[b-greek] re: Pronunciation Help, clarification

From: Randall Buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Mar 07 2002 - 09:19:10 EST

A couple of different comments on this thread might call for
some clarification.

Trevor Peterson worte:
>So far, that description sounds almost exactly like Buth's reconstruction.

(another comment, somewhere in the thread but not on my machine,
was that it was "modern".)

So which is it?

>>EU is "ev", AU is "av" (a as in father), OU is "oo" (as in
>> room), C is palatal not velar (but I think the Swedes might do this
>> differently) and U alone is pronounced as a Norwegian "y" (like
>> saying "ee"
>> (as in meet) with rounded lips).

Yes, "ev", "av" and a "palatal C" (if this means "fricative") are like

"ev" and "av" are also close to the Roman Koine bilabial fricatives and
are the sounds I use in the reconstructed Koine pronunciation.

Fricative "chii" was a late-Roman period development along with fricative
theta and fricative "fii". These are also included in the reconstructed

However, one detail: U as a "rounded-lip ii" (=German umlaut u, French u)
is not modern.
It was the ancient pronunciation:
 from the spelling reform of Athens 403 BCE through the Koine and
into the Byzantine period for at least some literates. And rounded-lip "y"
in the reconstructed Koine.

So, Yes, the "Norwegian system" mentioned in the thread is like the
Koine Greek that I've advocated, at least in the details that were
And, Yes, that is close to modern Greek but not identical, as outlined
above, in the details mentioned.

Whether the "Norwegian system" continues with the
direction of Koine Greek or remains closer to "European Erasmian" would
depend on EI=I, AI=E and OI=U.


Randall Buth

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