Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by Philemon Zachariou » August 1st, 2011, 4:05 am

In reviewing my previous responses, I noticed that the following comment regarding Latin oe for Greek οι escaped my attention:

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You wrote:
Good observations. Comparative historical linguistics also comes into play here. If ἀδελφοί was pronounced as ἀαδελφί during the Classical period, why would it be transliterated into Latin as adelphoe during that same period? One tiny example, but the evidence against Dr. Zachariou's thesis is overwhelming, and supported by the majority of scholars, including native Greek speakers. Perhaps we could email my old classmate Maria Pantelia, now at UC-Irvine? :shock:[/quote]
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Here is my response, but first, some background—even some extra tips—from my book. (See www.JesusspokeGreek.com)

Erasmus figured that the ancient Greek pronunciation could be reconstructed using Latin as a basis. Ironically, by then (early 1500s) Latin had long been metamorphosed into several phonologically different major languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish), and a number of now extant dialects. Here are some of the risks of “erasmianizing” Latin in explaining away Greek spelling and sounds:

1. Latin often renders both η and ε as e, but these two are not the same any more than the i in Virgilius and the e in Vergilius. Until about 450 B.C. or later Attic Greek often used E for H and E. So, Latin would naturally use E as well, whether the actual sound was ε /ε/ or η /i/. Also, Greek sometimes used η and ε alternatively as in εὐλόγησεν, ηὐλόγησεν “he blessed,” a difference in spelling and pronunciation. Latin, of course, would use e in either case.

2. The digraph αι in Καίσαρ [kεsar] Caesar is the same sound as ε, but Erasmians see αι as the diphthong in aisle, thus mispronouncing Kaiser [kaɪzər]. Interestingly, Spanish e in Cesar [sεsar] betrays the original [ε] sound.

3. And now regarding your comment. Latin gives οι as oe, but οι is neither the oe sound in poet nor the oi in oil, as Erasmian would have it. Even English(!) attests to Latin oe as οι (= ι):
Phoenix [finɪx], Phoebe [fibɪ], amoeba [əmibə] from Greek Φοίνιξ, Φοίβη, ἀμοιβάς.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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MAubrey
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by MAubrey » August 1st, 2011, 5:07 pm

I'm not
Philemon Zachariou wrote:3. And now regarding your comment. Latin gives οι as oe, but οι is neither the oe sound in poet nor the oi in oil, as Erasmian would have it. Even English(!) attests to Latin oe as οι (= ι):
Phoenix [finɪx], Phoebe [fibɪ], amoeba [əmibə] from Greek Φοίνιξ, Φοίβη, ἀμοιβάς.
Quite, but nobody in this thread is claiming that the Erasmian dipthong is the correct pronunciation--only that is not correct either. The (modern) pronunciation of English words in oe is irrelevant to either the historical pronunciation of the Latin oe or the Ancient Greek οι.
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RandallButh
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by RandallButh » August 1st, 2011, 5:27 pm

Attic Greek often used E for H and E.
This would suggest that H was not /i/ at that time. Do we have OMEROS spelled as such?
I haven't checked for this, it just seems like it would occur. Or SEMERON TEMERON.
All of these would support the common wisdom that E was used for both a short-time and long-time version of a mid-low front vowel in the pre 450 BCE era.
But if H were already /i/, then we would expect some TIMERON SIMERON spellings or OMIROS spellings frequently and early.
If these are not frequent and early, one must ask why not? We start getting lots of wild spellings in the post classical era, and again one must ask, where are the FREQUENT H=I misspellings like we have of EI=I.

Linguists would like an explanation of why EI=I is frequent and early, while H=I is not frequent and early. Standard wisdom dates the pervasive merger of EI and I to the 4 (or 3) century BCE.
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Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by Philemon Zachariou » August 1st, 2011, 7:19 pm

Many inscriptions from 6th–5th c. BC, particularly the Attic ones, produced by the inscriptionists and stone cutters, show not only that η = ει = ι, but also that ει = υ = ι, υι = ι, οι = ι, a practice carried through Hellenistic times. Below are samples of numerous misspelled inscriptions from the pre-classical through the classical period:

ΑΘΙΝΑ instead of ΑΘΗΝΑ (5th c. BC)
ΑΡΙΣ instead of ΑΡΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΔΙΜΟΣΘΕΝΙΣ instead of ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΣΙΜΑ instead of ΣΗΜΑ (4th c. BC)
ΤΙΝΔΕ instead of ΤΗΝΔΕ (4th c. BC)
ΣΙΚΙΝΙΤΑΙ instead of ΣΙΚΙΝΗΤΑΙ (425 BC)
ΗΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ ΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ (425 BC)
etc., etc.

From Plato’s Socratic dialogues we learn that the Athenians of Plato’s day would write EI or H in place of I:
ΝΥΝ ΔΕ ΑΝΤΙ ΜΕΝ ΤΟΥ ΙΩΤΑ ἢ ΕΙ ἢ ΗΤΑ ΜΕΤΑΣΤΡΕΦΟΥΣΙΝ.
This permits the inference that to the Athenians of Plato’s time EI (ει), H (η), and I (ι) represented the same sound.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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MAubrey
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by MAubrey » August 1st, 2011, 8:36 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Many inscriptions from 6th–5th c. BC, particularly the Attic ones, produced by the inscriptionists and stone cutters, show not only that η = ει = ι, but also that ει = υ = ι, υι = ι, οι = ι, a practice carried through Hellenistic times. Below are samples of numerous misspelled inscriptions from the pre-classical through the classical period:

ΑΘΙΝΑ instead of ΑΘΗΝΑ (5th c. BC)
ΑΡΙΣ instead of ΑΡΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΔΙΜΟΣΘΕΝΙΣ instead of ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΣΙΜΑ instead of ΣΗΜΑ (4th c. BC)
ΤΙΝΔΕ instead of ΤΗΝΔΕ (4th c. BC)
ΣΙΚΙΝΙΤΑΙ instead of ΣΙΚΙΝΗΤΑΙ (425 BC)
ΗΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ ΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ (425 BC)
etc., etc.
Simply saying it doesn't make it true. Do you want to cite some sources here? Which inscriptions? Without the actual data there is no way of evaluating your claim here. There are indeed instances of misspellings like what you have here occurring relatively early. However, not all such spellings are created equal and not all are driven by phonological factors. That is to say, not every interchange between vowels can be, at face value, instantly treated as evidence of sound change. Spelling errors arise from numerous other factors. Moreover, what's more important than the earliest date of a given spelling error (assuming that spelling is phonologically motivated) is the point at which the statistical proportions of those spelling errors appear.

All that to say, without data from primary sources, an evaluation of that data in relation to other possible causes of spelling errors, and a solid use of statistics, a list of misspelled words beside a few dates isn't going to carry much water. Thus far, you haven't even cited any secondary sources--much less primary ones.
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Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by Philemon Zachariou » August 1st, 2011, 9:16 pm

Friend, the samples I posted are just that—samples. But be informed that there are thousands of pre-Hellenistic inscriptions in marble and stone that have been classified, dated, and recorded in Greece and elsewhere, not a few of which I have personally examined, but for which I saw no need to have published, as other able colleagues have already done so. Therefore, what I posted can be pinpointed not only by date and source, but also by page number. Try reading a most credible work on the subject, The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology, and Textual Transmission (2006) by Dr. Chrys C. Caragounis. It is an eye- (and ear-) opener.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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MAubrey
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by MAubrey » August 1st, 2011, 11:24 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Friend, the samples I posted are just that—samples. But be informed that there are thousands of pre-Hellenistic inscriptions in marble and stone that have been classified, dated, and recorded in Greece and elsewhere, not a few of which I have personally examined, but for which I saw no need to have published, as other able colleagues have already done so. Therefore, what I posted can be pinpointed not only by date and source, but also by page number. Try reading a most credible work on the subject, The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology, and Textual Transmission (2006) by Dr. Chrys C. Caragounis. It is an eye- (and ear-) opener.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
You are aware that using the research of others without citation is plagiarism, right?
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RandallButh
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by RandallButh » August 2nd, 2011, 12:58 am

Mike,
citing general conclusions or snipets of evidence on a list for a general position is hardly plagarism.

the bigger problem is that Chris' book does not show a reliable linguistic handling of the data.
the book is very worthwhile and I have a copy and would recommend people to read it.
On the other hand, there are occasional hints in a footnote here and there that Chrys'
recognizes that he is citing isolated instances of examples that only become clear norms
a few centuries later. Consequently, the book does not overturn the chronological
conclusions of the other historical phonological studies.
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Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by Philemon Zachariou » August 2nd, 2011, 12:35 pm

Randall,
You said that Caragounis' book (1) does not show a reliable linguistic handling of the data, (2) that Caragounis recognizes that he is citing isolated instances of examples that only become clear norms a few centuries later, and (3) the book does not overturn the chronological conclusions of other historical phonological studies. I have read the book myself, and now I wonder what exactly it is that you found in the book that supports your three claims. That is, what are the data, and what makes you say that Caragounis' linguistic handling of them is not reliable? Where does he admit (recognizes) that he is citing isolated instances of examples that become the norm a few centuries later? What examples are you referring to that leave the conclusions of other phonological studies intact? What studies are you referring to, and what conclusions do they arrive at (that are apparently different from Caragounis') ? Incidentally, I am glad that you recommended Caragounis' work to Mike.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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RandallButh
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Post by RandallButh » August 2nd, 2011, 1:08 pm

XAIRE PHILHMON

I am travelling for a month without access to Caragounis' work. In one or two footnotes,
somewhere, he refers to Hta and says something to the effect that 'these changes will show up more in later centuries and that this was the beginning of the process that spanned several centuries'.
What is missing from Caragounis' work is an explanation of how everything developed, when, and why? If you read Horrocks you will see references to this process, especially in describing the post-Attic developments.

Caragounis' never discusses how the phonology works or what the phonology was as a system, nor if there was ever any development of the phonology, and if so, when and where. This becomes fairly obvious to a linguist with training/work in phonology.
I highly recommend Caragounis work as Hellenic scholar, a philologist, but not as a linguist in the modern, non-philologian sense.

ERRWSO
Randall
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