Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 5th, 2011, 11:03 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote: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 in reading classical and NT Greek is arbitray.

Cheeres,

Philemon Zachariou


Wow.

Your "established fact a linguist cannot ignore" has been rejected as utterly false by dozens of linguists. If there's any established fact, it is that virtually all linguists say that you're wrong.

This paragraph is nothing more than a big cop out to avoid actually dealing with the language data. Gignac deals with issues of literacy and writing ability his entire analysis takes factors such as the quality of the papyri into account. So yeah, those issues you listed did occur to me and they occurred to the linguists have devoted large portions of their lives to this topic and the evidence and their analysis, which contradicts your claims, took those issues into account. You write as if you think that Greek phonology was always homogenous--which in and of itself is utterly false (and is still false today--see Pontic, Cappadocian, etc.). Even if we imagined that you were correct about the pronunciation of Greek in Greece in the post-classical period (and you're not--and Threatte has amply demonstrated in his [i]Grammar of Attic Inscriptions--keyword there is "Attic"), the language demonstrated phonological variation throughout the post-Alexandrian empires. And the fact remains that (in reference to the title of your book) Jesus lived far closer to Egypt than he did to Greece.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 6th, 2011, 4:49 am

RandallButh wrote:
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..


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

Randall,

If samples such as these (shown also earlier) constitute no evidence of H=I in pre-403 BC,
then I am with you:

ΑΘΙΝΑ instead of ΑΘΗΝΑ (5th c. BC)
ΑΡΙΣ instead of ΑΡΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΔΙΜΟΣΘΕΝΙΣ instead of ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΣΙΜΑ instead of ΣΗΜΑ (4th c. BC)
ΤΙΝΔΕ instead of ΤΗΝΔΕ (4th c. BC)
ΣΙΚΙΝΙΤΑΙ instead of ΣΙΚΙΝΗΤΑΙ (425 BC)
ΗΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ ΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ (425 BC)
etc., etc.

Philemon
----------------------
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby RandallButh » August 6th, 2011, 12:02 pm

I don't have a problem with occasional examples of Hta with Iota.

But I was talking about IOTA and E-PSILON.
IOTA and Epsilon were never confused in Greek phonology, yet that is what Socrates was talking about.
Thus, it appears that Socrates was talking about different dialectical forms of a word, not the same pronunciation of certain symbols.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 6th, 2011, 1:06 pm

So I will not be mistaken, I have cut and pasted your two last previous remarks:

1. First you said: “sorry, but it is not a fact that H was pronounced as I.”
2. Then you said: “I don't have a problem with occasional examples of Hta with Iota.”

Now you are saying you were talking about Iota and Epsilon (i.e., not Hta).

But for the record let me make my position absolutely clear:
--Anyone who phonologically equates Epsilon with Iota at any time in Greek history is from the moon.
--It is an established fact that Hta and Iota in pre-403 BC classical times were read alike (and anyone challenging that is also from the moon).

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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 6th, 2011, 2:15 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:If samples such as these (shown also earlier) constitute no evidence of H=I in pre-403 BC,
then I am with you:

ΑΘΙΝΑ instead of ΑΘΗΝΑ (5th c. BC)
ΑΡΙΣ instead of ΑΡΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΔΙΜΟΣΘΕΝΙΣ instead of ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ (5th c. BC)
ΣΙΜΑ instead of ΣΗΜΑ (4th c. BC) (Mike's note: this is after 403 BC)
ΤΙΝΔΕ instead of ΤΗΝΔΕ (4th c. BC) (Mike's note: this is after 403 BC)
ΣΙΚΙΝΙΤΑΙ instead of ΣΙΚΙΝΗΤΑΙ (425 BC)
ΗΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ ΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ (425 BC)
etc., etc.


If such samples are evidence for, then the following are samples against--and unlike yours, they are all pre-403 BC.

δεμοσίο instead of δεμοσίο (5th c. BC)
νεμησις instead of νέμεσις (5th c. BC)
πεμαιν instead of πημαιν (457 BC)
εποίεσεν instead of εποίησεν (5th c. BC)
συνθεκαςinstead of συνθηκας (5th c. BC)

Threatte also lists:
H = ε in I2 231.6, 13, 20, a tribute list.
Η = ε “almost everywhere in I^2 108 I (lines 1-38) (140/9) decree concerning the people of Neapolis. [In which] H never = [h]” (Threatte, 1980:43).

Threatte, Grammar of Attic Inscriptions: Phonology, 1980.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby RandallButh » August 6th, 2011, 3:40 pm

But for the record let me make my position absolutely clear:
--Anyone who phonologically equates Epsilon with Iota at any time in Greek history is from the moon.
--It is an established fact that Hta and Iota in pre-403 BC classical times were read alike (and anyone challenging that is also from the moon).



ευχαριστω. νυν γινωσκω ποθεν ην Σωκρατης. εκ σεληνης ην.

Socrates said that some said IMERA and that some said EMERA.
either he was from the moon, or he was talking about something else. Hmmmm?
NAI, he was probably talking about two different dialectical words for the same sense: IMERA and EMERA.
And if so, then his statement is not proof that Epsilon was pronounced like IOTA, and by extension, that means that his comments about Hta do not prove that it was pronounced as I.

Each of your other examples, likewise, needs wider discussion and context. It is only 6 centuries later that the widespread confusion of H enters. Ironically, in 403 BC, when Hta entered the language there was high stability with Hta, despite its newness. This is certainly against expectations if it was pronounced the same as I.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 6th, 2011, 7:33 pm

Ημερα~Εμερα certainly dialectal, just as Doric α for Ionic η.
Νῦν φίλε οἶσθα οὐκ ἐκ σελήνης Σωκράτης ἀλλ᾽ Ἕλλην Ἀθηναῖος.

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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 6th, 2011, 11:48 pm

So it appears that this is what we have:

Socrates distinguishes three different pronunciations for ἡμέρα

ἱμέραν archaic
ἑμέραν (dialectal)
ἡμέραν (dialectal)

Thus demonstrating that I =/= H.

The orthographic symbol η was extremely stable until the post-classical period in its spelling.
While η was occasionally confused with both ι, it was also confused with ε in both Egypt and Attica. If η was pronounced as /e/ that would make sense considering that /e/ is front open-mid, ι is /i/ and front close, and ε is /ɛ/ and front close-mid. If η is below both /i/ and /ɛ/, then it would make sense that on occasion it might be confused with either /i/ or /ɛ/, especially as the vowel phoneme moved upward to merge with ι.

All of this suggests that η was pronounced /e/ in the Classical period.

Well, I'm satisfied.
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 7th, 2011, 1:26 am

We must be fair, though, by putting equal weight on this part of the equation as you did on ημέρα:

νῦν δὲ ἀντὶ μὲν τοῦ ἰῶτα ἢ εἶ ἢ ἦτα μεταστρέφουσιν

ει = η = ι

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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby MAubrey » August 7th, 2011, 11:19 am

Philemon Zachariou wrote:We must be fair, though, by putting equal weight on this part of the equation as you did on ημέρα:

νῦν δὲ ἀντὶ μὲν τοῦ ἰῶτα ἢ εἶ ἢ ἦτα μεταστρέφουσιν

ει = η = ι

Philemon


But that's not being "fair." Such an interpretation makes absolutely no sense in context. For one, you're forcing the lexeme εἶ to refer to the sound, not the letter epsilon. So I can only read what you wrote as saying that ει [epsilon] = η = ι, which must mean that you're from the moon. Secondly, it is clear that Socrates distinguishes η and ι and ε as different sounds in the following context: οἷον οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι “ἱμέραν” τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν, οἱ δὲ “ἑμέραν,” οἱ δὲ νῦν “ἡμέραν.” Your interpretation is only possible if you take a single clause out of context and μεταστρέφεις--twist, manipulate, misrepresent--it.
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