Transliteration of diaeresis

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
franzliszt13
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:17 pm

Transliteration of diaeresis

Post by franzliszt13 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 am

There is a piece by Iannis Xenakis for harpsichord called Khoaï (one can see the first page of the music sheet with both Greek and Latin title here: https://www.iannis-xenakis.org/partitio ... ion_61.jpg) and I am somewhat confused with the usage of diaeresis in the transliteration. I understand that diaeresis has been used on letters i and u in Ancient Greek (at least in Hellenistic period), but Modern Greek uses it within diphtongs.

I would assume that Xenkis wrote the title in Modern Greek, rather than Ancient (please correct me if I'm wrong). However, are there any rules or standards when it comes to transliteration of diaeresis in Ancient Greek? My personal transliteration of this particular title (Xοαί) would be Khoaí, not Khoaï.

Thank you.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Transliteration of diaeresis

Post by Hylander » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:08 am

It's probably a mistake by someone. I think χοαί is ancient Greek "libations for the dead" -- the plural of χοἠ would be χοες in Modern Greek, if it's a word that is still in circulation, wouldn't it?

User avatar
BrianB
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:14 pm

Re: Transliteration of diaeresis

Post by BrianB » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:14 am

It's a transliteration for French speakers.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Transliteration of diaeresis

Post by Hylander » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:25 pm

It's a transliteration for French speakers.
Yes, of course. I should have seen that. Without the trėma (dieresis), ai would be pronounced in French as an open e (like the ancient Attic pronunciation of η), not as a diphthong. Xenakis lived as an exile in Paris much of his life, and this work was published there.

But thanks to the OP for bringing this music to my attention. Listened to it on You Tube, performed by Elizabeth Chojnacka herself:.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAJWjVjOndU

And for those who like (more or less) contemporary harpsichord music, Ligeti's Hungarian Rock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdzvk1BJOBQ

franzliszt13
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:17 pm

Re: Transliteration of diaeresis

Post by franzliszt13 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:19 pm

BrianB - Thanks for the explanation, it never occurred to me that it could be French. Now it all makes sense.

Hylander - Thanks to you, too, and of course, Hungarian Rock rocks :)

Post Reply