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οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

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οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

Postby SarahSusannah » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:18 pm

I am currently reading 'The Chimaera', a story from Morice's Stories in Attic Greek, and I came across the following sentence talking about the beast:

ἡ Χίμαιρα θηρίον τι ἦν τερατῶδες, τὸ δὲ τοῦ σώματος εἶδος εἶχε τοιοῦτον, ὥστε οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν αὐτὸ διηγεῖσθαι.

I was wondering whether, when you're reading this aloud, you would stress the word ῥᾴδιόν twice in practice? When I try it it sounds very odd! I have tried just stressing the first accent (but not sure if it's correct or not).

Thanks for any ideas :)
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Re: οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Ancient Greek didn't have stress accent like English but rather a pitch accent. We can't be sure about the details but probably the accented syllables had a higher pitch than the rest, with drop in pitch in the next syllable if it's an acute and during the accented syllable if it's a circumflex. Then pitch would gradually raise again until it drops again during/after the next accented syllable.

WIth ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν, the second accent is there because ἐστιν is enclitic – it doesn't have an accent of its own, so it gets one by "leaning" on the previous syllable.
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Re: οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

Postby cb » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:25 pm

hi, just to add to what paul said (which i agree with), the latest grk pronunciation research suggests that the accent on the last syllable will be on a slightly lower pitch than the accent on the first syllable in the same word. this is called catathesis in the literature. see e.g. bottom of pg 2 here and there's some sort of wriggly graph on pg 5: http://members.iinet.net.au/~ada/AveryA ... tation.pdf

cheers, chad
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Re: οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:25 pm

That's a nice article Chad – do you know if the sound files are available somewhere?
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Re: οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστιν -- stressed twice when reading aloud?

Postby cb » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:02 pm

hi paul, i know avery andrews has some reconstructed grk audio here:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~ada/AveryAndrews/Homer/

also click the "pitch" link on the left to see more about catathesis etc.

cheers, chad
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