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.
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
I learned that a subscripted Iota does not affect pronunciation.<br />Just today I heard ...[face=SPIonic]w|[/face] pronounced as [face=SPIonic]oi[/face].<br />I have always pronounced it as [face=SPIonic]w[/face]. So, what does it mean that it does not affect pronunciation; Is it pronounced like a regular diphthong, or is it pronounced like the Iota is not there at all?<br />Thank you<br />Bert.
- Global Moderator
- Posts: 1605
- Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:48 pm
- Location: Vancouver, Canada
I was taught to pronounce it as a regular [face=SPIonic]w[/face]<br /><br />But I wouldn't be surprised if scholars debated it (as they do everything) so maybe it depends on who your teacher is...
- Textkit Neophyte
- Posts: 26
- Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 1:24 pm
- Location: South Africa
In written Greek, the Iota Subscript when capitalised looks like this [face=SPIonic]WI[/face] (Iota adscript), and it never makes a diphthong, at least in Classical Greek. So I would pronounce it like a normal [face=SPIonic]w[/face], maybe a bit shorter?
- Textkit Zealot
- Posts: 3399
- Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
- Location: Madison, WI, USA
When reading Epic or archaic poetry I make some effort to pronounce the iota. But the sound of the iota dropped out by about 100BC (started earlier?). So, people stopped writing it. But then grammarians (people whom many a later Greek poet mocks) said "hey! this used to have an iota." So they added the subscriptum tail.<br /><br />It may be correct to pronounce the iota for Attic authors (plays, Plato, etc), but probably is not for Koine.<br />
Well I know my teacher doesn't pronounce it, but then he thinks it's not use trying to pronounce Greek correctly anyway, as we'll never really know how they pronounced it, and as all we're going to do is translate it he doesn't see the point.
- Global Moderator
- Posts: 2733
- Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
- Location: Berkeley, California
Well, just because you're never going to visit Germany or Spain doesn't mean you shouldn't learn pronunciation when you take German or Spanish :-\
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
[quote author=mingshey link=board=2;threadid=636;start=0#6640 date=1064361777]<br />Without correct pronunciation, I'd never understand why an acorn says "geometry" when it's grown up. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />Your right. I had to say it out loud twice before I knew what you meant. Good one.<br />Bert.
[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=2;threadid=636;start=0#6564 date=1064330838]<br />Well I know my teacher doesn't pronounce it, but then he thinks it's not use trying to pronounce Greek correctly anyway, as we'll never really know how they pronounced it, and as all we're going to do is translate it he doesn't see the point.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Quite the contrary actually. There is good reason to actually pronounce ancient Greek as well as ancient Latin and correctly at that. Many works of the time were meant to either be heard or read a loud (remember the idea of reading silently did not develop until much later.). <br /><br />If you seriously believe we have little idea of the ancient forms of pronunciation of the Greek (and again, Latin) language, I suggest you do a little research into what we do know, and you might find yourself a little surprised.