Textkit Logo

Video on history of Greek pronunciation

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Video on history of Greek pronunciation

Postby Xyloplax » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:40 pm


I came across this interesting but tedious video (with cheesy music and graphics), and though its treatment of spurious diphthongs is very interesting and helps understand how they arose, I have serious issues with it as a whole, and am not sure what, if anything, is correct in the video. What do people think of this? For me, it basically flies in the face of most of Vox Graeca by W. Sidney Allen, and seems like a modern pronunciation apologists video. I think Allen's book makes compelling arguments and the video cannot rectify classical onomatopoeia with modern pronunciation, for example.
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:47 pm

Re: Video on history of Greek pronunciation

Postby ariphron » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:17 pm

I skipped through the video, so my impression is not definitive, but it seems that the main claim is that the iotas that appear adscript in modern editions were always a typographical convention and never pronounced. In practical terms, this doesn't seem terribly different from the recommendation of Vox Graeca, which IIRC says that the iota adscript seems to have disappeared from speech early enough that you'd be well advised to omit it. Certainly the way I read Greek (which I consider thoroughly informed by Vox Graeca) treats the semivowels, both the iota and the digamma ([j] and [w]), as things that speakers freely added and dropped for comfort and euphony (my rationale for the confusion of genuine and spurious ει and ου), so there are only a handful of places where an argument along the lines of this video might persuade me to stop reading iotas that I have been pronouncing.
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:48 pm

Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests