hi emma, i've been working really hard to get the greek pitch (and length) pronunciation right. if you read devine and stephens 1994 book The prosody of Greek speech
you'll see that there's so much more to do than just raise acutes a fifth, and have circumflexes as dropping on the melisma.<br /><br />I won't bore you with all the book's conclusions here, but e.g. acutes on lexical words cause following acutes in the same minor phrase to be slightly lower in pitch (unless the acute's on a proper name); a following grave however cancels that effect. graves themselves have a slight pitch accent, but not as high as word-initial unaccented syllables (which actually have a slight pitch accent on their own), and nowhere near as high as an actual acute. proclitics also have a slight accent, but differ depending on whether they come before nouns or verbs: if i remember (my notes are at home) pre-noun two-syllable proclitics plateau on the same pitch, while pre-verb proclitics rise slightly on the second syllable.<br /><br />all of these rules were worked out by analysing the musical notation to the delphic hymns and the few other ancient greek musical sources, and looking for statistically significant patterns (kind of the way greek grammatical rules were worked out). these statistical conclusions don't of course allow you to perfectly represent greek speech on a musical staff line, but they are pretty good for figuring out the relative
pitch differences between two syllables in a minor phrase or poetic line/half line.<br /><br />i've started going through and representing the relative pitch, syllable by syllable, of the iliad, sappho, and i've just now started working out lysias' prose too (prose is much harder). i'm annotating each syllable with the 'rule' i'm using to determine its pitch (i've summarised devine and stephens into a little cheat sheet of its main rules). if you're interested i could post a link on the web. it's rough and tentative but i could use some help and advice if you're keen. there's also a (cut-down) summary of devine and stephens book on the net,<br /><br />http://arts.anu.edu.au/linguistics/People/AveryAndrews/Homer/pitch.htm<br /><br />which might be more helpful for figuring out what we can and can't know about greek pronunciation.<br /><br />cheers, chad.
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