[b-greek] re: why "y" and not "u"

From: yochanan bitan (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 02:24:10 EDT

RE: Copy of: [b-greek] why "y" and not "u"

Weiss egrapsen
>if it's transliterated as "ou" then why is upsilon by itself
>transliterated by "y"?

Because the Greek upsilon letter was used for writing
a rounded front vowel, (like french 'u' or German 'u-umlaut'
It did not represent typical English 'u'/'oo' from the classical period
through Koine and into the early byzantine period when it finally went into
the unrounded 'i' sound.

Practically speaking, that means most US students are saying
'wash' LOUEIN rather than 'untie' LUEIN when they practice their paradigms.

However, from Hellenistic Greek up to modern, OU has always been the clear
[u] sound.

Randall Buth

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