RE: hHMIN, hUMIN : were both pronounced the *same* ?

Jonathan Robie (
Sat, 07 Dec 1996 13:07:10 -0500

At 08:33 PM 12/6/96 -0800, wrote:
(w.r.t. other homonyms)
>Context will virtually always clarify. It would only be
>when a scribe were less familiar with Greek (say, a Latin
>speaking scribe who was nominally informed in Greek,
>transcribing a manuscript), that these "homonyms" would
>create confusion and result in a textual variant being

But with hHMIN / hUMIN, it is hard to imagine *how* context would clarify,
which makes it hard for me to accept them as total homonyms.

With Carl's other examples, confusion does occur, but contextual clues are
usually there. In English, if someone invites me and they intend to invite
my wife as well, they have to say that explicitly. In German, "Sie Gehen"
and "sie gehen" would actually be spoken differently, because if I am
addressing you, the first is either a command or a question ("Go!" or "are
you going?"), but the latter would be a simple statement of fact ("they are
going"). Of course, if you reverse the words, you come up with a very
ambiguous question, and one that has tripped me up a number of times -
"gehen Sie?" and "gehen sie?" are, to my ear, totally indistinguishable, so
without further clues, it is hard to know who is going.

But still, the hHMIN / hUMIN pair seems so integral to *any* conversation
that it is hard for me to believe that they would be indistuishable.
Similar, yes, but indistinguishable?

Of course, I've been wrong about many things I've been firmly convinced of,
often here. Fortunately, I'm not adverse to making a fool of myself if I
learn in the process - and disagreeing with Carl is usually a good way to do
exactly that ;->


Jonathan Robie
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Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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