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Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next word

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Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next word

Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:10 am

For example (in the Iliad line 5):

[face=SPIonic]Dio\j d' e0telei/eto boulh&[/face]

Should the sigma be voiced or unvoiced? Is it the same for singing as for speaking?
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:22 pm

In this case it is unvoiced, both in speaking and singing. Voiced becomes only in particles like mou, me, and some other cases I don't remember at this moment. In these cases you don't keep the moment between the words but speak them as being one word, e.g tou Dios mou (spoken tou Diozmu). ("z" as in English)
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Re: Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next

Postby annis » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:54 pm

Eureka wrote:[face=SPIonic]Dio\j d' e0telei/eto boulh&[/face]

Should the sigma be voiced or unvoiced?


Here unvoiced. Sigma before a voiced consonant within the same word was evidently voiced. I don't have any info on sigma before enclitics starting with voiced consonant. It would be no surprise to me if the ancient language worked as the modern, following Thomas' examples.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:11 pm

Cheers, TGR.


I had looked up Vox Graeca, but it didn't say.
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Re: Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next

Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:16 pm

annis wrote:Here unvoiced. Sigma before a voiced consonant within the same word was evidently voiced. I don't have any info on sigma before enclitics starting with voiced consonant. It would be no surprise to me if the ancient language worked as the modern, following Thomas' examples.

If I understand correctly, sigma was replaced by zeta in the Koine whenever voiced. Therefore, before initially-voiced enclitics, it should have become zeta as well. So there should be some evidence either way.
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Re: Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next

Postby annis » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:42 pm

Eureka wrote:If I understand correctly, sigma was replaced by zeta in the Koine whenever voiced. Therefore, before initially-voiced enclitics, it should have become zeta as well. So there should be some evidence either way.


Absolutely. But I have so far deliberately avoided studying palaeography, which would give plenty of evidence quickly. I don't need another distraction right now. :)
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Re: Pronouncing sigma before a voiced consonant in the next

Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:45 pm

annis wrote:Absolutely. But I have so far deliberately avoided studying palaeography, which would give plenty of evidence quickly. I don't need another distraction right now. :)

Fair enough. :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:56 am

Hmmm…

There’s a new testament passage in one of my textbooks. In it I see the words [face=SPIonic]do&j moi [/face]in sequence (for reference it’s Luke 15:12). So that means, either sigma wasn’t voiced before an initially voiced enclitic, or the sound change wasn’t marked (at least in Koine). :?

If the sound change existed but wasn’t marked, it would contrast with the practice of changing τ, π, κ on the end of proclitics to θ, φ, χ when the next word began with the aspirate.
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:19 am

I cannot understand what you mean here. I think they always wrote "dos moi", but the pronunciation was "dozmoi". Only in cases of misspelling was obvious how the real pronunciation sounded like.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:47 am

ThomasGR wrote:I cannot understand what you mean here. I think they always wrote "dos moi", but the pronunciation was "dozmoi". Only in cases of misspelling was obvious how the real pronunciation sounded like.

I was saying just that, that the change to a voiced sibilant was not marked. (I did not know that misspelled examples had been found. That looks like proof of the sound change to me.)

I then contrasted it with the fact that the change to aspirated consonants was marked.
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Postby annis » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:18 pm

Eureka wrote:I then contrasted it with the fact that the change to aspirated consonants was marked.


Well, the standard academic representation of classical Greek is somewhat arbitrary. It's probably an accident of history that these days we write [face=spionic]e)f' h(mi=n[/face] but not usually [face=spionic]to\g kh/ruka[/face] or [face=spionic]th\m boulh/n[/face], both of which were likely to occur in local inscriptions.

From time to time in poetry we get peeks at real practice, too, with things like [face=spionic]ka/d[/face] for [face=spionic]kata/[/face] in both Homer and Sappho.

For a bit of linguistic terminology to wow your friends, these sound changes at word boundaries are usually called sandhi (pronounced "SUN dee"). We get a Sanskrit word for this because they wrote all of them. Lesson after lesson is spent on the topic before you read your first word of Sanskrit.
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Postby Eureka » Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:21 am

annis wrote:Well, the standard academic representation of classical Greek is somewhat arbitrary. It's probably an accident of history that these days we write [face=spionic]e)f' h(mi=n[/face] but not usually [face=spionic]to\g kh/ruka[/face] or [face=spionic]th\m boulh/n[/face], both of which were likely to occur in local inscriptions.

From time to time in poetry we get peeks at real practice, too, with things like [face=spionic]ka/d[/face] for [face=spionic]kata/[/face] in both Homer and Sappho.

Curiouser and curiouser…
annis wrote:For a bit of linguistic terminology to wow your friends…

If by “wow” you mean irritate or bore. :wink:
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Postby Eureka » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:01 pm

annis wrote:Well, the standard academic representation of classical Greek is somewhat arbitrary. It's probably an accident of history that these days we write [face=spionic]e)f' h(mi=n[/face] but not usually [face=spionic]to\g kh/ruka[/face] or [face=spionic]th\m boulh/n[/face], both of which were likely to occur in local inscriptions.

I suppose that doesn’t preclude the possibility that both pronunciations were acceptable. Also, both of the examples you gave involve grave accents on the first word. I understand that words ending in graves were pronounced almost as proclitics? It would be interesting to know whether [face=SPIonic]tw~n boulw~n[/face] was ever written [face=SPIonic]TWM BOULWN[/face], and whether otherwise unconnected words that happen to be next to eachother sometimes see these same consonant changes.
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