aspirated rho

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

aspirated rho

Post by Eureka » Mon May 31, 2004 1:38 am

Where does the aspiration go?


i.e. Is it before, during, or after the rho?

(Rho seems hard enough to pronounce, even without the aspiration.)
phpbb

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Mon May 31, 2004 3:45 am

I believe the current consensus is that the aspiration mark on the rho indicates that it's voiceless, not that actual aspiration is involved.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eureka » Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am

Does that mean the sound is made by vibrating the tongue?


A related question is; does [face=SPIonic]ou][/face] become [face=SPIonic]ou]x[/face] before words begining in [face=SPIonic]r9[/face]?
phpbb

User avatar
Skylax
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:18 am
Location: Belgium

Post by Skylax » Mon May 31, 2004 3:58 pm

Eureka wrote:A related question is; does [face=SPIonic]ou][/face] become [face=SPIonic]ou]x[/face] before words begining in [face=SPIonic]r9[/face]?


No. They say [face=SPIonic]ou) r(a/|dion[/face] "(it is) not easy..."

User avatar
Miltiades
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:57 pm
Location: Peloponnese,Greece

Post by Miltiades » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:07 am

annis wrote:I believe the current consensus is that the aspiration mark on the rho indicates that it's voiceless, not that actual aspiration is involved.


The rho case sounds quite interesting to me...But why would it be necessary to use the aspiration mark to indicate that rho is voiceless?
There are also other voiceless consonants that don't need an aspiration mark. What i'm trying to say is that we cannot exclude the possibility that rho had an aspirated pronounciation at the beginning of a word. If we see it comparatively it's very possible. For example the words Ηρακλής
(Hraklh\j and ύδρα (/udra retain their aspired pronounciation in Modern English (Hercules, Hydra. Therefore, we can see that English describes the greek letter ρ as rho (see also: gr. ρυθμός (ruqm\oj, eng. rhythm

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:31 am

Miltiades wrote:What i'm trying to say is that we cannot exclude the possibility that rho had an aspirated pronounciation at the beginning of a word.


Well, I've just spent a few minutes sitting here, with my windows open, trying to make an aspirated rho. The neighbor dog seemed quite entranced.

In any case, trying to aspirate rho regularly leaves me with a voiceless rho. When I make a voiceless rho, the result is pretty breathy. Rho isn't quite like other consonant sounds, so I'm not too worried about the idea that the rough breathing (or an H in non-Attic scripts) was used to mark a voiceless rho.

Edit:: Ack! that should say or an H in non-Ionic scripts. :oops:
Last edited by annis on Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
1%homeless
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:21 am
Location: East Hollywood
Contact:

Post by 1%homeless » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:01 am

The neighbor dog seemed quite entranced


lol. :lol:

Is it before, during, or after the rho?


Hmm... I'm always puzzled why they put the h after the r... The IPA chart doesn't help because it puts the "h" sound under fricatives... then I found this quote in wikipedia: "aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some stop consonants." Hmm... seems to me that people are mixing up the "h" sound before vowels and aspiration. So... technically, aspirations are after consonants ...and I think I might've answered my own question and yours Eureka. Hehehe.

User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eureka » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:28 am

annis wrote: rough breathing (or an H in non-Attic scripts)
This intrigues me. When I saw it on this site it seemed far fetched, so I thought it was a mistake.

Anyway, so if outside of Attica "H" meant rough breathing, how did they write eta? (Double epsilon perhaps?) :?


I also can't see any reason why the Attic meaning of "H" would take precidence over the rest of Greece when the Koine was formed. After all, the inability to write down the aspiration would have been a considerable disadvantage.
phpbb

User avatar
Miltiades
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:57 pm
Location: Peloponnese,Greece

Post by Miltiades » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:11 pm

Eureka wrote:
annis wrote: rough breathing (or an H in non-Attic scripts)
This intrigues me. When I saw it on this site it seemed far fetched, so I thought it was a mistake.

Anyway, so if outside of Attica "H" meant rough breathing, how did they write eta? (Double epsilon perhaps?) :?


I also can't see any reason why the Attic meaning of "H" would take precidence over the rest of Greece when the Koine was formed. After all, the inability to write down the aspiration would have been a considerable disadvantage.




The usage the greek character η (heth of semitic alphabet) in the west greek alphabet was to indicate initial aspiration that had passed to the latins. It's the french h ,the so called dasu/. Provided that the aspiration in the beginning of a word had extinct in the ionic dialect, this character was available to indicate the long ε. Later, in 403, when the ionic alphabet was "adopted" for the writing of the Attic dialect, there was the need for a mark that would indicate the aspiration that this dialect always had. So, the left half of H (|-) was used to indicate the aspiration, while the right half (-|) was used (from the 3rd century B.C.) to indicate the absence of aspiration.
phpbb

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:26 pm

Eureka wrote:Anyway, so if outside of Attica "H" meant rough breathing, how did they write eta? (Double epsilon perhaps?) :?


I misspoke above, and corrected the error - it's the Ionic script, which Athens later took on, which used H for eta.

Before Athens took the Ionic script eta was written with an epsilon, and omega with omicron. The length wasn't indicated. (There might be sporadic exceptions to that, but I don't have my references handy.)
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Miltiades
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:57 pm
Location: Peloponnese,Greece

Post by Miltiades » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:34 pm

annis wrote:
Miltiades wrote:What i'm trying to say is that we cannot exclude the possibility that rho had an aspirated pronounciation at the beginning of a word.


Well, I've just spent a few minutes sitting here, with my windows open, trying to make an aspirated rho. The neighbor dog seemed quite entranced.

In any case, trying to aspirate rho regularly leaves me with a voiceless rho. When I make a voiceless rho, the result is pretty breathy. Rho isn't quite like other consonant sounds, so I'm not too worried about the idea that the rough breathing (or an H in non-Attic scripts) was used to mark a voiceless rho.

Edit:: Ack! that should say or an H in non-Ionic scripts. :oops:




Well u have a point there but have u ever thought that you, i mean native speakers of english, may use the rho (r in english) with an aspirated tone in all cases? What i'm trying to say is that u may needn't to try to make an aspirated rho because u do it already everyday when speaking. It may be hard for u to perceive because u're a native speaker of English. I can see a big difference in the way we say it (i'm greek). I mean that for greeks, the rho as pronounced in modern english in much more "aspirated" than the rho as pronounced in modern greek...(total lack of aspiration, apart form some nothern dialects...)


P.S. Hey i've spent a month in WI and i've visited Madison. Great place!!!!
phpbb

User avatar
1%homeless
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:21 am
Location: East Hollywood
Contact:

Post by 1%homeless » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:27 pm

total lack of aspiration


Well, if you mean aspiration as in a fricative or "rough breathing," I don't see how this is possible. I mean you need a certain amount of air to have that toungue vibrating. Without enough air you just get maybe a flap or something. It's like the wind blowing on a flag, if not enough air is blowing on it, you don't hear it flapping. So regardless if it is voiced or not, is it actually possible to have a non-"aspirated" rho?

User avatar
Miltiades
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:57 pm
Location: Peloponnese,Greece

Post by Miltiades » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:44 am

1%homeless wrote:
total lack of aspiration


Well, if you mean aspiration as in a fricative or "rough breathing," I don't see how this is possible. I mean you need a certain amount of air to have that toungue vibrating. Without enough air you just get maybe a flap or something. It's like the wind blowing on a flag, if not enough air is blowing on it, you don't hear it flapping. So regardless if it is voiced or not, is it actually possible to have a non-"aspirated" rho?


Using the air does not necessarily mean aspiration. Afterall, air is needed to produce every single voice from α to ω. The particular use of air makes the difference. We need air to produce the π (pi) but that doesn't make it a fricative...(it lacks of aspiration). The greek rho is very sharp (it's similar to the way russians pronounce the english r if that helps...) In my opinion, that's a non-aspirated rho. I think it's a matter of personal perception of sounds varying from language to language. For example, if u hear the word "romance" from an english person and compare it to the way a greek says it, u can't miss the difference in the rho, which rough in the first case, at least that's the way i hear it.
phpbb

User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eureka » Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:47 am

annis wrote:Before Athens took the Ionic script eta was written with an epsilon, and omega with omicron. The length wasn't indicated. (There might be sporadic exceptions to that, but I don't have my references handy.)
I always assumed that the reason O and E had two different letters each was to distinguish the subjunctive from the indicative, in thematic verbs. I'm suprised to hear that most dialects only had one letter for each.

(Perhaps the Ionic alphabet was superior, after all. :) )
phpbb

User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eureka » Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:08 am

Miltiades wrote:The greek rho is very sharp (it's similar to the way russians pronounce the english r if that helps...) In my opinion, that's a non-aspirated rho. I think it's a matter of personal perception of sounds varying from language to language. For example, if u hear the word "romance" from an english person and compare it to the way a greek says it, u can't miss the difference in the rho, which rough in the first case, at least that's the way i hear it.
Speaking as an Australian, we hardly pronounce the "r" at all. In fact, the letter "r" most often acts as a modifier.

i.e. a = [face=SPIonic]a[/face]
but; ar = [face=SPIonic]a8[/face]

o = [face=SPIonic]o[/face]
or = [face=SPIonic]w[/face]

er = [face=SPIonic]a8[/face] (if at the end of the word)

Although it can sometimes be an actual "r" sound; when it is, it is a slight, unrolled "r". I doubt we aspirate our r's very much. :P
phpbb

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:27 pm

Miltiades wrote:Well u have a point there but have u ever thought that you, i mean native speakers of english, may use the rho (r in english) with an aspirated tone in all cases?


I wasn't using an English r during my recitation for the neighbor dog, but I tried both a flap (Spanish single r) and a roll (Spanish rr) since I've never been sure if classical Greek used the flap or the trill. For both it is hard for me to distinguish the sound of the voiceless and the aspirated rho. This is not to say they're identical, but that it doesn't seem too strange to use the aspiration mark (or letter) to indicate a voiceless rho.

P.S. Hey i've spent a month in WI and i've visited Madison. Great place!!!!


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

User avatar
nefercheprure
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:54 pm
Location: Prague, The Czech Republic

Post by nefercheprure » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:31 pm

I was told that ``aspirated rho'' was first sounded as `hr' which was changed later to `rh' and to `r' even later.

The theory is not far fetched considering the evolution of English.

HWAET > WHAT > WAT (though still written what)

HW > WH > W in English
HR > RH > R in Greek

As for your attempts: I have found out that the most difficult sounds of any foreign language are those, which can be perceived similar to the sounds present in your mother tongue. Therefore most Greeks and Englishmen will not perceive the difference between Greek chi ([face=SPIonic]xi=[/face]) and English h. The Germans (probably) and Czechs (for sure) will tell the difference immediately. The Russians will have a hard time as well as the Greeks.

the ``table'' is only an approximation bear in mind, that eg. German has two forms of ``ch'' -- Achlaut, Ichlaut...
- == do not have
x == do have
Language | h | chi
Russian | - | x
German | x | x
Czech | x | x
Greek | - | x
English | x | -
Italian | - | -
phpbb

User avatar
Miltiades
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:57 pm
Location: Peloponnese,Greece

Post by Miltiades » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:55 pm

nefercheprure wrote:I was told that ``aspirated rho'' was first sounded as `hr' which was changed later to `rh' and to `r' even later.


I couldn't agree more with u more nefercheprure
phpbb

User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Eureka » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:37 am

nefercheprure wrote:I was told that ``aspirated rho'' was first sounded as `hr' which was changed later to `rh' and to `r' even later.

The theory is not far fetched considering the evolution of English.

HWAET > WHAT > WAT (though still written what)

HW > WH > W in English
HR > RH > R in Greek
This makes complete sense. After all if [face=spionic]r9[/face] was "rh" when the alphabet was developed, you’d expect it to have had a letter of its own (equivalent to [face=spionic]x[/face], [face=spionic]f[/face] or [face=spionic]q[/face]).

[face=spionic]r9[/face] becomes impossible to pronounce if you try to aspirate and make the “r” sound at the same time, but “hr” is easier. If it wasn’t, how would they pronounce [face=spionic]xro/noj[/face]? (As [face=spionic]Kro/noj[/face]?) ;)
nefercheprure wrote:As for your attempts: I have found out that the most difficult sounds of any foreign language are those, which can be perceived similar to the sounds present in your mother tongue.
As I said above, the Greek "r" is completely different from anything in Australian English, so it should be easy. :)
phpbb

Moerus
Textkit Fan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 2:00 am
Location: Lovanium - Leuven (Belgium)

Post by Moerus » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:57 am

New research indicates the origin of the aspiration with rho. In fact each rho had a digamma before it. But the digamma disappeared in Greek. Some times this digamma vanished without making any changes. But sometimes we can see that the vanishing digamma marked some changes in a word. In classical Attic the digamma before a rho changed into an aspiration. In other dialects (Sappho etc.) this digamma was changed into a beta [wrodon --> Brodon (Sappho): but wrodon --> hrodon (Attic and h = aspiration)]. This showes us that the aspiration must have taken place before the rho and not after it.

But practically I think both ways, with or without aspiration, are intellegible and even Old Greeks would understand both. But if you want to be correct, the aspiration comes before rho.

Post Reply