Re: Greek pronunciation

Edward Hobbs wrote:
> Knobloch's posting has added Gignac to the discussion; it was Gignac
> which I left off, mentioning only Mayser and Teodorsson and adding
> that the third obvious title I wouldn't specify since I hadn't found
> it that helpful for pronunciation matters.  Perhaps Knobloch has,
> which means it must be helpful for some purposes.  My own experience
> has always been that Mayser really dug in, with hard evidence, while
> Gignac only occasionally touched on my questions.  But one should
> use what one finds helpful.

I have not made much use of Gignac's book, because I am interested in
earlier periods, but I have found his articles to be helpful.  Mayser and
Teodorsson are fine for the Ptolemaic period (although the latter has
taken some strong criticism from classicists for his earlier book, which
uses the same methodology as his book on Koine).  If there is something
better than Gignac for the first century, I'm all ears.   

> 	I confess I don't know what it would mean to filter out pronun-
> ciations which are peculiar to Egypt, since unless we know what the
> usage was elsewhere at the same time, we don't know what was
> peculiar.  Egypt is our primary source of data on this subject, due to
> the peculiarities of climate there, and the relative cheapness of papyrus
> compared to prices at places more distant from the place of manufacture.

Some features of pronunciation seen in the papyri, particularly from
the second century B.C.E. on, can be attributed to interference from
spoken Egyptian.  The forerunners of these features are not found in
classical Attic, and the features do not characterize later (i.e., modern)
Greek.  They are therefore specific to Greek as spoken in Egypt, and
should be filtered out of a description of Greek in Palestine.  Gignac is
helpful on this matter.

Fritz Knobloch
U. of Penn.