Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby David Lim » August 4th, 2011, 9:11 am

Philemon Zachariou wrote:
sccarlson wrote:
RandallButh wrote:Since so much weight is being put on this statement of Plato, can you provide it in a paragraph of context?


It's from Cratylus 418c. Here's some context:

{ΕΡΜ.} Ἀληθῆ λέγεις· ἀλλὰ δὴ τὸ “ζημιῶδες” τί ἂν εἴη;
{ΣΩ.} Τί δ’ ἂν εἴη ποτὲ “ζημιῶδες”; θέασαι, ὦ Ἑρμόγενες, ὡς ἐγὼ ἀληθῆ λέγω λέγων ὅτι προστιθέντες γράμματα καὶ ἐξαιροῦντες σφόδρα ἀλλοιοῦσι τὰς τῶν ὀνομάτων διανοίας, οὕτως ὥστε σμικρὰ πάνυ παραστρέφοντες ἐνίοτε τἀναντία ποιεῖν σημαίνειν. οἷον καὶ ἐν τῷ “δέοντι”· ἐνενόησα γὰρ αὐτὸ καὶ ἀνεμνήσθην ἄρτι ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὃ ἔμελλόν σοι ἐρεῖν ὅτι ἡ μὲν νέα φωνὴ ἡμῖν ἡ καλὴ αὑτηὶ καὶ τοὐναντίον περιέτρεψε μηνύειν τὸ “δέον” καὶ τὸ “ζημιῶδες,” ἀφανίζουσα ὅτι νοεῖ, ἡ δὲ παλαιὰ ἀμφότερον δηλοῖ ὃ βούλεται τοὔνομα.
{ΕΡΜ.} Πῶς λέγεις;
{ΣΩ.} Ἐγώ σοι ἐρῶ. οἶσθα ὅτι οἱ παλαιοὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι τῷ ἰῶτα καὶ τῷ δέλτα εὖ μάλα ἐχρῶντο, καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα αἱ γυναῖκες, αἵπερ μάλιστα τὴν ἀρχαίαν φωνὴν σῴζουσι. νῦν δὲ ἀντὶ μὲν τοῦ ἰῶτα ἢ εἶ ἢ ἦτα μεταστρέφουσιν, ἀντὶ δὲ τοῦ δέλτα ζῆτα, ὡς δὴ μεγαλοπρεπέστερα ὄντα.
{ΕΡΜ.} Πῶς δή;
{ΣΩ.} Οἷον οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι “ἱμέραν” τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν, οἱ δὲ “ἑμέραν,” οἱ δὲ νῦν “ἡμέραν.”
{ΕΡΜ.} Ἔστι ταῦτα.
{ΣΩ.} Οἶσθα οὖν ὅτι μόνον τούτων δηλοῖ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ὄνομα τὴν διάνοιαν τοῦ θεμένου; ὅτι γὰρ ἁσμένοις τοῖς (d.) ἀνθρώποις καὶ ἱμείρουσιν ἐκ τοῦ σκότους τὸ φῶς ἐγίγνετο,ταύτῃ ὠνόμασαν “ἱμέραν.”
{ΕΡΜ.} Φαίνεται.
{ΣΩ.} Νῦν δέ γε τετραγῳδημένον οὐδ’ ἂν κατανοήσαις ὅτι βούλεται ἡ “ἡμέρα.” καίτοι τινὲς οἴονται, ὡς δὴ ἡ ἡμέρα ἥμερα ποιεῖ, διὰ ταῦτα ὠνομάσθαι αὐτὴν οὕτως.


ETA: It looks like to me Socrates is claiming that people used to say the iota sound, but now say the epsilon or eta sound. This hardly looks like evidence that eta and iota were pronounced similarly at this time.



--------------------

Look close, else it appears you are making epsilon ε out of ει [i].

Philemon Zachariou


Hmm if http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_alphabet is correct, isn't "εἶ" the ancient Greek name for epsilon, just as "ἰῶτα" is the name for iota and "ἦτα" is the name for eta?
δαυιδ λιμ
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Stephen Carlson » August 4th, 2011, 9:27 am

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Look close, else it appears you are making epsilon ε out of ει [i].


Well, ει was the classical name for the letter ε ("epsilon" is a later coinage after αι merged with ε) and it did not originally sound like [i].

Stephen
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby RandallButh » August 4th, 2011, 9:55 am

Οἷον οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι “ἱμέραν” τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν, οἱ δὲ “ἑμέραν,” οἱ δὲ νῦν “ἡμέραν.”


It looks to me like we are talking about different dialects of a word, and no one suggests that e-psilon was iota
“ἑμέραν,”
It is common in languages for two different phonemic words to develop across dialects. (cf "been" [bi:n / ben] in English)
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 4th, 2011, 5:41 pm

RandallButh wrote:
Randall, looking at your comment above, let me comment:

If Η in the mid-5th c. BC was pronounced the same as Ε(ε), then there would have been no need for the use of Η in place of the already existing letter Ε for the ε sound. At that point in time Η(=ι) was still in the process of being officially adopted into the alphabet. The timing fits with what Plato says in Κράτυλος about the confusion of H being used in place of EI or I. He did not say that the Athenians confused H with E, did he? Clearly, his poignant remark shows—and let's not lose sight of this—that Η [i] was considered as iota Ι [i] just as iota I [i] was considered as ΕΙ [i]. When the Athenians officially ratified their alphabet in 403 BC, Η was included as an [i] sound, which helped dispel the confused use of Ε for Η, though not completely yet. One should not deduce from the above that in Plato's time H was [ε] rather than [i].

Ἔρρωσθε and Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou


actually, no one is suggesting that Hta was ever used for [ε]. In the pre-403 spelling system the H symbol was used for rough breathing. the innovation of 403 was to use it to mark a long low/mid front vowel, which was the long counterpart to E, but was not E.
Your argumentation is also a little curious:
"If Η in the mid-5th c. BC was pronounced the same as Ε(ε), then there would have been no need for the use of Η in place of the already existing letter Ε for the ε sound. "
There was also no need for another /i/ symbol since they already had two [EI and I]. So why in the world would a new symbol need to be invented?

The question for any analysis to answer is why EI and I were often confused from the 4cBCE on, but H was relatively stable and only started to be regularly confused with EI and I after the 2cCE?

ERRWSO
IWANHS


----------------------

Randall,

You describe H in post-403 BC as a long low/mid front vowel (εε)—a long counterpart, as you call it, of ε. In addition, you assign quantity or length to it.

There is not a single word in classical literature about any vowel length in speech. Such ideas were introduced by Atticists in the pre-NT Hellenistic period, and even then only in connection with metrical verse and scanning—not regular speech. Your double take on H as (1) a long and (2) low/mid front vowel seems quite innovative.

Χαῖρε,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 4th, 2011, 6:47 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Randall,

You describe H in post-403 BC as a long low/mid front vowel (εε)—a long counterpart, as you call it, of ε. In addition, you assign quantity or length to it.

There is not a single word in classical literature about any vowel length in speech. Such ideas were introduced by Atticists in the pre-NT Hellenistic period, and even then only in connection with metrical verse and scanning—not regular speech. Your double take on H as (1) a long and (2) low/mid front vowel seems quite innovative.

Χαῖρε,

Philemon Zachariou


Actually, it's a rather standard view in general agreement with Allen (1959; 1972; 1987) Smith (1972), Gignac (1977), Bubeník (1983), Thompson (2006), and Probert (2010). I'm not a particularly big fan of phonology, but I try to follow the literature as best I can.

Dr. Zachariou, I would still be interested in your answer to Randall's questions from before:

RandallButh wrote:There was also no need for another /i/ symbol since they already had two [EI and I]. So why in the world would a new symbol need to be invented?

The question for any analysis to answer is why EI and I were often confused from the 4cBCE on, but H was relatively stable and only started to be regularly confused with EI and I after the 2cCE?
Mike Aubrey
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 5th, 2011, 2:06 pm

Mike,

The Athenians in Socrates’ day confused ει, η and ι. The question then arises, If the Athenians already had ι, why did they need another letter for the same sound? The introduction of η (not as h), already widespread among the other dialects as a vowel, was at first intended to be used as a convenient monoliteral symbol for metrically (not phonetically) “long” diphthong ει (ε?). By now, however, ει was already monophthongized and treated like ι, so η became popularly read like ι, while versifiers and specialized readers continued for a time the use of ε rather that η, all the more additing to the confusion expressed in Kratylos (418c): οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι ἱμέραν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν, οἱ δὲ ἑμέραν, οἱ δὲ νῦν ἡμέραν “the very ancients called day ἱμέραν, others [later] ἑμέραν, and now ἡμέραν.”

I have extracted this from my book, as there is more said in it. But I hope this much helps.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 5th, 2011, 3:57 pm

MAubrey wrote:
Philemon Zachariou wrote:Randall,

You describe H in post-403 BC as a long low/mid front vowel (εε)—a long counterpart, as you call it, of ε. In addition, you assign quantity or length to it.

There is not a single word in classical literature about any vowel length in speech. Such ideas were introduced by Atticists in the pre-NT Hellenistic period, and even then only in connection with metrical verse and scanning—not regular speech. Your double take on H as (1) a long and (2) low/mid front vowel seems quite innovative.

Χαῖρε,

Philemon Zachariou


Actually, it's a rather standard view in general agreement with Allen (1959; 1972; 1987) Smith (1972), Gignac (1977), Bubeník (1983), Thompson (2006), and Probert (2010). I'm not a particularly big fan of phonology, but I try to follow the literature as best I can.

------------------------
Randall,

I have heard some of your commendable recordings in which you read passages from the NT. My impression is that if you reconciled your [ei] to [i] for η you would be quite close to the historical Greek pronunciation (HGP). Also your χ and γ are a bit overworked but still within the normal range. I thought I'd point these out just in case you would want to consider also using or switching to HGP.

Χαῖρε.

Philemon

-----------------------

Dr. Zachariou, I would still be interested in your answer to Randall's questions from before:

RandallButh wrote:There was also no need for another /i/ symbol since they already had two [EI and I]. So why in the world would a new symbol need to be invented?

The question for any analysis to answer is why EI and I were often confused from the 4cBCE on, but H was relatively stable and only started to be regularly confused with EI and I after the 2cCE?
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 5th, 2011, 5:01 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Mike,

The Athenians in Socrates’ day confused ει, η and ι. The question then arises, If the Athenians already had ι, why did they need another letter for the same sound? The introduction of η (not as h), already widespread among the other dialects as a vowel, was at first intended to be used as a convenient monoliteral symbol for metrically (not phonetically) “long” diphthong ει (ε?). By now, however, ει was already monophthongized and treated like ι, so η became popularly read like ι, while versifiers and specialized readers continued for a time the use of ε rather that η, all the more additing to the confusion expressed in Kratylos (418c): οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι ἱμέραν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν, οἱ δὲ ἑμέραν, οἱ δὲ νῦν ἡμέραν “the very ancients called day ἱμέραν, others [later] ἑμέραν, and now ἡμέραν.”


Well, yes and no. That answer the first question, but I don't really see how it relates to why η would be more stable in its spelling and not be confused with the same consistency with ι until so much latter.

Philemon Zachariou wrote:You (Randal) said that Caragounis' book (1) does not show a reliable linguistic handling of the data, (2) that Caragounis recognizes that he is citing isolated instances of examples that only become clear norms a few centuries later, and (3) the book does not overturn the chronological conclusions of other historical phonological studies. I have read the book myself, and now I wonder what exactly it is that you found in the book that supports your three claims. That is, what are the data, and what makes you say that Caragounis' linguistic handling of them is not reliable? Where does he admit (recognizes) that he is citing isolated instances of examples that become the norm a few centuries later? What examples are you referring to that leave the conclusions of other phonological studies intact? What studies are you referring to, and what conclusions do they arrive at (that are apparently different from Caragounis') ?


Since Dr. Buth is away from his copy of the book, I am perfectly happy to provide some examples.

Caragounis passes off statistical issues with brief comments with no explanation of the *why* like this one:

Caragounis, 370-1 wrote:The letter Η interchanges with I already by the Vth c. B.C., that is before its official acceptance in the Athenian alphabet in 403 B.C. ... The frequency of its interchange with I increases dramatically from the IIIrd century B.C. in the Ptolemaic papyri. ... The interchange of H with EI becomes very frequent from around 200 B.C., again leading to the same conclusion.


No explanation of what would cause the dramatic increase in frequency is provided.

In dealing with η, Caragounis also stacks the deck in his favor by providing data for an interchange between η - ι, η - ει, and ηι - ι . The problem is that this skews the anaylsis in one direction from the start. He is seeking to show that η = ι and so he simply doesn't deal with the data where there is interchange between η and ε. Caragounis' anaysis as massive and footnoted as it appears, is not thorough. He also doesn't deal with the possibilities of misspelling, the difference between vowel quality in stressed and unstressed syllables, the differences in vowel quality in varying syllable structures (e.g. how does vowel quality change in an open syllable vs. an closed syllable and are such differences represented in spelling variation). In contrast, Gignac deals with all of these issues in significant detail and makes judgments on the basis of frequency.

Compare Caragnounis' statement above with that of Gignac below

Gignac, 235 wrote:The process of itacism, which resulted in the eventual identification of the sounds originally represented by ι, ει, η, ηι, οι, υ, υι in /i/, was well advanced in Egypt by the beginning of the Roman period. ει and ι are alternate representations of /i/; η and ηι are identified, οι, υ, and υι all represent /y/. Moreover, there is a very frequent interchange of η with ι and ει, indicating that η also represented /i/ at least in the speech of many writers. On the other hand, there is a frequent interchange of η with ε (and sometimes with its phonetic equivalent αι) throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods, in similar documents and sometimes in identical phonetic conditions and even in the same words in which an interchange of η with ι or ει is found. There is also an occasional interchange of ε (αι) with ι and ει.


Moreover, Gignac notes than many of the places where η appears in place of ει appear directly preceding back vowels (e.g. χρηῶν for χρειῶν or χρήας for χρείας), which would suggest that the assimilation of i --> e _/+back vowels--a perfectly conceivable phonological rule.

So the question is: Why doesn't Caragounis deal with only a limited set of the data that fits with his own assumptions and not with the other data that does not?

Caragounis, The Development of Greek and the New Testament
Gignac, A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods

(for the record, my own pronunciation is: ι, ει, η, ηι, as /i/ and οι, υ, υι as /y/, which I think is relatively close to that of the late 1st century. My problem isn't with the pronouncing of η as /i/, but with exactly when that change occurred)
Last edited by MAubrey on August 5th, 2011, 6:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 5th, 2011, 8:44 pm

Mike,

I am sure it must have occurred to you that any increase in the consistency of the confusion of η and ι in later (Hellenistic) times might have something to do with an increase (a) in population and therefore in the written records, (b) in the greater numbers of semi-literate writers who “learned” common spelling practices from their equals, and (c) in the numbers of records salvaged/discovered and available to us today. Had the climatic and geographic conditions in Athens been the same as in Egypt, chances are that heaps of papyrical writings would have likewise been discovered in Athens in the manner they were in Egypt. Not only climate, but also human vice (wars, vandalism, theft, carelessness), and other factors must have all contributed to the loss of ancient records. Without the classical stone inscriptions we would have had even fewer records available today. I would not be misled by a "popularity" vote in terms of the greater number of occurrences in the consistency of the confusion of η and ι in post-classical times. The term “consistency,” in fact, seems to cloud the picture, for the fact remains that η and ι were already confused in the classical period to the extent that even Socrates found the matter grave enough to make “a big deal” out of it. Thus, the equalization of ει, η, ι in classical Greek, regardless of numbers (or degree of consistency), is an established fact a linguist cannot ignore. That confusion germinated and grew in classical times and, naturally in due time, mushroomed. In the light of evidence, applying a pronunciation to η other than [i] in reading classical and NT Greek is arbitray.

Cheeres,

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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby RandallButh » August 5th, 2011, 10:42 pm

Thus, the equalization of ει, η, ι in classical Greek, regardless of numbers (or degree of consistency), is an established fact a linguist cannot ignore



sorry, but it is not a fact that H was pronounced as I.
the fact is that the ancients had two words
IMERA and EMERA that meant the same thing. they were not pronounced the same ever, and especially pre-403BCE..
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