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Omicron Pronunciation

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Omicron Pronunciation

Postby mariek » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:53 pm

<br />One of our members attempted to use the "notify" button in a Sticky thread to post a new message, and as a result, it went into a Black Hole. When you want to start a new discussion, please remember to backup to the main page (the one enumerating all the discussion threads) and click on new topic.<br /><br />I'm just reposting the question asked so that s/he and other members can benefit from the responses generated. Here is the member's post :<br /><br /><br />I am just beginning whites first Greek book. <br />Confusion about pronounciation of omicron which gives example of <br />'obey' whic we pronounce as a long o and omega which shows example as 'tone' <br />which is also a long 'o'. What would be the correct pronouncition. I <br />have been using omicron as in 'pot'<br />
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Emma_85 » Tue Sep 16, 2003 8:22 pm

Must depend on where you live or something... I pronouce the o in obey short (well it's more sort of a short u-sound I suppose). But I too pronounce the omicrons as in pot...
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby benissimus » Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:22 pm

I always thought to pronounce them how the British do their short O's. Somewhat like "Or" and "pOrtal".
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:48 pm

That confused me as well, since I pronounce the "o" in "obey" exactly the same as the "o" in "tone"...but you think it should be pronounced short, as in pot? That would make more sense...why have two different symbols for the same sound? <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby benissimus » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:01 pm

Well, wouldn't "pot" be a long A sound? English pronunciation of the letter O, among others is nowhere near what most languages choose. Then again, I don't know much about Greek except what those kooky old grammars say, and pronunciation has changed quite a bit since their days.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:10 pm

"Pot" a long "a" sound? To me, long a is "say"...Do we pronounce words the same way? To me, pot, other, off, are all short o sounds. Obey, over, open, are all long o sounds...father, hat, happy, are short a sounds. To me, anyway.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby benissimus » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:35 pm

I was under the impression that for Greek, "father" has a long A, the same sound as found in "pot". This is all moot if someone knows the real answer ;)
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:43 pm

I don't pronounce father the same way I pronounce pot. I prounounce them differently. <br /><br />Yes, please, someone who knows the real answer, moot our point! ;D<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby benissimus » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:06 am

Oh yeah you live in Canada. Maybe you do pronounce "pot" with a short O after all ;o
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:13 am

Me? I live in Alabama! But, I don't have a southern accent-everyone says so, and I'm careful not to develop one-so that's out. ;D
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby benissimus » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:21 am

If you pronounce it like I do, which is a standard American pronunciation, you should be pronouncing them with the same vowel. Maybe you have just let the spelling influence how you think of the sound? Dictionaries do use different markings for each, but I am quite certain that they are just over-indulging. Take the word "Pa", an affectionate word for "father". If you say it aloud and then just add a T sound at the end, it becomes "pot".
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:25 am

No, for me, "Pa" becomes "paht" (phonetic spelling, as closely as I can determine...) You're from California, aren't you? In the spring, I work for a woman from California; I"ll have to see if I can't get her to pronounce "pot" and "father" for me, and see how she does it.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby klewlis » Wed Sep 17, 2003 2:07 am

i pronounce father and pot with the same vowel sound.... but it's a soft o, not a hard a.<br /><br />same sound also as fall and ball...
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby mingshey » Wed Sep 17, 2003 5:40 am

Reminds me of the starting theme song of "When Harry met Sally":<br />
"I say to-may-to, you say to-mah-to,<br /> I say po-tay-to, you say po-tah-to, ..."
<br />Sung by Louis Armstrong. ;D
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

Let's call the calling off off! ;D Hehe. Determining how a letter should be pronounced in one word is difficult when you pronounce the example word differently. <br /><br />It's quite possible that I do pronounce my words strangely; people around here tell me I have a British accent; one of my British relatives told me I had (of all things) a Swedish accent. ??? I really do prounounce the sounds in father and pot quite differently. Perhaps, like the dictionary, I'm over-indulging. ;D<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Sep 17, 2003 6:42 pm

Pot and father?!? You crazy Americans (all except Keesa)... those vowles are just so totally different! But then again you probably find my pronounciation a bit strange (obay ('ubay). )<br /><br />Still... paat? ??? Do you also say naat instead of not?<br /><br />The o sound in modern Greek at least is like the o in not (my pronounciation :-P ), short o, not a.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Lex » Wed Sep 17, 2003 8:30 pm

[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=2;threadid=649;start=15#6214 date=1063824170]<br />Still... paat? ??? Do you also say naat instead of not?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I say "pot" and "not" the same as "father". I also pronounce "not" with the same sound as "nought" or "ought" or "wrought", and I pronounce "Mary", "merry" and "marry" and "pare", "pear" and "pair" exactly the same. My vowel pronunciation is much more flat than a British person's; almost as bad as Sir Anthony's fake Baltimore accent in Silence of the Lambs, although not quite as nasal. But then again, I'm from Ohio, not Maryland.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:01 pm

AHHH!!! All the vowels in those words sound really different, don't sound the same at all!!!! :o<br /><br /> ;)<br /><br />Maybe sometimes I should be glad that they translate all the films into German here... :-P
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Midn Easy » Thu Sep 18, 2003 5:56 am

So should the omicron be pronounced: "uh," As in uh-bay for <br />"obey"? Crosby and Schaeffer use the same example of obey for omicron. Furthermore, should Omicron sound more like uhmicron?<br /><br />
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby annis » Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:47 pm

[quote author=Midn Easy link=board=2;threadid=649;start=15#6236 date=1063864609]<br />So should the omicron be pronounced: "uh," As in uh-bay for <br />"obey"? Crosby and Schaeffer use the same example of obey for omicron. Furthermore, should Omicron sound more like uhmicron?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />We've gotten a little far afield here.<br /><br />When we talk about vowel length in Greek we really mean that. Unfortunately, in English, "long a" doesn't mean the sound is really longer, but that it's a different sound.<br /><br />Omicron is short o. Omega is long o. That really means that the omega should be pronounced longer. For a native speaker of English (or the other Germanic and Romance languages) this will be hard at first. Start out over-doing it a bit, and pronounce long vowels as though they were written twice. For example, for a long iota (that gets no special letter) imagine this phrase<br /><br /> a silly eery movie<br /><br />In this the 'y' of silly and the 'ee' of eery will merge into a slightly longer lasting 'ee' sound. That's part of the effect of the long Greek vowels.<br /><br />As I said, it's hard at first for people who don't use a language where this matters (unlike, say, Japanese which does have vowel length).<br /><br />Now, long alpha, iota and upsilon don't get a special letter. In beginning books and dictionaries they'll use a long or short sign to help you. A lot of people ignore these, but if you evern plan to read Homer or any of the other poets you should pay attention to this! In some early versions of the alphabet the Athenians used there was no omega or eta, and the long and short versions were both written with epsilon and omicron.<br /><br />In addition to the length difference, it happens that eta and omega had a slightly different, more open pronunciation. That's probably why they got their own letters. <br /><br />epsilon - like Italian or Spanish 'e'; English speakers will be told to pronounce it like a long 'a' in 'day' but that's not quite right, but I suppose close enough (if you pronounce 'day' very slowly, you'll notice that the sound glides into an ee sound - don't do that if you can avoid it for Greek).<br /><br />eta - pronounce epsilon, but open up your mouth more - mostly by opening up more verically rather than horizontally. The resulting sound will come out like 'eh' in 'said'. Some people thing the eta was actually an æ sound, like how a Midwestern American pronounces 'fat'. Greek sheep say [face=SPIonic]bh= bh=[/face], or sometimes [face=SPIonic]mh/ mh/[/face] - "no, no!" - which sent Ajax off the deep end.<br /><br />omicron - again, like Italian or Spanish 'o'. English like 'flow' or 'know' but again English really ends up with an 'oo' (as in 'do') at the end, which should be avoided.<br /><br />omega - pronounce omicron, then open up the mouth more, again more vertical than horizontal. In many dialects of English the open 'ah' sound has savaged the open 'o' (saw, caught) sound.<br /><br />Please note that the advice I'm giving is our best understanding of how these sounds were pronounced. I'm sure there were differences in different dialects. But it also is completely opposite how school primers teach how to say these words.<br /><br />In my opinion, pick a pronuciation and stick with it, but do make an effort to get the length correct. If you can, try to get the vowel quality correct, too, but this, in some degree, an academic exercise.
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:02 pm

Thanks, William! We were just waiting for someone who knew what they were talking about to set us straight. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Skylax » Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:33 pm

The best English o-micron-like o I ever heard was from the mouth of Paul Simon in "Mrs Robinson" when he says "jolting" Joe (last verse : What's that you say, Mrs Robinson, / Joltin' Joe has left and gone away / Hey, hey, hey !)
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Re:Omicron Pronunciation

Postby Keesa » Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:39 pm

[quote author=Skylax link=board=2;threadid=649;start=15#6245 date=1063910026]<br />The best English o-micron-like o I ever heard was from the mouth of Paul Simon in "Mrs Robinson" when he says "jolting" Joe (last verse : What's that you say, Mrs Robinson, / Joltin' Joe has left and gone away / Hey, hey, hey !)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I have that song! I'll have to remember that. <br /><br />Thanks!
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