About Sigma

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Yhevhe
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About Sigma

Post by Yhevhe » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:41 pm

I haven't read anything about it, but isn't sigma supposed to be pronounced "sinma", or "sima"? After all, gamma before my becomes nasal.

Thanks. And... hello everybody :wink: It's been a time since I posted something here.

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:52 pm

Surely you mean "nu" instead of "my".

I do not know about the pronounciation of sigma.

And it's good to see you back :D

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Post by Bert » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:24 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Surely you mean "nu" instead of "my".
Probably Mu.

Gamma plus velar becomes Nu.
I had not heard that Gamma before Mu becomes nasal, but that does not mean that it is not true.

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Post by Yhevhe » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:21 am



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Post by Bert » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:23 am

Yhevhe wrote:
Bert wrote:Gamma plus velar becomes Nu.
I had not heard that Gamma before Mu becomes nasal, but that does not mean that it is not true.
The remaining consonants may be pronounced as specified in the list, but γ before μ, ν ,γ, χ or ξ is called gamma-nasal, and is pronounced as n in song, as κλαγγή uproar, pronounced clahngáy.
Well, I guess it is Gamma before velars and nasals. Thanks.
(I should have written "Gamma plus velar becomes nasal not Nu)

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Post by ThomasGR » Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:41 pm

It looks Pharr is totally wrong, at least as concerns γ before μ and ν. It is clearly a "g", and in Modern Greek became a voiced χ. Maybe this was also the case in Old Greek.

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Post by Yhevhe » Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:55 pm

I'm relying in Pharr only, that's why I wanted to ask :?
Last edited by Yhevhe on Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ThomasGR » Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:59 pm

That gives us reasons to be here and makes us proud. To correct wrong assumptions; by Pharr, Alen et al. Better rely on us-

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Post by annis » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:46 pm


William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by ThomasGR » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:03 pm

I am curious to read those evidences, please quote them here, if it's possible. To me, it sounds absurb. Gamma before mu can stand only as gamma, or be redued to a double mu, than spoken as mu. N before M is unstable. In your examples, there we have a vowel between G and M, which became silent and G turned to M. Do not get confuse with γκ, γχ or γγ, this is a different case. In cases where G before M is a nasal NG (not many cases, I can think none at this moment), soon we saw a double M. In any case, σιγμα is pronounced sigma.

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Post by annis » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:17 pm

ThomasGR wrote:I am curious to read those evidences, please quote them here, if it's possible. To me, it sounds absurb.
Yeah.

In a few minutes I will be leaving to attend that great Madison Tradition, "Taste of Madison" which I myself call "Taste of Pork on a Stick." So more evidence will have to wait until this evening.

However, I would take it as a great kindness if in that time you actually present the evidence for your case, with examples rather than assertion. I would also like to know how you account for the fact that the nasal sound in -γγ- ended up with the name ἄγμα.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Re: About Sigma

Post by modus.irrealis » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:08 pm



ThomasGR
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Post by ThomasGR » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:00 pm

In the Greek Church and when reading the Bible (both Old and New testament), they kept ancient words and we can follow its pronunciation. GM stood always as GM.

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Post by IreneY » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:10 pm



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Post by ThomasGR » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:30 pm

συν+μαθητης =συμμαθητης never συνμαθητης
συν+μαχος=συμμαχος never συνμαχος

There are no words with NM.

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Post by IreneY » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:08 pm

Let's try this: When the very few kids who were getting any kind of education were learning the letters of the Greek alphabet, how do you think they called σίγμα? :)

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Post by Kopio » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:44 am

annis wrote:In a few minutes I will be leaving to attend that great Madison Tradition, "Taste of Madison" which I myself call "Taste of Pork on a Stick." So more evidence will have to wait until this evening.
Mmmmmmmmmm.......pork.....mmmmmmmmmmm.

But seriously folks! I learned sigma pronounced with the G sound. Although αγγελος was always pronounced angelos. Of course....I learned Koine first, so I might just be of no help at all.

Perhaps William, belly full of pork and pints, can shed some more light on this for us. :)

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Post by ThomasGR » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:16 am

But that claim is that γμ was ngm, with the ng in sing.
How does it claim? It that was the case, than why did they not wrote nm, or even gm (so we can than quarrel if its even ngm)? I think n does not like to be place near plosives either. n+b gives mb and n+p makes it to mp, also n+k gives gk (the last g as ng, the others m are banalities m).

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Post by modus.irrealis » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:57 am

ThomasGR wrote:How does it claim? It that was the case, than why did they not wrote nm, or even gm (so we can than quarrel if its even ngm)?
I'm confused now. Aren't we discussing γμ (your gm I guess), in relation to the pronunciation of the word σιγμα?

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Post by ThomasGR » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:33 am

Of course we are still after σιγμα pronunciation. Slowly I am proving that σιγμα could never have been pronounced sinma, neither singma. N (as well NG) before M becomes M, so G before M stood always as G, otherwise they would have written it from earliest times as MM (simplified perhaps to M). I think a clue gives also gramma, which probably comes from grap(h)ma, but p(h) before m stands not.

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Post by Yhevhe » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:45 pm

ThomasGR wrote:I think n does not like to be place near plosives either. n+b gives mb and n+p makes it to mp
That reminds me of this little rule in castillian saying that 'm' is to be written before 'p' and 'b'.

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Post by modus.irrealis » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:54 pm



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Post by annis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:21 am

Kopio wrote:Mmmmmmmmmm.......pork.....mmmmmmmmmmm.
:)
Perhaps William, belly full of pork and pints, can shed some more light on this for us. :)
Well, I didn't see the need to repeat modus.irrealis' fine points.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:49 am

N sure, but NG? Do you have any examples of that?
Do you have any example for the opposite?

I could go on and on proving that NM (and NGM) is simple un-Greek pronunciation. But not MN. Maybe it was always simna and people twisted it? :lol:

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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:04 am

Why wouldn't it just stay as χ?
M is voiced, so χ has to become voiced. X turns to a voiced X, a G. This could give reasons to say that ancient-Greek's G was never that hard-sounding G as in Latin or English, but a soft one, a voiced X. There are words with χμ, but in this case we have also the ypsilon before, working as a voiced semi-vowel (or semi-consonant?).

Edit: this is also an excellent example why one should never reject Modern Greek so easily. Why we have here GM and not XM, is easy to think if we take modern pronunciation into account. In Modern Greek the pronunciation would be τεβγμα, so we speak βγμ, no place is left for χμ. Astrong clue that ancient υ was never a u, not in such combinations as in this example.

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Post by annis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:44 pm

ThomasGR wrote:I could go on and on proving that NM (and NGM) is simple un-Greek pronunciation.
You simply assert over and over that because it's not in modern Greek it's "un-Greek" tout court. This isn't proof.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by annis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:53 pm


William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:34 pm

annis wrote:
ThomasGR wrote:I could go on and on proving that NM (and NGM) is simple un-Greek pronunciation.
You simply assert over and over that because it's not in modern Greek it's "un-Greek" tout court. This isn't proof.
I use examples only from Ancient Greek. There are no words with NM, and whenever a n+m occurs, suddenly we have MM. There is no GM tracing back to NM. NM (and NGM, not to forget it) is simple un-Greek. either you take it granted, or not.

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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:35 pm

annis wrote:
ThomasGR wrote: You still haven't accounted for ἄγμα.
I leave it to you.

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Post by modus.irrealis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:46 pm



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Post by annis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:23 pm


William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by annis » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:07 pm

Here we go...

From Allen's Vox Graeca, 3rd ed., pp35-36 (I omit references to his Vox Latina). Since not everyone will have an IPA font, I will use [N] in addition to the usual IPA [ŋ] (the ng in sing not anger).

"We have already mentioned that, in addition to the dental and bilabial nasals, there was in Greek, as in, for example, English and Latin, a velar nasal sound, occurring before velar plosive consonants, where it is represented by γ — e.g. ἄγκυ?α, ἔγχος, ?γγύς. Varro identified this with the sound of the n in Latin angulus etc., which was clearly a velar nasal (described by Nigidius Figuls as `inter litteram n et g' and as not involving contact with the (hard) palate). The use of n to indicate this sound, as in Latin, is understandable enough, since the velar pronunciation is automatic before velar plosives; and similar spellings with ν are found in Attic inscriptions (regularly before 5 c., e.g. c. 550 ενγυσ). But the normal Greek spelling with γ for [N] ([ŋ]) is on the face of it remarkable, since it is as though we were to write e.g. English ink, finger as igk, figger. There is nothing in the nature of a velar plosive that would account for the nasalization of a preceding plosive; so that the only logical explanation for such spellings would be if γ had this nasal [N] ([ŋ]) value in some other environment where it was phonetically intelligible; from such a context the writing with γ could then have been transferred to other positions (on the principle, familiar also to some modern schools of phonology, that a given sound must always be allotted to the same phoneme).

The most obvious candidate for providing such an environment is the position before a following nasal, that is, if γμ and/or γν were pronounced [Nm, Nn] ([ŋm, ŋn]) (like the ngm, ngn in English hangman, hangnail), as in the case of Latin magnus etc.

There is in fact a tradition, preserved by Priscian (+Gl, ii, p. 30 K) as ascribed by Verro to Ion (probably of Chios), that the [N] ([ŋ]) sound represented by γ in ἄγκυ?α etc. had a special name in Greek, and that this name was ἄγμα; since the Greek names of letters are otherwise related to the sounds they represent, such a name makes sense only if it is pronounced [aGma] ([aŋma]), that is, if the γ is pronounced [N] ([ŋ]) in the position before the nasal μ."

He then goes on to give the perfect passive examples given earlier.

Interestingly, all three of the authors I consulted — Sihler, Allen, Palmer — say that in the case of -γν- the [ŋn] interpretation might be right, but it's much less certain.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:48 am

had a special name in Greek, and that this name was ἄγμα; since the Greek names of letters are otherwise related to the sounds they represent, such a name makes sense only if it is pronounced [aGma] ([aŋma]), that is, if the γ is pronounced [N] ([ŋ]) in the position before the nasal μ."
So the only clue we have is this: since it is called agma, so it had to be pronounce angma. I disagree, I'm not convinced. Do we have any mispelling for γμ (e.g. νμ, νγμ)? No, never was one. Priscian, as a genuine grammarian, wanted to remodel the langauge according to his ideal. Thanks God, it did never happen. I find it remarkable, there are other interesting mispellings even to our days: συνγνωμη versus συγγνωμη vs. συγνωμη.

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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:35 am

Consonants: Attic Combinations:
Image
Image

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Post by annis » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:37 pm

ThomasGR wrote:So the only clue we have is this: since it is called agma, so it had to be pronounce angma. I disagree, I'm not convinced.
What a shock.

And it is patently not the only clue we have — it's merely one of several, all of which work together nicely. Why must we do this absurd epistemology tango every time this subject comes up?

Have you read Allen's Vox Graeca? Do you have access to a copy? Would you read it if I arranged to have one get to you, if you haven't already? Or are all linguists and grammarians, like Cretans, liars to you?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by annis » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:38 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Consonants: Attic Combinations:
Blogger denies me access to these images.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by IreneY » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:45 pm

Annis try copying their url from the Properties and then open them in a new window/tab. I did it and then for some reason they appeared on my textkit page too

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