ThomasGR wrote:Well, this is exactly the way how Greeks pronounce "z", and it does not sound like "dz" or "zd".
Originally, Latin didn't have "z" in its alphabet and was later adopted from the Greek one, sometimes in the second or first century BC, together with K, X and Y, which were used only for words loaned from Greek.
Here's a modern Greek talking...
yadfothgildloc wrote:So, is eta pronouced (xsampa) /e/ or /E:/? I was taught /e/ (and that it should be differentiated from epsilon-iota (/Ei/), but that page says it's a long epsilon.
However, at some time in the 4th century BCE the change to the modern Greek pronunciation of z as [z] was already taking place. Aristotle (Metaphysics, 993a) writes that whereas some people would analyze z into s+d, others consider it as a separate sound which does not consist of already recognized elements. At the same time there starts to be some confusion between z and s in Greek inscriptions (e.g., anabazmous instead of anabasmous, 329 BCE).
Further evidence for a later continuous (fricative) pronunciation of z ([z]) comes from ancient Greek grammarians (e.g., Dionysius Thrax), who divide consonants into two primary categories: the aphona (beta, gamma, delta, kappa, pi, tau, theta, phi, and chi), and the hemiphona (zeta, ksi, psi, lambda, mu, nu, rho, sigma). In Aristotle's Poetics (1456b) the aphona are described as "having contact" (= "meta prosboles"), but not being pronounceable without a vowel. In modern parlance we would say that aphona are the plosives, pronounced instantaneously, while hemiphona (of which zeta is a member) are fricatives, and those other consonants that can be pronounced continuously, without the need for a following vowel. This agrees with a pronunciation of z as [z].
Ancient Persian names that contain the consonants [zd] are transliterated in Greek through z. For example, in Plato we have Oromazes (Ωρομάζης) for Persian Auramazda; and in Xenophon we find Artaozos (Αρτάοζος; in Herodotus: Artavazos) for Artavazda. The Hebrew name Ašdod, we find it in Herodotus as Azotos (Άζωτος).
ThomasGR wrote:Ancient Greeks were never keen to render the sounds of foreign words correctly, but rather to improve them and make more easier for a Greek to pronounce, in other words to “hellenise”. Therefore this evidence does not count. According to that tradition we have
Phraortes for (Persian) Kshatrita (not even close),
Cyaxares for Uwakshatra (!),
Astyages for Ishtumegu (!),
Cyrus for Kurush,
Cambyses for Kambujiya,
Darius for Darayavahush,
Xerxes for Xshayarsha,
Artaxerxes for Artaxshassa
Arses for Arsha
Hystaspis for Vishtaspa (!).
In your sense of Greek, can you shed me a light how the name of master Zhuangtsu should be transliterated in Greek, especially ancient?
The above link that is mentioned says that after the fourth century BC zeta is pronounce as “z”.
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