such a labiodental approximant (so Benissime, you are quite right... but unvoiced?? :?: )

According to some authorities, the English "j" is a double consonant made up of the English "d" and the French "j", which is well attested to in the the name of "Djibouti" in French.

Apparently, as Thucydides rightly points out, Proto-Indo-European did only have a single fricative (the English "s"). I suppose that the trend (of laziness???) is to prolong the plosives into fricatives and voice them (e.g. p--->f--->v; English has been rather conservative, pertaining to its Germanic roots; while English has kept its "k" in "make", German has changed it into "ch" in "machen". Dutch's "maken" has the same sound as English's "k") or the plosives are aspirated.

You might want to see this link for a (large) map of the Dutch dialects (or if you prefer: Nederlandsche Dialecten).
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