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zeta pronounce

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zeta pronounce

Postby fladiv » Thu Sep 11, 2003 6:42 am

Somewhy, there is a conflicting data on the ancient greek pronounce of the [face=SPIonic]zh=ta[/face] letter.<br /><br />`Teach Yourself Greek' by F.Kinchin Smith and T.W.Melluish (1968) says it is `zd' and some ancient greek reciter I've found on the net also pronounces it this way;<br />`First Greek Book' says it is `z'; <br />`Ancient Greek Language' by S.I.Sobolevsky (1948) (in russian) says it is `dz'.<br /><br />So I wonder, which case is closer to the truth, and why is this ambiguity exist at all?<br />I personally prefer `dz' because I've got used to it - somewhy, in most russian sources (for example, in basic mathematics books and encyclopedias where the greek alphabet is presented together with its letters' names) [face=SPIonic]zh=ta[/face] is called `dzeta' (in cyrillic).
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Re:zeta pronounce

Postby Keesa » Thu Sep 11, 2003 12:48 pm

My sources say "dz, as in adze," the seeming ambiguity may be nothing more than the same sound represented in slightly different ways by people who hear sounds differently. If you use zeta in a word, and say it to yourself all three ways, not slowly and properly, so that you can actually hear the sound, but quite quickly, the differences between the three sounds are almost indistinguishable. Maybe someone just had a habit of talking too quickly. ;D
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Re:zeta pronounce

Postby annis » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:02 pm

[quote author=fladiv link=board=2;threadid=619;start=0#5761 date=1063262551]<br />So I wonder, which case is closer to the truth, and why is this ambiguity exist at all?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />This isn't an ambiguity, there is a debate. Scholars are still arguing about this. I personally think it was pronounced 'dz'. I'll spare you the linguistic details of why. Some scholars insist, with equally good evidence, that it was pronounced 'zd'. The data isn't conclusive either way.<br /><br />It was not however just pronounced like an English 'z'. It was definitely either 'dz' or 'zd' since in scanning poetry it is pronounced as a double consonant.<br /><br />Final confusion: different dialects almost certainly pronounced zeta differently.<br /><br />I think you're safe pronouncing it 'dz'.
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Postby benissimus » Sat Nov 27, 2004 12:45 am

I was going to make a new post but I found this old one. I see that there is conflict about how zeta is pronounced, but how about what letters make it up: do the combination d-s and s-d both create zeta? This came to my attention because in most cases zeta seems to come when an s is added to a stem with an existing t, th, or d, creating d-s or a similar sound - yet I recall the compound Athenaze (Athenas-de) where it seems to be the reverse, s-d. Do both letter combinations always result in zeta?
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Postby annis » Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:10 am

benissimus wrote:I was going to make a new post but I found this old one. I see that there is conflict about how zeta is pronounced, but how about what letters make it up: do the combination d-s and s-d both create zeta? This came to my attention because in most cases zeta seems to come when an s is added to a stem with an existing t, th, or d, creating d-s or a similar sound


Really?! Where are you seeing this? In the usual course of dental + s in Greek phonotactics I expect the dental to become another s, or to evanesce away entirely.

Zeta is usually from s-d (as you saw) or the result of historical linguistic developments of gy and dy .

Since I last replied to this thread I have changed my mind, and I now favor the zd and only zd interpretation for zeta.
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Postby 1%homeless » Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:38 am

Since I last replied to this thread I have changed my mind, and I now favor the zd and only zd interpretation for zeta.


Ok, how or why did you change your mind? Sidney Allen (Vox Graeca) concluded this as well and I think Sturtevant sort of agrees with you too, but I haven't encountered an argument for dz and wanted to find some...
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Postby annis » Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:55 am

1%homeless wrote:Ok, how or why did you change your mind?


Sihler amassed a convincing array of arguments in New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin and I was forced to concede. :) Especially since he addressed the oddness of the dy > zd development, and was able to cite precedent in other languages. Before that I was annoyed by the idea that the natural change, dy > dz, was being tossed out the window.
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Postby 1%homeless » Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:04 am

Damn that Sihler! :D I've been meaning to get that book, but now I might have to put it up higher in my books-to-buy list.
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:45 am

All these debates about pronunciation of Greek letters, I find very ridiculous.
The truth is only one, we will never find out how they did speak. NEVER.
Letter are used only as a signs for some sounds, but signs never can reveal the real sound. It's like trying to speak English using only the alphabet, but never hear an English speaking it. How will one in this case render the difference between "S" and "SH" to a different alphabet and to a foreigner? It is impossible!!!!!

All that thing about "zeta" brings only one arguement that is valid. It ("z") was similar to "delta", as pronounce in modern English, like in "this". (th). Foreigners often will substitute "th" with "z". Both in the English langauge and modern Greek. That makes it a valid arguement for both that "zeta" was "z" (not! dz! or zd!) and that "delta" was "th" as in "this".

But, does it matter how they spoke? Not at all!
So better stick to modern Greek pronunciation, you'll probably are nearer to truth than all those frankenstein-articulations that some academicians use!

Otherwise, I will ask you to pronounce "zd" or "dz" as one sound!
It is impossible to do it, except if you split it in two sounds, like speaking "z" and then followed by "d" (or vice versa for "dz").
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Nov 27, 2004 12:41 pm

But by taking a closer look at languages we can find out how they probably pronounced it. If we just sit around and say we won't ever know anything about anything ever and that it's irrelevant then what is the point in science?
You've got to at least try to get closer to the truth and by trying to get closer to it - guess what, you do often get closer to it. So although we will probably never pronounce things exactly the way they used to we'll be able to pronounce it in a very similar fashion. It's not exactly the most important thing to find out how to pronounce that zeta maybe, but these phonetical rules don't just apply to Greek, but to all other languages as well.

All that thing about "zeta" brings only one arguement that is valid. It ("z") was similar to "delta", as pronounce in modern English, like in "this". (th). Foreigners often will substitute "th" with "z". Both in the English langauge and modern Greek. That makes it a valid arguement for both that "zeta" was "z" (not! dz! or zd!) and that "delta" was "th" as in "this".


I don't think these arguments are very valid ones. In modern English 'th' is often pronounced as an 'f' not only as a 'd' for example. How foreigner's pronounce the English 'th' depends on their native language and if they have an 'th' or not.
You do know that the ancient Greeks also had 'teach yourself classical Greek for barbarians?' (well something like that :wink: ) and through poetry it's also possible to find out how words used to be pronounced too. Also you can see how letters were contracted by reading Homer and then Attic Greek.
I'm not expert on this subject, but if the ancient Greeks during the time of Homer pronounced the delta as a th, then how did they pronounce the theta? They had just recently 'borrowed' another alphabet and it's unlikely they would have bothered to include irrelevant letters. In modern Greek the delta is pronounced as a th as is the theta, but that's because over time pronunciation changed. nt now represents a d in modern Greek. It is unlikely that the ancient Greeks while pondering their new alphabet would have said: ok, we need two letters for the 'th' sound and let's use nu + tau for the 'd' sound. That alone is enough to convince me that they didn't always used to pronounce the delta as a th. Plus many vowels in modern Greek are pronounced as an 'i' or 'e' sound. So should I read Homer and pronounce nearly all the vowels and diphthongs as 'i' or 'e'?

I don't think it's that important for everyone to pronounce things exactly, but it's good to know some people are looking into it so that when the next textbooks come out people will have better guides on how to pronounce these letters.
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:08 pm

ThomasGR wrote: Letter are used only as a signs for some sounds, but signs never can reveal the real sound. It's like trying to speak English using only the alphabet, but never hear an English speaking it. How will one in this case render the difference between "S" and "SH" to a different alphabet and to a foreigner? It is impossible!!!!!

If 500 years from now people notice that 'impossible' was often misspelled as 'imposhible', they would have a good indication that the double S probably was pronounced as sh.
We can see that in the misspelling of tough as touff or tuff.
We also have a good indication from the spelling that tough was probably pronounced differently in the past than it is now.
ThomasGR wrote:
All that thing about "zeta" brings only one arguement that is valid. It ("z") was similar to "delta", as pronounce in modern English, like in "this". (th). Foreigners often will substitute "th" with "z". Both in the English langauge and modern Greek. That makes it a valid arguement for both that "zeta" was "z" (not! dz! or zd!)

I think that William's argument that at least Zeta was a double consonant, is hard to argue with.
It was not however just pronounced like an English 'z'. It was definitely either 'dz' or 'zd' since in scanning poetry it is pronounced as a double consonant.
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:21 pm

Then, how did the English spoke "tough" in the past?
Did they speak "t"+"o'+"u"+"g"+"h"?

About the vowel diphthongs, one may say that the last vowel was over-stressed and longer, to the point that the "barbarians" heared almost only the last owel, which prevailed and than today they speak only this, eg. "eI"--> "I".
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:58 pm

Bert wrote:If 500 years from now people notice that 'impossible' was often misspelled as 'imposhible', they would have a good indication that the double S probably was pronounced as sh.


Eh... what? Imposhible? :? It's not pronounced like that here but with an s :P . But it shows how pronounciation changes, but the words retain their original spelling from when they were pronounced differently. The fact that there are two letters for 'th' in modern Greek shows that originally these two letters were pronounced differently, but that over time they took on the same sound.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:01 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Then, how did the English spoke "tough" in the past?
Did they speak "t"+"o'+"u"+"g"+"h"?

About the vowel diphthongs, one may say that the last vowel was over-stressed and longer, to the point that the "barbarians" heared almost only the last owel, which prevailed and than today they speak only this, eg. "eI"--> "I".


Maybe they pronounced it like we pronounce thought?

That's what studying phonetics of words is all about, to understand what it might have been pronounced like before and why that changed :D .
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:58 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Bert wrote:If 500 years from now people notice that 'impossible' was often misspelled as 'imposhible', they would have a good indication that the double S probably was pronounced as sh.


Eh... what? Imposhible? :? It's not pronounced like that here but with an s :P .

I should rephrase my statement as a proper -contrary to fact conditional sentence-:If 500 years from now people were to notice that 'impossible' was often misspelled as 'imposhible', they would have a good indication that the double S probably was pronounced as sh.

In other words, they are not going to notice that because impossible is not often misspelled as imposhible. :)

However, tough is misspelled as touff or tuff.
I quess by trying to make a point, I caused confusion.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:23 pm

:lol: well you've got to take into account that I'm quite stupid...
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Postby benissimus » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:30 pm

annis wrote:
benissimus wrote:I was going to make a new post but I found this old one. I see that there is conflict about how zeta is pronounced, but how about what letters make it up: do the combination d-s and s-d both create zeta? This came to my attention because in most cases zeta seems to come when an s is added to a stem with an existing t, th, or d, creating d-s or a similar sound


Really?! Where are you seeing this? In the usual course of dental + s in Greek phonotactics I expect the dental to become another s, or to evanesce away entirely.

Zeta is usually from s-d (as you saw) or the result of historical linguistic developments of gy and dy .

Since I last replied to this thread I have changed my mind, and I now favor the zd and only zd interpretation for zeta.

For example, the word [face=SPIonic]e#zomai[/face], root "sed-", I assumed an S had been added between the stem and the personal endings (for some reason...). This is the only example I can think of at the moment (I am a newbie as you know)... perhaps there is another explanation for this word?

ThomasGR wrote:All these debates about pronunciation of Greek letters, I find very ridiculous.
The truth is only one, we will never find out how they did speak. NEVER.
Letter are used only as a signs for some sounds, but signs never can reveal the real sound. It's like trying to speak English using only the alphabet, but never hear an English speaking it. How will one in this case render the difference between "S" and "SH" to a different alphabet and to a foreigner? It is impossible!!!!!

All that thing about "zeta" brings only one arguement that is valid. It ("z") was similar to "delta", as pronounce in modern English, like in "this". (th). Foreigners often will substitute "th" with "z". Both in the English langauge and modern Greek. That makes it a valid arguement for both that "zeta" was "z" (not! dz! or zd!) and that "delta" was "th" as in "this".

But, does it matter how they spoke? Not at all!
So better stick to modern Greek pronunciation, you'll probably are nearer to truth than all those frankenstein-articulations that some academicians use!

Otherwise, I will ask you to pronounce "zd" or "dz" as one sound!
It is impossible to do it, except if you split it in two sounds, like speaking "z" and then followed by "d" (or vice versa for "dz").

This was a question about which letters make up zeta, not how it sounded. Nonetheless, I find your dismissal of the entire field of historical linguistics to be radical and I will not be taking your advice ;). I have found many merits to that study and to suggest that whatever pronunciation you choose at random will be more accurate than a scientifically reconstructed one sounds quite crazy to me. [face=SPIonic]xai=re[/face]
Last edited by benissimus on Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 1%homeless » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:35 pm

Then, how did the English spoke "tough" in the past?


In Old English it was spelt: toh. If I remember correctly, the h in that position represent the "ch" sound in German, like "noch".

Maybe they pronounced it like we pronounce thought?


In Old English: gethoht, thoht. So you're pretty much right on that. :)
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Postby Bert » Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:48 pm

1%homeless wrote:
Then, how did the English spoke "tough" in the past?


In Old English it was spelt: toh. If I remember correctly, the h in that position represent the "ch" sound in German, like "noch".

Maybe they pronounced it like we pronounce thought?


In Old English: gethoht, thoht. So you're pretty much right on that. :)

I am not a linguist but I am going to hazard a guess.
If tough used to be spelled toh and pronounced with the ch sound of "noch", then my guess is that the spelling changed from ch to gh to correspond to the pronunciation.
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Postby 1%homeless » Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:38 pm

I am not a linguist but I am going to hazard a guess.
If tough used to be spelled toh and pronounced with the ch sound of "noch", then my guess is that the spelling changed from ch to gh to correspond to the pronunciation.


You mean h to gh right? Well, your guess is as good as mine because I'm not a Germanic linguist either. I haven't delved into Middle English very much. The evolution of the ch sound is one of softening to complete disappearance. Another possiblity is that it's just just another variation in spelling. There are tons of dialects in England.
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Postby Bert » Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:57 am

1%homeless wrote:
You mean h to gh right?
yep
1%homeless wrote:There are tons of dialects in England.

You should try the Netherlands. Dialects galore.
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Postby Democritus » Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:23 am

annis wrote:Since I last replied to this thread I have changed my mind, and I now favor the zd and only zd interpretation for zeta.


Does it really have to be one or the other exclusively? Perhaps both pronunciations were present, in the ancient world. Like "either" and "either". Maybe Greek speakers didn't even tend to notice the difference between the two. Just a speculation.

Reminds me of a famous quote, from the world of computer programming: :)

Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.

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Postby annis » Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:43 am

benissimus wrote:For example, the word [face=SPIonic]e#zomai[/face], root "sed-", I assumed an S had been added between the stem and the personal endings (for some reason...). This is the only example I can think of at the moment (I am a newbie as you know)... perhaps there is another explanation for this word?


I'd say it's a 3rd (or iota) class present, making the zeta from dy. Smyth sec.508 gives other examples.
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Postby nefercheprure » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:30 pm

benissimus wrote:...
For example, the word [face=SPIonic]e)/zomai[/face], root "sed-", I assumed an S had been added between the stem and the personal endings (for some reason...). This is the only example I can think of at the moment (I am a newbie as you know)... perhaps there is another explanation for this word?


This is IIRC explained by the use of reduplication. Similarly to *TITK- (TEK > TEK + TEK > TI + TEK > TI + TK > TITK > TIKT)

Thus SED + SED > SE + SED > SE + SD > SESD > [face=SPIonic]e(z-[/face]

Remember that sigma is pronounded voiced before voiced consonants (most commonly beta, delta, gamma, mu)
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Postby ThomasGR » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:17 am

It-s true that "s" before voiced consonants becomes (iat least n most cases) also voiced, and in some cases the previous or following consonant is ommited, but please do not pronounce it "zd" or "dz". It's an insult to the ears. Be sufficient speaking it "z".
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Postby ThomasGR » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:29 am

Bert wrote:If 500 years from now people notice that 'impossible' was often misspelled as 'imposhible', they would have a good indication that the double S probably was pronounced as sh.
We can see that in the misspelling of tough as touff or tuff.
We also have a good indication from the spelling that tough was probably pronounced differently in the past than it is now.

This maybe correct if we assume that both "s" and "sh" keep the present sounds and do not change. What happens if they change and (most probably) "sh" becomes "s" and we forget how "sh" sounded? That happened with gamma and beta, and to say now that gamma was "g" is totally wrong.
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Postby annis » Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:42 pm

ThomasGR wrote:It-s true that "s" before voiced consonants becomes (iat least n most cases) also voiced, and in some cases the previous or following consonant is ommited, but please do not pronounce it "zd" or "dz". It's an insult to the ears. Be sufficient speaking it "z".


No.

I can, with effort, read Chaucer in Middle English. If I want his verses to scan, however, I have to do all sorts of things my native English doesn't do. For example, "pierced" will have two syllables. If I don't make these concessions to the changes of just under a millennium, the verse is ruined.

I'm not going throw away a reasonably sound understanding of the Greek of 500 BC in order to satisfy the ears of a speaker of Greek in 2004 AD. Especially if taking that road ruins the meter of the Greek I'm most interested in.
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Postby ThomasGR » Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:32 pm

I can, with effort, read Chaucer in Middle English. If I want his verses to scan, however, I have to do all sorts of things my native English doesn't do. For example, "pierced" will have two syllables. If I don't make these concessions to the changes of just under a millennium, the verse is ruined.

Please, let me disagree one more time in this thread and ask you not to do this. We don't have sufficient data as to how English sounded in those days, and your try will be an insult to those poets. You'll probably speak "p" with modern English aspiration, though we don't know if they did have such and to what degree. To their ears your "p" will sound either as "p"+"h" or soft "b". Further they won't be able to hear your (modern English) "i" and will mistake as (theirs) "e". Next your "e" sounds too much simmilar to (a very short) "a" and makes things more difficult. (Someone may ask, which "a"? English has so many lol) Your "r" will be rolling or not? "c" is "k" or "s"? "K" with aspiration or without? (in other words will he hear a "k" or "g"?) What kind of "e'? And last which "d"? Stick in your modern Enlgish promunciation. Any other attempt is fruitless.








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Postby annis » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:05 pm

ThomasGR wrote:]We don't have sufficient data as to how English sounded in those days,


This depends on your definition of "sufficient." If by sufficient you mean perfect, then you're right. But that doesn't mean we know nothing. I don't see how it's controversial to try to use the best information we have, not in the expectation that it's perfect, but that it's better than nothing.

and your try will be an insult to those poets.


Trying to get closer to a poet's original words, however imperfectly, is an insult?! This makes no sense to me at all.

Any other attempt is fruitless.


No, it isn't. And I will continue to pronounce [face=spionic](/Hfaistoj[/face] hehhp'haistos, and to recommend that pronunciation to people curious about ancient pronunciation, not because I think it reflects perfectly how Homer said it, but because there's plenty of good evidence that it's a heck of a lot closer than, say, ifestos.

I don't understand why you're dismissing the use of all the scholarship that has gone into this question, even if you're not interested in using a reconstructed pronunciation yourself.
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Postby Bert » Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:11 pm

William, has your pronunciation changed along with your opinion how Zeta should be pronounced?
When I found out that Zeta was either zd or dz but certainly not z, I changed (with considerable effort) the way I pronounced it from z to dz.
I am not sure if I want to change again.
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Postby ThomasGR » Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:11 pm

annis wrote:I don't understand why you're dismissing the use of all the scholarship that has gone into this question, even if you're not interested in using a reconstructed pronunciation yourself.

I don't dismiss the linguistic science and any attempt to reconstruct sounds, but the attempt to put this pronunciations in practice and trying to read whole sentences knowing at the same time that probably it is wrong from beginning. Simple, we don't have data to do this, and saying we may make this and that assumption and agree that "ζ" is "ζδ" is totally wrong. Especially if the same scholars also say that neighbor sounds have also a saying how a consonant should be spoken and a "ζ" is not always such. To what amountt his influence affects the sound? We will simple never know.
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Postby annis » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:06 pm

Following long-standing Textkit tradition, this debate has been reduced to an argument about epistemology! :lol:

ThomasGR wrote: Simple, we don't have data to do this,


This is simply untrue. There's all sorts of data, some of it referred to earlier in this thread. Granted, it's not ideal fieldwork data, but we can't just dismiss it.

and saying we may make this and that assumption and agree that "?" is "??" is totally wrong.


On the contrary. For the period of Greek I study (Homer and the archaic poets) "[face=spionic]z[/face]" as "z" is totally wrong, and I know this with at least as much confidence as I know that "[face=spionic]ci/foj[/face]" is sword.

I happen to know that both Bert and Benissimus are reading Homer, so I can either recommend a pronunciation that is known incorrect, or one that is possibly correct. I'm going to recommend the possibly correct version.
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Postby annis » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:09 pm

Bert wrote:William, has your pronunciation changed along with your opinion how Zeta should be pronounced?


Yes, but imperfectly. I learned Erasmian pronunciation first (dz), and it's taking a little time to overcome that.
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Postby cweb255 » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:12 pm

gh only became silent after the Normans ruled Anglia.

You know, zeta could be pronounce not as d+s or s+d, but s and d at the same time. Tongue between the teeth and s-aspirate. Could work. Note: in Latin, z is a double consonant too. Anyone try to figure out the Ancient Latin of it? Hint, there is no PIE reconstruction of 'z'. But the letter was borrowed from Phonoecian, the letter being ts/ds as in Moreh Tsaddik - Teacher of Righteousness in Hebrew.

The "sh" will probably be known for a while, it's tracable. Skirt, Scirt, Shirt.
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Postby ThomasGR » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:20 am

Well, this is exactly the way how Greeks pronounce "z", and it does not sound like "dz" or "zd".

Originally, Latin didn't have "z" in its alphabet and was later adopted from the Greek one, sometimes in the second or first century BC, together with K, X and Y, which were used only for words loaned from Greek.
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Postby ThomasGR » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:28 am

I happen to know that both Bert and Benissimus are reading Homer, so I can either recommend a pronunciation that is known incorrect, or one that is possibly correct. I'm going to recommend the possibly correct version.

This is for pure technical reasons impossible to do. All the scripts that we use today are re-written countless times, and every time they were refined and improve according to the tastes and phonology of those centuries, e.g how they spoke and wrote in their time. Especially if you happen to use all the acute and daseia signs etc. that are an invention of alexandrian "barbarian" grammarians, who in some cases probably didn't speak good Greek themselves. Therefore, how Homer did speak is impossible to find out, since no written text exist from his days, the few we have are some centuries later, and the versions we use today are even more later.
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Postby ThomasGR » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:29 am

Finally, the letter Z, as its frequent replacing of S before B, G, and D etc. shows 76, had a voiced s–sound like English s or z in "rose" and "zebra" respectively, not the Erasmian dz (ds) or zd (sd). The same is shown by the misspellings Seu=j (= Zeu=j, 340 B.C.); Busza&ntioi 77 instead of Buza&ntioi; e0peyh/fiszen and sunagwniszo&menoj instead of e0peyh/fizen and sunagwnizo&menoj 78. In Elis D was often substituted by Z 79. That this tendency occurred at Athens as well may be inferred from Plato, Cratylus, 418: "nu=n de\ a)nti\ ... tou= ... de/lta zh=ta (metastre/fousin)". That this pronunciation of z as z was classical is shown by )Azeioi/, )Azeih=j 80, and )Azzeioi/ 81, as well as by Buza&ntioi 82 and Buzza&ntioi 83. That the z in all these cases could not have been sounded as dz or zd is shown by the resultant sound of the words, which is impossible to pronounce: A-zd-zd-e-i-o-i and Bu-zd-zd-a-nti-o-i. No doubt the Greeks pronounced them as A(z)ziü (later A(z)zií) and Bü(z)zantiü (later By(z)zántii ) respectively 84.


http://www.bsw.org/?l=72081&a=Art06.html


E-u-a-o-i-o-I

The impossibility of pronouncing the diphthongs in diaeresis (i.e. each vowel distinctly) becomes obvious also from a word such as Eu0aoi=oi (see IGA 110, 2, early VIth c. B.C.). This word, which consists of seven vowels, pronounced in the Erasmian way, would give the comical sound: ‘E-u-a-o-i-o-i’ — as if it were an exercise in vowel mnemonics. Surely the correct pronunciation was between ‘Eva-ü-ü’ and ‘Eva-í-i’.
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Postby ThomasGR » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:41 am

And last I wonder if the Erasmic promunciation is of the 5th centuries, then why do you read Homer who lived some centuries prior using the Erasmic pronucniation? Did the language not change all those centuries? Do you than adopt another pronunciation when reading Plato, another when reading the Bible and even another one when reading the Church Fathers? I would become quite confused with so many ways to utter the same words :lol:
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Postby annis » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:13 am

ThomasGR wrote:http://www.bsw.org/?l=72081&a=Art06.html


Oy. I have read this article before, and it is truly wretched. The author several times make fun of ideas without argumentation, and only shows himself ignorant of modern linguistcs.

The impossibility of pronouncing the diphthongs in diaeresis (i.e. each vowel distinctly) becomes obvious also from a word such as Eu0aoi=oi (see IGA 110, 2, early VIth c. B.C.). This word, which consists of seven vowels, pronounced in the Erasmian way, would give the comical sound: ‘E-u-a-o-i-o-i’ — as if it were an exercise in vowel mnemonics. Surely the correct pronunciation was between ‘Eva-ü-ü’ and ‘Eva-í-i’.


This is wishful thinking. Plenty of languages would have no difficulty with this. Just because it sounds comical to the author means nothing.

More:

Greek pronunciation cannot be determined by what is possible or acceptable in other languages.


Absurd. Such comparisons are the basis of all linguistics. Greek is not exempt.

Since accent as stress is integral to all speech, its existence in Greek must be as old as the language itself.


Again absurd. Plenty of languages don't have stress accent (Japanese, say).

However, the form of the circumflex only indicated that it was the result of the contraction of two vowels, one o0cuno&menon the other baruno&menon, but it had no rising and falling tone in pronunciation — an impossibility in actual speech,


More nonsense. As any speaker of a tone language can tell you (many dialects of Chinese, other Sino-tibetan languages, etc.)

When the Greeks in time came to use the monographs [face=spionic]Q, F, X[/face] in place of the digraphs, the Romans had no equivalents for these letters except for [face=spionic]F[/face], hence Latin F is usually transcribed with [face=spionic]F[/face]!


Only after A.D.i.

(1) Stress need not exclude pitch, and in fact no pitch is conceivable without stress. (2) All Indo-European languages are based on stress accent. In Swedish, for example, which is the most ‘musical’ of the Scandinavian languages, stress-accent is clear and important. If Greek were different in this respect, it would have been unique.


This is completely false. Several slavic and baltic languages had and still have pitch accent.

(4) If the accent was essentially musical, why was it then disregarded by meter, which chose its own syllables — often unaccented — to express the pitch?


Because ancient Greek meter is based on duration. But of course the author of this paper discards vowel length... because Modern Greek doesn't have it.

(6) Greek meter therefore must have been based on rhythm, which consisted in thesis (ictus) and arsis (fall) represented by the acute and the grave, the only proswdi/ai known in early times.


I trust the author has never read Pindar.

This paper basically proposes that ancient Greek experienced rapid variation in the a few centuries - 6th through 3rd about, it looks - and then never changed again. This would make it unique indeed.

I cannot take this paper seriously.
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Postby annis » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:16 am

ThomasGR wrote:And last I wonder if the Erasmic promunciation is of the 5th centuries, then why do you read Homer who lived some centuries prior using the Erasmic pronucniation?


I do not use Erasmic. I use the work of Palmer, Allen, etc., as the basis for my pronunciation.

Do you than adopt another pronunciation when reading Plato, another when reading the Bible and even another one when reading the Church Fathers?


Well, I'm still working on Homer, Hesiod, and the archaic poets. I'll worry about the Koine - for which the modern Greek pronunciations make a good deal more sense - when I get to that point. :)
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