Re: Fluency and ...--Emic?

From: yochanan bitan (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 05:14:51 EDT

charles ERWTHSEN
>What is Emic Koine? Koine from an insider's viewpoint? If so what
>exactly does that mean.

That is a fair question. It means Koine Greek, using a pronunciation that
reflects the PHONEMIC structure of the standard/majority/common language of
the period. (It does not mean exactly reproducing the phonetic sound of any
one particular dialect or speaker.) The phonemic structure is the system of
distinctive sound-units that a speaker uses in producing words or in
deciphering words. Thus, for general Roman-period, East-mediterranean Koine
that means one sound-unit [i] for the graphic symbols EI and I. Another
sound-unit [y] for the graphic symbols U and OI, etc.

Such phonemes are fairly easy to calculate based on the thousands of
misspellings in the papyri and inscriptions from the period. Certain
pairings multiple everywhere and occasionally penetrate high registers of
writing. Those reflect the phonemic boundaries. Examples are listed in the
material that accompanies the Demo CD mentioned on the list last week.

Emic Koine turns out to be reasonably close to modern Greek and can be more
easily understood or approached from that direction than from the various
reconstructions of "Attic". It is like modern Greek with HTA pulled out and
given a separate status and pronunciation, and U-psilon and O-mikron-IOTA
pulled out and given a separate status and pronunciation.

In your case, rather than ordering the Demo CD, I would recommend coming
and meeting me in three weeks, since I assume you are Karl's son and will
be coming to Jerusalem by the end of this month?

Randall buth

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