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How is Stephen G. Daitz's Greek pronuncation?

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How is Stephen G. Daitz's Greek pronuncation?

Postby Meta-Monster » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:25 am

I've recently been listening to Stephen Daitz's The Pronunciation and Reading of Ancient Greek and his reading of the Iliad and I must say some of his vowels are really throwing me off.

For example, no matter how many times I listen to him, it sounds like he is pronouncing his "η" as an "a" (like father, but with a bit shorter a). In his guide to the reading ancient greek he even lists the eta's 'correct reading' with the international phonetic symbol "ε" which to me sounds nothing like how he is pronouncing it. (Go to http://web.uvic.ca/ling/resources/ipa/charts/IPAlab/IPAlab.htm and click on "ε" if you want to hear it for yourself)

Does anyone else familiar with his work have any thoughts about his pronunciation?
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Re: How is Stephen G. Daitz's Greek pronuncation?

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:33 pm

I listened to the sample online and it seems to me that he pronounces some η as [ε:] and others as [a:]. At first I thought it might have something to do with original long α, because he says βουλ[a:] and κακ[a:]ν, but I don't think that's it. I think he just has a very wide range for his vowels and sometimes his η is so open that it sounds like an [a:]. I hear something similar with his ε which are sometimes so close that they sound like [i] (or at least [ɪ]).
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Re: How is Stephen G. Daitz's Greek pronuncation?

Postby Lucus Eques » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:52 pm

I'm pretty sure it's the vowel in the word "cat" in English, IPA /æ/. This is appropriate, as is /epsilon/.
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Re: How is Stephen G. Daitz's Greek pronuncation?

Postby Meta-Monster » Fri May 01, 2009 11:21 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:I listened to the sample online and it seems to me that he pronounces some η as [ε:] and others as [a:]. At first I thought it might have something to do with original long α, because he says βουλ[a:] and κακ[a:]ν, but I don't think that's it. I think he just has a very wide range for his vowels and sometimes his η is so open that it sounds like an [a:]. I hear something similar with his ε which are sometimes so close that they sound like [i] (or at least [ɪ]).


Yeah, I've noticed what you're saying about the his [ε]s sounding like [i] as well. Oftentimes I can playback the same passage a gazillion times and just keep hearing [i] instead of [ε]. I think the phenomenon of 'elision' may also explain some of these sound changes. When certain words are pronounced one after another sometimes they 'elide' (morph together into some new, easier to pronounce sound) and sound differently then if they are pronounced by themselves. I also think Daitz has a mildly 'mishapen' larynx and mouth as well, which would definitely factor into the acoustics of his pronunciation. (His voice sounds slightly odd and squeaky even when he's speaking in english).
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