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talatta or talassa?

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talatta or talassa?

Postby tadwelessar » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:03 am

I was reading JWW's First Greek Book and I found a lot of words with a double "sigma" in my dictionary; qhile in that book they have a double "tau" instead
e.g.
tessara => tettara (four)
thalassa => talatta (sea)
et cetera
why that difference?
which is the correct form?
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Postby mingshey » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:16 am

Dialects.
Both are correct, as long as correctness is involved.
In some occasions s and t are interchangeable among the dialects of greek. :wink:
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Postby benissimus » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:45 am

Is/was the double S pronounced like TS as it was in some forms of Latin? That would make sense...

And I was also curious about this because in the first book I used there was the word [face=spionic]qalatta[/face] but every other time I have seen the word [face=spionic]qalassa[/face]. Until now, I thought it was just because my alphabet memorization had been not very good but now I think it might have been okay after all.
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:00 am

It's normally thalassa, but in attic it's thalatta. I remember our teacher told us why this is so once, but I just can't remember. If I find my notes on that I'll post them, but I doubt I'll be able to find them.
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Postby Moerus » Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:00 pm

Hey all,

I will write my Indo-european and Greek in Latin alphabet, cause I use other Greek fonds than you do. I have to check the post about it! O my!
Anyway the Latin alphabet is easier for indo-european also.

You all know that Greek is a indo-european language, as Latin, German, French, etc. All these languages have similarities, so scholars found out that they all came from one language, Indo-European (sometimes called Indo-German(ic)). This is one issue, that we can consider to come to Greek forms.

In Greek we have also the dialects.
First we have to know that some Greek words with strong similarity, come from the same origine, but that they evolved differently.

Here with Thalassa -Thalatta there was a different evolution in the dialects.
We know that there was a letter (dissapeared yet in ancient Greek) named jod(h) and it sounded like j / y. This letter jod dissapeared in ancient Greek, but is still important to see some evolutions in Greek.
When an occlusive was followed by a jod(h) in a word (!) they evolved to double sigma in the most dialects, but in some they evolved to double tau.

E. g.: glôch -ja > glôssa, but in Attic glôtta (for glôch -ja: see the Greek glôchis, ...);
peku -jo > pek -jo > pessô, but in Attic pettô, etc.

Attic had double tau from the earliest times, Ionic had double sigma. In the later koine double sigma is more common than double tau. Most of the dialects agree with Ionic, but double tau, as in Attic, is also Boeotian, Cretan and Euboean, at least in Styra, Eretria, Oropus (as we find in inscriptions). In Cretan, we even find sometimes double theta!

Why this evolution was different in the dialects we know, is always a guess. I suppose there are some theories, but these are still guesses. And I think we have to confess that some things will always be a mystery for us. Asking why the evolution is different in different places is the same as asking why there are dialects and why not one universal language. But that's an other question.

I can conclude with saying it's a difference between dialects.

I hope I was a bit helpfull,

Greetz,
Moerus.
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Postby chad » Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:25 am

i remember reading in a book by stanford on the sound and euphony of classical greek speech that the greeks hated the sound of sigma, because it was pronounced like a hiss. apparently, when analysed acoustically today (according to stanford) sigma has most annoying harmonics of any consonant. someone even wrote asigmatic odes to eliminate the sigma hiss. maybe that's one of the reasons the double sigma changed over time into a cleaner double dental.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:29 am

No, chad, the other way round. The double tt was replaced with a double ss over time.
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Postby chad » Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:24 am

thanks for that emma... i don't know how i got the idea that it was the other way around :)
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just a quick note or observation on dialects!

Postby Dean » Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:18 am

May it be noted that we in the United States now American English, which is now considered a dialect!
It took about 100 years to become a dialect.
The first important document written in American English is considered to be the Gettysburg Address.
By 1863 we know longer spoke or even wrote the "King's English".
Interesting isn't it?
Maybe that is what happened in Ancient Greece--people were seperated by great distances then (in pockets really)
Maybe that's what caused the dialectical changes.
Just a theory!
Might be a good idea for a paper or at least an article.
Hope someone is able to pursue this!!!
:) :) :)
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:27 am

Well it's like British and American English both evolved. American English actually has a lot of old grammatical forms in it, which no one here uses any more (e.g. gotten).
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Postby benissimus » Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:28 pm

You might find it interesting to research on Smith Island (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=smith%20island). It's a strange little island in the U.S. that has for some reason preserved some extremely archaic words and forms from colonial American times.
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