Re: New Testament Greek Pronunciation

From: Stephen Carlson (
Date: Mon Nov 20 1995 - 17:05:14 EST

On the pronunciation of Greek: I have prepared the following chart
from W. Sidney Allen, VOX GRAECA: The Pronunciation of Classical Greek
(3d ed. 1987). (Disclaimer: some of the information on Modern Greek
pronunciation was not specified in Allen but filled in from my memory of
the language, which I have not studied.)

Stephen Carlson
[] indicate ASCII IPA transcription, see sci.lang FAQ
Numbers indicate approximate century of the sound change.

Written IPA
Greek Pre-C. Class. Koine Mod. Notes
A (short) [a]
A (long) [a:] [a]
Ai [a:i]-2 [a:] [a]
AI [ai] 2 [E] [E] as in E. "pet"; It. open 'e'
AU [au] 9? [av]
B [b] 9? [v]
G [g] 9? [G] [G] as in Mod. Greek gamma
  before G K X M [N] [N] as in E. "sing"
D [d] 9? [D] [D] as in E. "then"
E [E] [E]
EI [e:] -3 [i:] [i]
EU [eu] 9? [Ev]
Z [dZ],[dz] [zd] -4 [z] [dZ] as in E. "gin"
H [E:] 1 [e:] [i]
Hi [E:i]-3 [i:] [i]
Q [th] 1? [T] 3 [T] [T] as in E. "thin"
I (short) [i]
I (long) [i:]
K [k] EK assimilates to foll. cons.
L [l]
M [m]
N [n]
C [ks]
O [O] [o] [O] as It. open 'o'
OI [oi] 1 [Wi] 9 [i] [Wi] as in Fr. "feuille" / [y:] 2
OU [ou] -5 [u:] [u]
P [p]
R [r]
S [s]
SS [S] [ss] [S] as in E. "shin"
T [t]
TT [tS] [tt]
U (short) [u] -6 [y] 9 [i] [y] as in Fr. "tu"; Ger. 'ue'
U (long) [u:] -6 [y:] 9 [i]
UI [ui] -6 [yi] ??? [yi] as in Fr. "lui"
F [ph] 1 [f] [f]
X [kh] [kh] 9 [x] [x] as in Ger. "ach"
Y [ps] [ps] [ps]
W [O:] [o:]? [o] [O] as It. open 'o'
Wi [O:i]-2 [o:] [o]

Aspirate [h] 4 []

Stephen Carlson     :  Poetry speaks of aspirations,  : ICL, Inc.  :  and songs chant the words.     : 11490 Commerce Park Dr.
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