Digamma?

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Eureka
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Digamma?

Post by Eureka » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:16 pm

Do modern editions of the Iliad contain any digammas at all?

Line 33 is definitely missing a digamma in [face=SPIonic]e1dveisen[/face], and, as a result, the line no longer scans. Is it known whether performances in 5th century Athens would have involved the digamma-sound in words such as this?

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Re: Digamma?

Post by annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:53 am

Eureka wrote:Do modern editions of the Iliad contain any digammas at all?
The most recent book I have that prints the digamma in the body of the poem is a 1907 "American Book Company" edition. If I recall correctly, it's not entirely clear Homer would have pronounced the digamma any longer.
Line 33 is definitely missing a digamma in [face=SPIonic]e1dveisen[/face], and, as a result, the line no longer scans. Is it known whether performances in 5th century Athens would have involved the digamma-sound in words such as this?
Probably not. Based on hints from orthography, various things were tried to make the verses scan where possible. I'm used to seeing your example given as [face=spionic]e)/ddeisen[/face], or least listed so in the ap.crit. (West, somewhat boldly in my opinion, spells it so in the main body of his Iliad).
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Re: Digamma?

Post by Eureka » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:56 am

Ah, cheers… [face=spionic]e)/ddeisen[/face], that’ll work. :)
annis wrote:If I recall correctly, it's not entirely clear Homer would have pronounced the digamma any longer.
If he didn’t, he’d have to have his own way of making the syllable long. Wouldn’t that result in it becoming an official “epic” form of that word?
annis wrote:Probably not. Based on hints from orthography, various things were tried to make the verses scan where possible.
Various things :?:

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Post by Eureka » Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:06 am

:? So, what do we do if the necessary digamma came at the beginning of the word?

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Re: Digamma?

Post by annis » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:48 pm

Eureka wrote:Various things :?:
Respelling (as in the example above), shuffling words, changing words, introducing decorative and hiatus-breaking [face=spionic]d', t'[/face]. There might be more.
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Post by annis » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:50 pm

Eureka wrote::? So, what do we do if the necessary digamma came at the beginning of the word?
What do you mean?
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Post by Eureka » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:12 am

annis wrote:
Eureka wrote::? So, what do we do if the necessary digamma came at the beginning of the word?
What do you mean?
Let's say the words were [face=SPIonic]kako\n ve/rgon[/face], and so the digamma was required to make the second syllable long.

It seems somehow less kosher to double the nu in this case, making it [face=SPIonic]kako\n ne/rgon[/face].

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Post by annis » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:22 am

Eureka wrote:It seems somehow less kosher to double the nu in this case, making it [face=SPIonic]kako\n ne/rgon[/face].
Ah. I hope Chad has something to say about this. Because my mind really latches onto linguistic minutia, the Homeric dictionary that lives in my brain has most of the digammas. I pronounce them but I'm not sure others should follow my lead in this.
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Post by Eureka » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:50 am

annis wrote: the Homeric dictionary that lives in my brain has most of the digammas. I pronounce them but I'm not sure others should follow my lead in this.
That's not a bad practice, I think. After all, you could end up accidently writing down [face=SPIonic]ne/rgon[/face] somewhere else, but there's probably no chance of writing [face=SPIonic]ve/rgon[/face] and not noticing the mistake.

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Post by chad » Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:02 am

hi, digamma is a tricky one. on top of the fact that it's not known whether it was pronounced or not (and therefore i don't pronounce it) it's not clearcut how it worked as a "consonant". e.g. with w(/j which had digamma, it makes position in most cases: e.g. 2.190:

[face=SPIonic]daimo/ni' ou)/ se e)/oike kako\n w(\j deidi/ssesqai[/face]

and many other cases. however it can allow elision: e.g. 5.78

[face=SPIonic]a)rhth\r e)te/tukto, qeo\j d' w(\j ti/eto dh/mw|[/face]

and in other cases as well.

my guess is that the greeks didn't pronounce it but were mentally aware of it. from what i've seen of inscriptions, they didn't rely on the spelling of words for scansion: they didn't need to see/write a digamma or another delta to know how to read the 1st syllable in e)/deisen in line 33 (nor do we), but that's just a guess. i'm guessing that a lot of the double-deltas and things like that were added by medieval copyists or modern editors.

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