hi kasper, thanks for that. from what i can get out of smyth though, not all occurences of "ei" and "ou" are pronounced alike. letters like eta have one "phthong" (pronounced "air")... diphthongs (two "phthongs") however aren't long vowels, they're glides from one vowel to another, so ei is a glide from "eh" (pronounced in about the middle-front of the mouth) to "ee" (pronounced almost between the teeth), and "ou" is a glide from the mid-back to back of the mouth.
but "spurious" diphthongs, also written "ei" and "ou", were pronounced (before 400bc apparently) as long vowels, not as 2 phthongs. so spurious "ei" was not a glide "eh-ee" but was just "ay" (as white and others conventionally tell you to say it), and "ou" was just "original" upsilon "oo".
my problem is that i don't know in homeric greek whether most of the diphthongs "ei" and "ou" in the text are real or spurious. e.g. is the "ei" in [face=SPIonic]e)telei/eto
[/face] in iliad 1.5 spurious or true? i don't know... i'm guessing that "ou" in [face=SPIonic]au0tou\j
[/face] of iliad 1.4 is spurious, (based on what i read in pharr about the lost nu), but i'm just guessing...
if someone could help me out with this i'd really appreciate it. thanks!! chad.