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Paired aspirated consonants

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Paired aspirated consonants

Postby Eureka » Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:57 am

It’s my understanding that when an aspirateable consonant (i.e. p, t, or k) is placed before an aspirated consonant, both consonants must be aspirated. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)
i.e. [face=SPIonic]i)xqu&j[/face]

Pronouncing two aspirated consonants back-to-back sounds strange. Does anyone know how [face=SPIonic]xq,[/face] [face=SPIonic]fq,[/face] etc. are supposed to be pronounced?
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Postby annis » Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:45 pm

I believe this is just orthographic, and only the final element of the cluster is actually articulated with aspiration.

But I've not yet been able to find confirmation.
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Postby Eureka » Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:15 pm

annis wrote:I believe this is just orthographic, and only the final element of the cluster is actually articulated with aspiration.

But I've not yet been able to find confirmation.
That's what I thought too, if only because otherwise it seems impossible to pronounce without a syllable break between the two aspirates.

I guess an important question is, whether [face=SPIonic]xq[/face] reverted to [face=SPIonic]kq[/face] in the Koine?
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Postby chad » Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:11 am

i think i read in vox graeca that it's a myth that you can't pronounce 2 aspirated consonants together, and that in greek both aspirated consonants were pronounced as aspirates. but i'll check that. i've assumed that they're pronounced together as a consonsant cluster at the back of the mouth near the throat, where a french "r" is pronounced, and so it makes sense to write both consonants as aspirates.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:55 am

chad wrote:i think i read in vox graeca that it's a myth that you can't pronounce 2 aspirated consonants together, and that in greek both aspirated consonants were pronounced as aspirates. but i'll check that. i've assumed that they're pronounced together as a consonsant cluster at the back of the mouth near the throat, ...

Hi Chad.
So you're saying, the aspirates are pronounced right at the back of the mouth. (Is that possible with 'p' and 't'?) Or are you just saying that because the first one is chi?

In any case, I looked up [face=SPIonic]fqi/a[/face] in the L&S, and it gives the Latin equivalent as "Phthia". This strongly suggests that, as you say, both are aspirated.
chad wrote:...at the back of the mouth near the throat, where a french "r" is pronounced,

Is the Attic rho similar to that French 'r'?
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Postby Cédric » Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:28 pm

Hi Eureka,

Is the Attic rho similar to that French 'r'?


The Attic "rho" should not be pronounced like the French "r". Indeed the french "r" is pronounced in the back of the throat whereas the greek "rho", should be pronounced like the modern greek one and like "r" in spanish and italian (and therefore latin), i.e. it has to be rolled. The french "r" used to be pronounced so untill the XVIIIth century. At this time, people at the king's court started pronounce it the way we do it now for they thought the rolled pronounciation sounded to "rural" :roll: . Yet, there are still people in France (esp. south-west) who roll their "r".

As for the the rest of your question (dealing with pronounciation only), only "khi" is to be pronounced in the back of the throat. We are taught in the uni. that it should sound more or less like the german "ich" (i.e. a retroflex consonant) which is the way the modern greek pronounce it. As for "thêta" and ""phi", i prefer the modern greek prononciation rather than the erasmian one which makes no difference between "thêta" and "tau".
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Postby chad » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:24 am

hi, just letting u know that i checked vox graeca this morning and it definitely says that both aspirated consonants were pronounced as aspirates, and that there's no phonetic improbability about the possibility of this: it gives a few modern languages where it happens normally.

also cédric's point about rho sounds right to me: it's a rolled "r": dionysius of halicarnassus (i think) says that the tip of the tongue "fans rapidly" behind the top teeth or something like that.

i also re-read the section in vox graeca about where the aspirate is pronounced, and basically i'm still not sure about this, as i've mentioned i few times here before. vox graeca suggests that it might have sounded like our "h", but qualifies this down with a few point which might suggest otherwise. i.e. i'm still not sure where in the mouth the aspirate should be pronounced: at the front or at the bank like the french r. i think it's one of the many cases in greek pronunciation where you have to make your own choice about how to interpret the ancient descriptions dasu/ "rough" and "smooth" breathing, because you could argue either way convincingly.
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Postby Eureka » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:12 am

What exactly is a rolled-'r', and how do we make that sound? :?

chad wrote:i also re-read the section in vox graeca about where the aspirate is pronounced, and basically i'm still not sure about this, as i've mentioned i few times here before. vox graeca suggests that it might have sounded like our "h", but qualifies this down with a few point which might suggest otherwise. i.e. i'm still not sure where in the mouth the aspirate should be pronounced: at the front or at the bank like the french r. i think it's one of the many cases in greek pronunciation where you have to make your own choice about how to interpret the ancient descriptions dasu/ "rough" and "smooth" breathing, because you could argue either way convincingly.

I suspect that [face=SPIonic]xq[/face] would have to start at the back of the mouth, them move to the front. (That's pretty much the difference between 'k' and 't'.) I think it should almost meld into one sound.

As for different Greek writers appearing to contradict each other; this is possibly because there were several different correct ways of pronunciation.
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Postby Eureka » Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:41 am

Eureka wrote:What exactly is a rolled-'r', and how do we make that sound? :?

:?: Anyone?

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr??
chad wrote:also cédric's point about rho sounds right to me: it's a rolled "r": dionysius of halicarnassus (i think) says that the tip of the tongue "fans rapidly" behind the top teeth or something like that.

That's a little bit cryptic. :?
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Postby Cédric » Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:13 pm

Hi Eureka,

I'm not sure my answer will be very helpful to you but let's try this :? ... In France, when learning Spanish (or Italian), pupils who cannot roll their "r", are told to pronounce an "l" instead. Actually the exercice my Spanish teacher used to have us practice is repeating lots of time "todo" then change for "tolo" and end up with "torro". Indeed the articulation point of the rolled-r is in between the "d" and "l". That's pretty much I can tell you. I think that you might find clearer explanations refering to a phonological treatise (sorry but i have no reference, maybe another Textkit user?).
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Postby chad » Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:19 am

hi eureka, sorry i thought i replied to this. you can hear a rolled "r" in lots of modern languages: italian has it, scottish? (maybe), indonesian has it, &c &c. it's not in aussie english. dionysius of h's explanation makes complete sense once you've heard it... um other explanations might sound just as weird, but can you make the purring sound of a cat? the tip of your tongue vibrates/fans behind your top teeth, maybe 6 times or more a second. if you speak to some friends who speak italian or other languages ask if they have a rolled "r" in that language... you should hear it soon enough :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:34 am

Ah, thanks people.

I think I know what sound we use now (now to find some Italians or Spainards, to make sure. 8) ).

It seems like it's a bit more than just a voiced lambda, but not much more. (Perhaps it's a voiced lambda with the shakes.)
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Postby BobFunland » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:03 am

Argh, I hate rolled r's! I've only done it correctly once in my life, and that was a long time ago. So I'm resigned to pronouncing things "incorrectly"; the way I see it, there's no shame in having an accent.
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