Help with Sapphic proper names

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emilpc
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Help with Sapphic proper names

Post by emilpc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:47 pm

Hello. I do not have any background in Greek, but I am hoping someone can help me approximate a reasonable guess at some proper nouns in an English sapphic poetry translation. These names don't seem to appear in any conventional pronunciation guides, but my guess is that someone with some knowledge of Greek naming conventions can easily guess how they are pronounced.

Unfortunately, I am not that person ... :oops:

Would it be all right to ask for help with some specific names and phrases that can't apparently be found in any dictionaries?

Thank you!

mwh
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Re: Help with Sapphic proper names

Post by mwh » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:35 pm

Try it and see. I expect you'll get some responses.

emilpc
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Re: Help with Sapphic proper names

Post by emilpc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:08 pm

Great! Thank you so much!

These are some names that appear in this translation:


Anactoria
Gorgo
Atthis
Gyrinno
Charaxus
Damophyla
Dica

and -- the name Musagetes, which I think refers to Apollo, but I'm not finding agreement on how this is pronounced. Sometimes I find "muze-a-GETTS," but for some reason that sounds like it may not be right.

Among the many things I am unsure of above is where the accent lies, whether the vowels are short or long, whether the G is hard or soft --- to begin with. Any thoughts or guesses on this greatly appreciated!

mwh
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Re: Help with Sapphic proper names

Post by mwh » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:57 pm

There are no canonical English pronunciations. Normally in English they’d be accented more or less as if they were English names. (In Sappho’s dialect the accent falls on the penult if the final syllable is long, on the antepenult if it’s short, but in English we’d tend to say e.g. CharAxus not ChAraxus.)
Gs are hard, as are C’s, also Ch.
Da- in Damophyla is long, -mo- short.
Final o’s (Gorgo, Gyrinno) are long.
Dica has short i and long a. It means “Justice."
They're all female, except for Charaxus, who was Sappho’s brother.

Musagetes is Apollo, yes, in his capacity as “Muse-leader.” Four syllables not three: Mu- and –sa- both long, -ge- short, -tes long. (I’d accent it on the 2nd syll., but properly it’s on the penult.)

Hope this helps.

emilpc
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Re: Help with Sapphic proper names

Post by emilpc » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:18 am

mwh, it was very kind of you to write all this out.

Of course it helps tremendously!

Thank you so much!

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