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Greek accents

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Greek accents

Postby JohnHerndon » Thu Apr 15, 2004 5:14 am

Hi Will,

If you have seen the newly published (2003) "A New Short Guide to the Accentuation of Ancient Greek" by Philomen Probert (Bristol Classical Press), I'd like to hear how useful you'd find it for someone who is just nearing the end of Hansen & Quin.

I discovered it by reading a recent Bryn Mawr Classical review of the book and am considering whether I'd benefit from using it.

Thanks.
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Postby annis » Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:41 pm

I also saw the BMCR of the book, but not the book itself.

Given what the review says about how Greek is taught in the UK (little or no attention on the accents), then the book seems like it would be helpful there. But if you're working through H&Q, and are paying attention to the accents, I'm not entirely sure how helpful an entire book on accenting would be.
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:00 pm

They hardly spend much time with accents here - we have to read them of course, but the only time we really care about them is when we have enclitic words, enai and some imperatives and other forms, which are better learned with their accents to avoid confusion. Our teacher did give us a short run down on accents a while back, but to be honest 'what is the point?' So I'm a bit confused :( - what do you need to know about accents really?
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Postby annis » Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:34 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Our teacher did give us a short run down on accents a while back, but to be honest 'what is the point?' So I'm a bit confused :( - what do you need to know about accents really?


If your goal is only to read Greek, there probably isn't any need to learn more than to recognize the handful of words that differ only by accent, and to attend to the difference between [face=spionic]ti/j[/face] and [face=spionic]tij[/face].

But people who plan to produce Greek, whether for fun or as an editor, probably should have a good command of the accents.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:47 pm

Ahh - ok :-)
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Postby Episcopus » Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:57 pm

But what do they actually signify? Does any one know certainly how those Greeks pronounced a circumflex on upsilon?
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:56 pm

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?t=14&highlight=accents+grave+pitch+pronounciation

you might want to take a look at this thread (on pronounciation). The accents supposedly signify a change of pitch, not as in Latin a stress. So for a circumflex your voice should be higher and then lower (but still higher than normal). But you could just stress them, that's easier... can't imagine the old Greeks sining all the time either :P .
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