1%homeless wrote:Ok, I was looking up lambda calculus
1%homeless wrote:(damn you William) and I don't understand why this never caught my curiosity until now, but where in the world did the B in Lambda come from? Google is no help other than some blogger ranting about it's ancient correctness. Modern Greek pronunciation gives no clue either... I understand the whole double labial thing, but I am suspicious of the spelling reflecting any real world phonetic influence.
Lex wrote:From Smyth http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007:
"c. Labda is a better attested ancient name than lambda."
I would be afraid to argue with Smyth, but I didn't notice the Phoenician root letter before. I would guess that the 'm' sound in the Phoenician lamed became a 'b' sound somehow in Greek, but the spelling retained the μ. That's sheer guesswork, though.
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