Re: Greek Pronunciation

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:39:58 EST

Steven Miller wrote on Sun, 23 Jan 2000 08:39:59;

>In your book, Brooks-Winbery [1994], you present four different
>pronunciations of Greek (page 3). I've recently compared over a dozen
>different grammars on this subject, FWIW, your presentation seems to me to
>be far superior than any of the others. I like the fact that your
>presentation does not insist that there is only one correct pronunciation
>of Greek. Unfortunately, your book does not cite any sources for these
>different pronunciations. You refer to one as "Academic." Is it possible
>that this pronunciation is more common among NT Greek courses than it is
>among classical Greek courses? Or would it be better to suggest that it is
>more common in American academic circles (whether NT or classical) than say
>British academic circles? Would I be correct to guess that this "academic"
>pronunciation derives from Funk [1973]? Or someplace else? Also, your book
>lists a pronunciation which you entitle "Attic," could you give me the
>source which you followed for this? Was it Allen [1987] or some other? I
>would also be interested in learning your book's source for the Koine
>pronunciation. I realize that you did not write this book by yourself, and
>so perhaps you don't have the information to answer these questions right
>at hand, but any help you (or anyone else) might give me on these questions
>(or on the topic of Greek pronunciation) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Steven, you are correct that Jim Brooks did most of the first two chapters.
The modern Greek was taken from any number of modern Greek grammars. I use
the materials from D.C. Divry for my study of modern Greek. The academic
pronunciation was taken from a numbery of Grammars for NT Greek used in
England and America. There are differences in some of them, but we took the
most common pronunciations, eg. EI as "ei" in weight rather than the "ei"
in height. Jim did the work on the Attic, but used the materials in a
number of books that teach Attic Greek, especially where they differ from
the books on Hellenistic Greek. He also did some study of ancient sources
where the substitution of letters indicated vowels and dipthongs that were
often confused or exchanged in the sources. One of the sources that I used
for Koine (Hellenistic) pronunciation was in the library at New Orleans
seminary ( I could never find a used copy) was Foster, The Pronunciation of
Greek in NT Times. The argumentations involves again the places in papyri
where letters seem to be interchanged. One of the first books that I used
that showed different pronunciations in different periods was F.T. Gignac,
An Introductory NT Greek Course. He did not give his sources, but I assumed
he did much like we did.

Hopes this helps.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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