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Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

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Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby dominics » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:23 pm

Hey
I am quite new to learning Greek and have recently discovered Vox Graeca. However, I am finding it a bit difficult going through the book and understanding exactly what is meant, I am most of the time just not quite sure whether what I am developing at the moment is correct.

Can people recommend any audio examples of Vox Graeca that I could use as a guide? Does something like this exist? (maybe on forvo, youtube, soundclound or archive.org ?)

Or are there any Audio CDs of it maybe one could buy?

Let me know,
Thanks a lot!
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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby bedwere » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:21 pm

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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:57 pm

Ariphron uses his own personal scheme. He can comment more, but I don't believe that he's attempting to follow Allen's Vox Graeca.

Someone like Ioannis Stratakis is much closer to the Vox Graeca description: http://www.podium-arts.com/
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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:48 pm

Iioannis Stratakis is very good. Too bad all recordings by him I've tried are ruined by an "emotive" musical score.
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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby ariphron » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:53 am

His ongoing project of the Spartan Constitution (attributed to Xenophon) has no background music. The first chapter is out on YouTube; I’m eagerly anticipating the rest.

For extensive recordings that stick to Allen’s recommendations, you almost have to go with Stratakis, or else Daitz at http://www.bolchazy.com/Assets/Bolchazy/ClientPages/iPodius.aspx. Daitz's prosody is very annoying, but his pronunciation of the segments is conscientious in the extreme, and he recorded a lot of worthwhile literature. Just to get examples of words that illustrate the phonetic descriptions in Vox Graeca, Forvo should be fine. I haven’t used that site enough to be able to recommend particular readers there.

My pronunciations follow a slightly different philosophy from the recommendations in Vox Graeca. I feel the primary value of the book is in assembling and weighing the evidence for how Greek was spoken in the ancient world; the practical recommendations are secondary. In them, Allen's goal was to assemble a scheme, based on the best available evidence as surveyed in the book, but also suitable for classroom use with English-speaking students. For that reason, he kept to a direct mapping of each written consonant, vowel or diphthong to a single sound as spoken, and chose not to recommend certain readings (such as /øj/ for οι, or the tone accent) that he felt were too difficult, or too far from the traditional British Erasmian pronunciation.

What you hear in my recordings is based on the idea that the new Attic orthography of the late 5th c. BCE was an approximate phonetic transcription of a dialect that had been transmitted orally up to that point. As such, I assume that each letter can have several slightly different pronunciations in different words. I try to make the inflectional morphology as regular as possible in the underlying phonemic representation, and then apply complex, but intuitive, juncture rules that make the word as expressed sound passably close to the written form used to write it. For instance, it just makes sense to me that if two short vowels sound different, they will also sound different when lengthened: you can make finer distinctions in long vowels. Now, when ε and α are augmented, they both become (written) η. For this reason (and others), I preserve an older distinction whereby η represented two different sounds, roughly /ε:/ and /æ:/, that later merged. The evidence suggests that they were already merging, at least in less cultivated speech, in the 5th/4th c. BCE, but I follow the system with the better internal logic, even at the risk of anachronism. (My take on the “Doric” spellings in tragic choruses: I propose that this distinction was observed throughout the performance of a play, but that professional actors could be trusted to know which η’s take which pronunciation, whereas choristers sometimes needed to be reminded.)

I feel that any historically-informed system with a direct mapping of letters to sounds (including the Vox Graeca system and Buth’s Imperial Koine) is best described as “Revised Erasmian”, whereas my approach is true reconstruction. However, my way is a lot more work. For my current Herodotus recording project, I’m looking up many words in Frisk’s Etymological Dictionary to figure out how they should be pronounced in my system; in older recordings, I usually just made educated guesses, sometimes wrong ones. For my Septuagint recordings, I’m using a simpler scheme, roughly halfway between Vox Graeca and Buth. One unusual sound that I’m trying out in both my current projects (Herodotus and LXX) is a voiced pharyngeal, /ɦ/ or /ʕ/, for the rough breathing. It gives an articulation of words that is essentially psilotic, without losing a valuable distinction for the listener. Also, in my older recordings, the intonation focused almost entirely on phrase-level patterns that express sentence structure; in my newer ones, I’m putting more attention to sentence-level patterns expressing rhetorical function, such as distinguishing questions from statements, or continuation pauses from full stops.
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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:46 am

I listened to Ioannis Stratakis' Spartan Constitution (the part available for free that is). Without background music, it's really a pleasure to listen to him. I think it's really the first time when I listen a recording in reconstructed ancient Greek that sounds like real language, someone's native language. Because although I have minor disagreements with some of his choices (for instance, pronouncing ει as a diphthong and not as a long monophthong similar to French nez, and he's a bit unpredictable in whether he voices word final ς before a word initial voiced consonant or not; and I suppose Ariphron has even more minor disagreements than I), he really succeeds in the most difficult part, which is natural prosody, pitch accent included.

Apparently Stratakis is a native Greek. I suppose that helps him to accent the right syllables naturally. Unfortunately, he doesn't give any explanations on his site as to how he came up with his choices, or about his linguistic background. Anyway, since he seems to be trying to squeeze some sort of living out of this, I'm actually contemplating the purchase of one his recordings (if there's one for sale without music!).

So in answer to the original poster, I think Stratakis may be highly recommended. (Although, for reasons already explained by Ariphron, he doesn't necessarily follow every recommendation by Allen – everyone who attempts reconstructed Greek follows a bit different rules. For one, Allen doesn't recommend attempting the pitch accent, which he considers too difficult/impracticable.)

You should also check Stefan Hagel, e.g. http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/agp/.
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Re: Vox Graeca Audios / Examples?

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:29 pm

I feel I was a bit unfair to Ioannis Stratakis above. I've listened to a few more recordings by him now, and I now think that he's very, very good. I just disliked the background music in his Hippocratic oath, and that first impression made me overly negative.

His beginning of the Odyssey, for example, is sublime. It has music but the music actually works pretty well. And the Greek is just so much better than anything else I've heard, the rhythm of the hexameter, the pitch accent, the "poetic" feeling, everything is there. (Ok, maybe I don't like the digammas, but that's not important. ;) )

The rest of the Spartan constitution is now available. I just bought it to support his highly laudable enterprise and because I find it frankly enjoyable. Anyway, I've paid for so much worse stuff, like a CD produced by Oxford-based classical philologists.
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