Re: Fluency and an Epigraphic Language

From: Kimmo Huovila (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 15:34:41 EDT



> NA Erasmian would not be phonemic because it would produce sounds that
> would land in the wrong boxes for Koine, thus, EI needs to land in the I
> "box", not in the H "box" or E "box". OI needs to land in the U "box", but
> OU cannot land in the "U" box. This becomes immediately relavant in the
> next note and is part of the practical payoff of learning/using an Emic
> Koine.

I wonder how you would evaluate the Finnish Erasmian pronunciation for
teaching Koine. There are no phoneme mergers, not even the "right ones"
from Koine viewpoint (excpect for the different accents being pronounced
as stress and iota subscript not being pronounced). It helps keep the
'correct' (=high register) spelling in mind. Do you think using the
Finnish Erasmian in an intro course would backfire later if people move
into a more accurate historical pronunciation, or would it be a help in
learning high register orthography?

A minor, though perhaps interesting point:

> And I've become more acutely aware that aorist infinitives are the closest
> thing to an abstract verb in Greek, despite 1st person present
> dictionaries. ('fagei~n' is 'to eat' while esqi'ein is "to be eating" not
> simple 'to eat')

Isn't this very much dependent on lexis (lexical aspect, perhaps even
the individual lexeme): PISTEUSAI vs. PISTEUEIN (stative verb; I feel
the present less marked)?


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