Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

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Bill Ross
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Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Bill Ross » April 5th, 2019, 8:35 am

This is perhaps slightly tangential to the site's usual focus but I'm asking in case anyone happens to be able to hazard an informed guess...

Is it at all likely that in the Koine period that the Romans spoke Greek with what people refer to now as an "Italian accent"?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 5th, 2019, 1:41 pm

It's practically impossible for adult learners of a second language not to have an "accent." it's also a sure bet that there were regional differences in pronunciation.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Matthew Longhorn » April 6th, 2019, 6:05 am

The modern Italian accent also surely wouldn't have existed back then?
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LukeAmadeusRanieri
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by LukeAmadeusRanieri » May 19th, 2020, 2:15 pm

I’ve done a lot of research on this topic! It would depend on the century. What time period did you have in mind?

I have been compiling my studies here:

bit.ly/ranierigreekpronunciation

bit.ly/ranierilatinpronunciation

These will form the basis of my response. 😊
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 19th, 2020, 6:03 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 1:41 pm
It's practically impossible for adult learners of a second language not to have an "accent." it's also a sure bet that there were regional differences in pronunciation.
Yeah but the American accent of Koine Greek, now that is positively barbaric!
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 19th, 2020, 8:27 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 6:03 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 1:41 pm
It's practically impossible for adult learners of a second language not to have an "accent." it's also a sure bet that there were regional differences in pronunciation.
Yeah but the American accent of Koine Greek, now that is positively barbaric!
You prefer the Australian accent of Koine Greek?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 20th, 2020, 12:24 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 8:27 pm
Stephen Carlson wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 6:03 pm
Yeah but the American accent of Koine Greek, now that is positively barbaric!
You prefer the Australian accent of Koine Greek?
Actually yes: they get the omicron right. It’s still barbaric though.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 20th, 2020, 10:36 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 12:24 am
Jonathan Robie wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 8:27 pm
Stephen Carlson wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 6:03 pm
Yeah but the American accent of Koine Greek, now that is positively barbaric!
You prefer the Australian accent of Koine Greek?
Actually yes: they get the omicron right. It’s still barbaric though.
To be fair, Ancient Greeks have always mangled American English.
2 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Devenios Doulenios
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Re: Might the Romans have spoken Greek with an "Italian accent"?

Post by Devenios Doulenios » May 21st, 2020, 9:41 am

And of course, some of them, at least, spoke Latin that way :D . At least, the average Roman in the street probably did.
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