Re: Greek Pronunciation

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 14:37:41 EDT

I now have in hand the article that Edgar (and Mark O'Brien long before) called our attention to. I have read through it quickly and have to say that, although I want to read it very carefully through two or three more times, it really does seem very cogent. It is very tightly based upon inscriptional evidence that can be dated with reasonable certainty. I'm still inclined to think that for pedagogical purposes one really needs to distinguish the vowels and diphthongs in pronunciation as clearly as possible without succumbing to any illusion that our pronunciation does in fact approximate the actual pronunciation of Greek at any time or place in antiquity. I've always thought that the pronunciation of the NT era was much closer to the pronunciation of modern Greek than to the pronunciation of classical Attic, but that it would be a pedagogical mistake to encourage beginning students to pronounce H, EI, I, YI, OI, and Y in essentially the same fashion. Pedagogically I think it's better to pretend that the Gre
ek we are pronouncing is more like German or Italian, wherein the way a word is spelled really does not mislead about the way a word is pronounced.

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