Adding accents

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Adding accents

Post by Alan Bunning » September 27th, 2016, 6:28 pm

I just finished making a preliminary critical text of the New Testament (described in sections 5.1-5.2 at http://greekcntr.org/downloads/project.pdf) and now am looking to add accents to it for a reader’s edition. I don’t typically use accents at all since they do not exist on any of the early NT manuscripts I work with, so I simply followed the way other critical texts are accented for similar phrases. In this regard, I have noticed some discrepancies between the accent markings between some critical texts, and I am not very proficient at figuring out who is right. So I am wondering what would it take to write a program that would auto-generate accents for a given manuscript? I think it might come in handy when checking various texts. I would need to know the words before and after a word because of enclitics and proclitics. I think I would also have to have a list of the default accents of the non-verbs because I don’t think their position can necessarily be predicted (or can they?). I am assuming that placement of the accent on verbs might be able to be determined by rule. What else would be needed? What situations do not follow the rules? Do you think it is doable, and more importantly, has anybody else already done something like this?
0 x



Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3605
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 28th, 2016, 1:44 pm

A really good starting point might be Greek Accents: A Student's Manual, by D.A. Carson.

The "Summary of Accent Rules" on Page 149 could be turned into code, and I think it would cover the vast majority of cases as long as you restrict yourself to New Testament texts. A few more issues: proper names can be idiosyncratic, and so can foreign transliterated loan words - Carson mentions the question of ὁ Καϊάφας versus ὁ Καϊαφᾶς, which is a double dipper on these issues. And if you look at the entire set of rules, some words are heteroclites, belonging to two or more different paradigms.

Printed editions of Greek New Testaments tend to standardize accentuation, I'm guessing that SBL and NA28 are pretty close, but I haven't investigated. Have you? So when you say it's hard to figure out "who is right", you can't really do that until you decide what "right" means for your purpose. For practical reasons, if NA28 and SBLGNT do something the same way - spelling, accentuation, etc. - it might be easier to simply follow their lead unless you are sure you have a better definition of "right" than what they used.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Alan Bunning » September 30th, 2016, 9:54 am

I was wondering if anyone is actually teaching the rising and falling of the polytonic accents, or does everyone simply teach them as stress accents. If not, then wouldn’t the monotonic system that the modern Greeks use be simpler to teach and use? Is there any pedagogical advantage for maintaining the different kinds of accents?
0 x

Louis L Sorenson
Posts: 708
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Louis L Sorenson » September 30th, 2016, 4:49 pm

I was wondering if anyone is actually teaching the rising and falling of the polytonic accents, or does everyone simply teach them as stress accents?


Steven Daitz teaches rising and falling tones for Restored Attic Greek. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxc03F-vhw8 (starting about 34:20 in the video). The grave accent is really no accent -- my understanding (Daitz believes the grave represented no change in tone). The tonal accent was turning into a stress accent during the Koine period, and by 400 A.D. it was wholly absent. At the same time, vowel length difference between long and short vowels were changing (ο = ω, ᾱ = α). Few NT teachers teach a difference of tone or length between the acute and circumflex, but some do try to have some sort of difference between the two. BTW, many NT audio recordings accent the wrong syllable.

The different accents do differentiate between different forms or words in some cases.
(1) The placement of the accent differs with a change in meaning: ἰσχυόμενος (present) ἰσχυομένος (perfect); ποίει ποιεῖ
(2) The type of accent differs on the same syllable with a change in meaning: γαλήν (calm), γαλῆν (weasel), ἤ ᾖ̀ ἦ
(3) The presence/absence of accent differs and the two forms have different lemmas, e.g. εἶ (you are) vs. εἰ (if)

If not, then wouldn’t the monotonic system that the modern Greeks use be simpler to teach and use? Is there any pedagogical advantage for maintaining the different kinds of accents?
No. There was a time in the 1960's and 1970's when a number of textbooks left out accents altogether. It created an environment where everyone pronounced Greek words anyway they wanted.
Accents help students differentiate a number of words. Accent differentiation is needed especially for very short words of which there are many variants and the student has to figure out which one: click the the following link to see all the variant forms for a single eta: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... 7&la=greek, or this link for the various forms of ει http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=ei&la=greek Monotonic (modern) Greek only uses the acute accent on all forms. It is true that accents are not written in the Uncial manuscripts. And in the NT, there are not that many places or word forms where the accent is the only difference, but there are some. Often, the accent, say for example on the letters εἰ, can be can be determined by context: εἶ = you are; εἰ = if. I've seen a list of these NT forms somewhere, but cannot remember where.
0 x

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 332
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Shirley Rollinson » October 5th, 2016, 7:24 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:I was wondering if anyone is actually teaching the rising and falling of the polytonic accents, or does everyone simply teach them as stress accents. If not, then wouldn’t the monotonic system that the modern Greeks use be simpler to teach and use? Is there any pedagogical advantage for maintaining the different kinds of accents?
I do - but mainly the rising tone for the acute. And I don't insist on the students doing so - at the beginning stage they have enough trouble trying to get the breathings and chis, etc. So mainly I model rising tones in the way I read and speak, and the students start to copy that as they get more comfortable reading from the GNT or the textbook. Some acutes, for example τίς I really exagerate so that they get the idea. (WHO''' did that ????")
As a student, I started with Wheelock, without accents (because at that time it was thought accents would be too confusing for beginners) and picked up some bad habits which I'm still working on correcting. When teaching, I don't bother with dropping the tone for a grave - I reckon the grave is usually just cancelling out an acute, so comes back to the "level" tone. And all I do with the circumflex is to use a stress rather than a tone, along the lines of "Pay attention, there's a letter hidden here - ποιῶ )
Shirley R.
0 x

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 5th, 2016, 8:20 pm

The English stress accent already has a rising pitch associated it. The main difference is that it also adds other forms of prominence (volume, lengthening) not part of the Greek pitch accent. I doubt that we would hear the Greek pitch accent as anything other than our own stress accent, only somewhat murkier since the concomitant cues would be missing. For the Greeks who still kept some vowel length distinctions, our pronunciation would be perceived as lengthening stressed vowels and shortening unstressed vowel. This would sound a bit odd, but nowhere near as bizarre as the American Erasmian pronunciation of the vowels.

So there's no point in sweating it. Plus, by the end of the Koine period, the accent shifted to the stress system of Modern Greek.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Alan Bunning » October 6th, 2016, 8:15 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:Plus, by the end of the Koine period, the accent shifted to the stress system of Modern Greek.
I have seen that stated on more than one occasion. How were they able to determine that?
0 x

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 6th, 2016, 8:22 am

The poetry changes.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

jtauber
Posts: 60
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:34 am
Location: Burlington, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by jtauber » November 25th, 2016, 8:29 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:A really good starting point might be Greek Accents: A Student's Manual, by D.A. Carson.
Or https://github.com/jtauber/greek-accentuation
0 x
James Tauber
http://jktauber.com/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3605
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Adding accents

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 26th, 2016, 11:54 am

jtauber wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:A really good starting point might be Greek Accents: A Student's Manual, by D.A. Carson.
Or https://github.com/jtauber/greek-accentuation
Cool! To what extent can I use this to, say, add accents to Greek from Alan Bunning's text? How accurate is it?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Post Reply

Return to “Syntax and Grammar”