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Modern greek pronunciation

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Modern greek pronunciation

Postby HiggsB » Mon May 07, 2012 2:56 am

Hello, I am planning on taking a crack at Homeric Greek. If I use the Modern Greek pronunciation system, will I need to pay attention to the Iota subscripts and Accent Marks?
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby IreneY » Tue May 15, 2012 11:18 pm

Hey there!

No, Greek pronunciation, for the "last" centuries hasn't bothered with any of these. Do keep in mind though that, although you don't have to bother with learning how to pronounce them, you should most definitely learn what goes where (accent marks, aspiration, subscripts, the works) for reading purposes.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Scribo » Wed May 16, 2012 9:07 am

Erm it depends on what you're trying to do with Homer I guess? I mentally stop myself from using modern pronunciation with Anc Greek for numerous philological reasons to be honest, but if you're just learning for pleasure I don't think it matters too much, though I wonder at the increased difficulty. Either way you'll kill the sound and rhythm of the poetry to be honest.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:22 pm

If you pronounce Ancient Greek as Modern Greek, you will make spelling errors galore. E.g. in Modern Greek eta, upsilon, ei, oi, ui, and eta-iota-subscript are all pronounced as iota.

The same happened in Sanskrit in India due to a habit of pronouncing r-vocalic as 'ri', causing many inscriptional misspellings between r-vocalic and 'ri'.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Aluarus » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:23 pm

So one should distinguish in French between AU, O and EAU, and pronounce them the English way, because one can get confused since in French they are pronounced the same way?
“Captivæ Graeciæ lingua in paucorum Eruditorum memoria hodie vivit; laborandum est, ne omnino intereat linguarum pulcherrima” Balbinus, Verisimilia Humaniorum Disciplinarum, XII, 3.

“In omni disciplina infirma est artis præceptio sine summa adsiduitate exercitations” R. ad Herennium, III, 40.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Damoetas » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:13 am

Aluarus wrote:So one should distinguish in French between AU, O and EAU, and pronounce them the English way, because one can get confused since in French they are pronounced the same way?


Yes, if you're reading French from the 12th century, or whenever that spelling was standardized, you might find it helpful to pronounce the letters as they were pronounced at that time. English has nothing to do with it.
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Sinister Petrus » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:05 am

Aluarus wrote:So one should distinguish in French between AU, O and EAU, and pronounce them the English way, because one can get confused since in French they are pronounced the same way?


Hahaha. +1

Unless you're a scholar looking to crack the mysteries of a language, my vote is to pick one of the commonly accepted pronunciations and stick with it. It's a nearly an un-question. As for spelling errors, the authors and editors make sure there aren't any. Since most of us (I think) aren't writing or actively speaking, how important is it to be able to spell or say a word with a closed dictionary?

And I say this as someone who is fascinated with historical pronunciations.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby Aluarus » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:53 pm

Yes, if you're reading French from the 12th century, or whenever that spelling was standardized, you might find it helpful to pronounce the letters as they were pronounced at that time.


And I say this as someone who is fascinated with historical pronunciations.


When reading Molière I actually use the XVIIth century France French pronounciation, so no problem. I use the I century b.C. pronounciation for Latin, so no problem, I also like historical pronounciations. The thing is I see quite a division in the Greek one, and particularly towards the Modern Greek one. Of course I'm not suggesting this should be the, say, official, or leading pronounciation, but I will rather use this one (I have no problem whatsoever in using the ancient/reconstructed/erasmian one, but it seems to me slower when speaking). :D

English has nothing to do with it.


I said English because I presume a most people in this forum has English as mother tongue, nevertheless we use it as our κοινὴ when writing here. I just wanted to point out that there are also languages which have several spellings for the same sound (English for Spanish speakers can be quite a pain when writing, I can tell you). Ει, υ, οι, η would lead to no more different mistakes using Modern Greek pronounciation than ο, ω; or ε, η for someone who would not distinguish the length of vowels using the Ancient one.
“Captivæ Graeciæ lingua in paucorum Eruditorum memoria hodie vivit; laborandum est, ne omnino intereat linguarum pulcherrima” Balbinus, Verisimilia Humaniorum Disciplinarum, XII, 3.

“In omni disciplina infirma est artis præceptio sine summa adsiduitate exercitations” R. ad Herennium, III, 40.
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Re: Modern greek pronunciation

Postby IreneY » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:52 am

Anthony Appleyard wrote:If you pronounce Ancient Greek as Modern Greek, you will make spelling errors galore. E.g. in Modern Greek eta, upsilon, ei, oi, ui, and eta-iota-subscript are all pronounced as iota.

The same happened in Sanskrit in India due to a habit of pronouncing r-vocalic as 'ri', causing many inscriptional misspellings between r-vocalic and 'ri'.



Oh my! That means that all modern Greeks like myself a) make a slew of mistakes when writing in ancient Greek b )cannot spell modern Greek either! :mrgreen: :wink:
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