Is this a viable pronunciation system?

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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 11th, 2016, 5:15 pm

RandallButh wrote: Because of an attested spelling like OIEIW "to the son" I pronounce as υ--ι--ω [IPA: yio]. In other words I give both the οι-sound and the ει-sound their full vowel color, though I try to slur them as one syllable if given half a chance υι--ω.
How different is your pronunciation from "we owe" in English?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by RandallButh » January 12th, 2016, 1:49 am

οι-ει---ω wouldn't suggest "we owe" to me. But maybe the problem is phonemicization.
Mother-tongue English speakers would not consider "bait" and "bet" to be close because they hear two different words, while a five-vowel Spanish or MGreek speaker might consider them easy to confuse.

Anyway to write for Anglo-German ears (knowing your German background)
does üyoh sound like English "we owe"?
The closest I can imagine for 'foreign Greek' would be iiyoh.

PS
I tried to think about how you came up with "we owe" and it dawned on me that English uses a strong "h+w" sound with words like "why" so if you are adding an "h" sound to the Greek then you might jump to "[h]we owe". But my Koine is very Ionic. Herodotian. Psilotic, h-less. (Τhough Herodotus himself a Dorian would probably not have pronounced his name like the Ionic Erodotos that he wrote. Another little historical irony.) (For my υ-ι--ω, think "French" with dropped 'h's, or like Phoenician and now TelAvivian Hebrew with an iifiil rather than a hifiil). So there is no natural connection to "we owe" from üyoh or iiyoh.

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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 12th, 2016, 9:01 am

RandallButh wrote:οι-ει---ω wouldn't suggest "we owe" to me. But maybe the problem is phonemicization.
Mother-tongue English speakers would not consider "bait" and "bet" to be close because they hear two different words, while a five-vowel Spanish or MGreek speaker might consider them easy to confuse.
This is a conversation we should have face to face, writing just won't do ;=>

But let me try. I've heard people teach the English "we" as "oo-ee", then practicing the shift between the two vowels. To me, at least, you don't actually hear the "oo" sound distinctly, most of the action is in the movement. It's a little like ornamentation on an Irish flute, the ornaments are there to give rhythm and emphasis to the main notes, and the notes used for ornamentation are not all that distinct. If I don't put some emphasis on the initial vowel I find it very difficult to hear a difference between "oo-ee" and "üü-ee".
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 2nd, 2016, 5:07 pm

Here's a handout that I created with Michael Palmer. I wanted it to fit on one sheet, it does not go into accents or breathing.
Greek pronunciation.pdf
(60.36 KiB) Downloaded 76 times
Feedback is welcome.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by RandallButh » April 2nd, 2016, 5:35 pm

Looks good, only one comment.

If you have a separate sound for υ as German [ue], then why not be consistent with οι and say 'the same as υ'.
The is what the name υ-ψιλον means, simple graph υ as opposed to complicated graph οι.

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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2016, 5:47 am

RandallButh wrote:Looks good, only one comment.

If you have a separate sound for υ as German [ue], then why not be consistent with οι and say 'the same as υ'.
The is what the name υ-ψιλον means, simple graph υ as opposed to complicated graph οι.
It clearly does mean "simple υ" or "bare υ", did writers at the time say that this was "as opposed to" οι?

I just reviewed this issue on your pronunciation page. It sure would be convenient to pronounce υ the same as in modern Greek, which would also be consistent with οι, and that's also consistent with the examples shown below, from the relevant section on your page.

Some manuscripts seem to conflate ι and υ, though Robertson says this is not frequent:
Robertson wrote:But as a matter of fact the interchange between ι and υ is not frequent. Meisterhans finds only five examples in the Attic inscriptions, two of which, βυβλιον and Μιτυληναῖος , are found in N. T. MSS. (assimilation). Examples occur in the κοινή of Asia Minor, though Thumb 3 agrees with Kretschmer in calling it a "barbarism." Still the old distinction in sound between ι and υ slowly broke down till in modern Greek the two vowels have the same sound. βήρυλλος in Rev. 21:20 is spelled also in MSS. βήριλλος, βύριλλος, βιρύλλιος , a fine illustration of itacism. D reads βύβλος for βίβλος in Mk. 12:26 and Lu. 20:42: In Ac. 20:14 Μιτυλήνη is the correct text for the old Μ<υτ ., but AE have Μιτυλίνη and L Μυτυλίνη . For the Τρωγίλιον of Strabo and the Byzantine writers the Textus Receptus addition to Ac. 20:15 has Τρωγυλία , other MSS. Τρωγύλλιον, Τρωγύλιον . The LXX shows also ἥμυσυ in θ Dan. 7:25 (13). The Ptolemaic papyri vary in this word (Thackeray, Gr., p. 95). In Lu. 19:8 D has ἥμυσοι .
oi.png
oi.png (65.4 KiB) Viewed 777 times
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by RandallButh » April 4th, 2016, 1:24 am

Robertson is correct, although you need to be careful about dates of the mss. If you look at an edition of Swanson on a Gospel, check the lower band of itacistic interchanges. You will find that the Y/I/H interchange tends to come in the later manuscripts not the early ones.

On the name Y-PSILON (to be distinguished from OI) and E-PSILON (to be distinguished from AI), those names are attested later in the first millennium if I remember correctly. Maybe check Suidas or perhaps LSJM or Sophocles. Again, my point is that Y and OI were being interchanged frequently in the papyri during the periods before the NT and after the NT. One must view the broad trends in order to be sure to filter out accidental or specialized 'static'.

Iotacist
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Iotacist » May 27th, 2016, 10:11 pm

Hello everyone,

I am a contributor to the Wikipedia page on Koine Greek. The page includes a rough chart on reconstructed New Testament phonology and a pair of sample texts from Geoffrey Horrocks's Greek: A History of the language and its speakers including John 1 at the bottom. Horrocks's reconstruction is a bit advanced to me, already transcribing η as /i/, so might not necessarily represent a 1st century AD biblical pronunciation but maybe a later Early Christian system (i.e. late 2nd-3rd century AD when η raised to /i/ according to Allen's Vox Graeca.) Everything else in his reconstruction seems accurate. I don't know who originally wrote the NT chart, but they unfortunately didn't cite any source, so I tried to align it as much as possible with Horrocks's transcriptions and with Gignac's papyrological studies. Originally, we had the αυ/ευ diphthongs pronouncing in the proposed intermediate stage of [aw, ew] (semi-consonantal, not full fricatives). I asked the other editors what they'd think of changing it to the more advanced stage of [aβ] and [eβ], since Horrocks already has αυ/ευ as [aβ] and [eβ], and a few papyri already show confusions with αβ and εβ from the 1st century AD. But alas, only a few (two) writings show these mistakes before the 4th century, so some might argue it wasn't yet a standard pronunciation. I was wondering if any of you have any advice on which stage is more accurate for 1st century speech, taking into consideration the social class/education-level of the NT writers.

Thanks.

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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2016, 7:37 am

Welcome to B-Greek!

A little housekeeping - we have a user name policy that is required for you to be able to post. (The first two posts are moderated and need to be approved manually, I approved this by hand.) If you follow the instructions in the link, I'll change your name for you so you can continue to post.

I assume you are talking about these two pages? Good stuff here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koine_Greek#Phonology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koine_Greek_phonology
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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