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Beginner Question

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Beginner Question

Postby Deccius » Sat May 14, 2005 3:14 am

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in the Greek forum. I just started studying Greek. I've been studing Latin for a year. Anyways, I'm presently learning the alphabet and I came upon Nu and Upsilon. I am very confused by the second form of these two characters; they look identical to me. How do I discern Nu from Upsilon?

Thanks,
Deccius
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Postby Eureka » Sat May 14, 2005 3:26 am

Nu is pointy on the bottom: [face=SPIonic]n[/face]
Whereas upsilon is round: [face=SPIonic]u[/face]
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Postby mingshey » Sun May 15, 2005 12:38 pm

The small nu is really a shorthand fot N and in some of the medieval manuscripts it was written like an upside-down h, with the long virtical bar kept at the left. The printed form [face=SPIonic]n[/face] is a shorter-hand than this upside-down-h. Hope this helps. If it doesn't, please forget it. Good luck.
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Postby Deccius » Sun May 15, 2005 3:48 pm

Thanks for your responses, everyone. I have another question about pronunciation. My book (First Greek Book by John Williams White) says the following on the pronunciation of Upsilon and Chi:

Υ υ- French u, German u

Χ χ- German buch

Since I am not familiar with either of these languages, how do i pronounce these two letters?

Thanks,
Deccius
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Postby Deccius » Sun May 15, 2005 3:53 pm

Thanks for your responses, everyone. I have another question about pronunciation. My book (First Greek Book by John Williams White) says the following on the pronunciation of Upsilon and Chi:

Υ υ- French u, German u

Χ χ- German buch

Since I am not familiar with either of these languages, how do i pronounce these two letters?

Thanks,
Deccius
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Postby Deccius » Tue May 17, 2005 12:49 am

Sorry to bother you all with another question but.........

My book tells me what the three accents are (acute, grave, circumflex) but does not tell me how to pronounce these markings. Can someone help me out on this?

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Deccius
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Postby hyptia » Tue May 17, 2005 2:43 am

To pronounce the upsilon, position your tongue as if to make the sound of the EE in "see", then round out your lips as if to make the sound of the OO in "zoo". The result should sound intermediate between EE and OO.

The chi originally had an aspirated K sound (K + H) but later developed into a fricative. Make like you're going to pronounce the K but put a little bit of space between your tongue and palate so that it makes a hiss.

Accents originally indicated tone: acute = rising, grave = falling, and circumflex = rising then falling. When starting out learning the pronunciation, I found it easier to ignore the distinction and simply stress the indicated syllable; after the pronunciation becomes more natural it gets easier to make a distinction between the different tones. :)
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