re: Fluency and an Epigraphic Language

Date: Thu Jun 08 2000 - 02:42:40 EDT

I have been following this line for quite some time now with a lot of
I am not sure where it is going but I'd like to offer what I think may be a
little common sense.

In order to say "This vowel is pronounced this way" is impossible, even
within the same time period. I saw something about fitting sounds into
boxes. before you determine the boundaries of these boxes one should visit a
few cities, such as the Bronx where "ir" is pronounced "oi" like in "boid"
instead of "bird"; or Little Rock where "lack" is pronounced "laik" and "oil"
is "aul"; or Boston where they drive "cahs" and "Havaner" is the capital of
"Cuber"; or Sydney where the common greeting is "gdai". Have you listened to
J. Vernon McGee lately? I once heard Connie Chung say "nucyelar" for
"nuclear", I remember trying in vain to figure out the pronunciation guides
from "Scholastic" magazine in school (Iowa) because they never matched what I
had learned from my parents. Now that I live on the west coast I speak with a
funny accent. (Have I insulted everybody yet?)

Remember that Peter was recognized as a Galilean by his murder of the king's
(Herod's) Aramaic. I will not spend much time trying to figure out the exact
pronunciation of any language as long as I can understand and be understood.
I see languages as being very local and if my English can be understood by my
freinds in Australia and vice versa, I consider myself more fortunate than
the Chinese where some of the eight dialects are not mutually understandable.

I don't think it is necessary to be a "pronunciation purist" to understand
what Paul and co. were saying.

On a slightly different note, I do have a tendency to judge a translation by
how well the conjunctions in the grammar are presented.

Just a thought.

Dale Greenlee

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