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to spirit or not to spirit?

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to spirit or not to spirit?

Postby Pau » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:10 pm

Dear all,

I am trying to find out whether "Σ'αγαπώ" should carry a spirit on the alpha or not. I have only seen it without spirit, but I do not understand why. In spite of the contraction it should not be omitted, right?

Thanks in advance,

Pau
Pau
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Re: to spirit or not to spirit?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:48 pm

When a contraction such as this is made the first syllable is attached proclitically and was felt to be part of the following word, for pronunciation and spelling purposes. The vowel or diphtong is no longer considered initial, and therefore loses the breathing mark (the preferred term in English). Another example would be the contraction for τα αυτα, τ'αυτα (which looks just like the neuter nom/acc plural for ουτος, except for accent and unless the editor shows an apostrophe or some such to indicate the contraction -- I'm using my iPad which does not have a true polytonic font, so I'm doing my best here :roll:). Most editors will not show a breathing mark. They may or may not use an apostrophe for the contraction. I've seen one or two texts which preserve the original breathing, probably to help the reader realize that it's a contraction. I think the current consensus is not to do so.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: to spirit or not to spirit?

Postby Damoetas » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:50 pm

I think the question is about Modern Greek. The answer is that Modern Greek does not use the "spiritus" (breathing marks) at all, because the "h" sound is no longer pronounced. Also, there is only one form of accent, the acute (΄), where Ancient Greek had three kinds. Thus, σ'αγαπώ in Ancient Greek would contain smooth breathing and have a circumflex accent, and would usually be written as two words: σὲ ἀγαπῶ or ἀγαπῶ σε.

Pau wrote:Dear all,

I am trying to find out whether "Σ'αγαπώ" should carry a spirit on the alpha or not. I have only seen it without spirit, but I do not understand why. In spite of the contraction it should not be omitted, right?

Thanks in advance,

Pau
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: to spirit or not to spirit?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:43 am

Damoetas wrote:I think the question is about Modern Greek. The answer is that Modern Greek does not use the "spiritus" (breathing marks) at all, because the "h" sound is no longer pronounced. Also, there is only one form of accent, the acute (΄), where Ancient Greek had three kinds. Thus, σ'αγαπώ in Ancient Greek would contain smooth breathing and have a circumflex accent, and would usually be written as two words: σὲ ἀγαπῶ or ἀγαπῶ σε.



That's fine, and of course true, but I wonder if σ'αγαπῶ (yay, I figured out how to do polytonic Greek on my iPad with my bluetooth keyboard!) isn't attested in Ancient Greek? Perhaps in the papyri?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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