Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 8th, 2011, 3:19 am

My semi-facetious comment earlier regarding ἡμέρα leads me to restate my position:
The Athenians in Socrates’ day confused ΕΙ(ει), Η(η) and Ι(ι): νῦν δὲ ἀντὶ μὲν τοῦ ἰῶτα, ἢ εἶ ἢ ἦτα μεταστρέφουσιν … οἱ μὲν ἀρχαιότατοι ἱμέραν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκάλουν οἱ δὲ (ὕστερον) εἱμέραν, οἱ δὲ νῦν ἡμέραν by way of saying that the spelling situation was so confused as to allow three different spellings for the pronunciation of the same word. After 403 BC the letter η, now officially an alphabet letter, replaced ε whenever ε was metrically “long” in verse. In like manner ω replaced ο. So, whereas η had been intended for technical purposes in place of ει, and with ει now pronounced like ι, it came to be read like ι.

ἰῶτα, εἶ, ἦτα > ει = η = ι = [i].
ἱμέρα, εἱμέρα, ἡμέρα > ει = η = ι = [i].

One should neither doubt nor alter Plato’s testimony.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 8th, 2011, 9:45 am

Following the Greek dark ages brought about by the Dorians, from the 7th c. BC to the beginning of the inscriptions period (600 BC) a spirit of national consolidation began to form in Greece and the Greeks became aware of the need to organize a system of a national education. As the basis for learning they adopted their ancestral literature, which was mainly in Homeric verse. Until 600 BC nearly all Greek literature had taken a poetic form; education had transmitted in verse the lore and morals of the race; even early philosophers gave their systems poetic dress. However, right from the outset the Greeks realized that the sounds in their ancestral Homeric literature had undergone changes that entailed particularly the loss of consonants and was thus phonetically and metrically affected. Compounding the problem was the fact that most Greek communities had no adequate alphabets or uniform education. In the early Attic alphabet (prior to the 5th c. BC) as older inscriptions show, E was used for the sounds represented later by E, H, EI, and O for the sounds represented later by Ο, Ω, ΟΥ. Schoolmasters, in their attempts to compensate for the loss of Homeric consonants, improvised prosodic symbols with which they marked syllables in words with orthographic anomalies. In some dialects they negotiated the loss by the doubling of the succeeding consonant as in ὄλνυμι > ὄλ᾽υμι > ὄλλυμι, πανρησία > πα᾽ρησία > παρρησία, ἄρσην > ἄρ᾽ην > ἄρρην, θάρσος > θάρ᾽ος > θάρρος. On the other hand, when the vowels α, ε, ο occurred before a lost sound, they wrote αι, αι, οι, the added ι being an adscript (later a subscript), which served as a silent guide, a compensatory mark analogous with the sign of the apostrophe ( ’ ) used to help retain the phonetic quality of α, ε, ο. Thus, original τὰνς ἀρχάνς became τὰις ἀρχάις, μέλανς > μέλαις, ἑνς > ἕις (εἷς), πάντς > πάν᾽ς > πάις > πᾶς. Similar concerns led Doric schoolmasters to join H and I (later H) for E, while the Athenians from the mid-5th c. BC adopted Ionic H(η) and Ω(ω) to compensate for rhythmical length by using H and Ω in place of E and O. But whereas initially the compensatory marks H and Ω were introduced to normalize versification—not speech—they gradually found their way into the alphabet, hence the confusion of E and H, and O and Ω. It is for such reasons that the symbol E from pre-classical Attic down to the beginning of the classical period, was still being used to represent was was represented later by E, H, and EI. When EI and H became iotacized, E still had a double function as a symbol representing [ε] as well as [i] sounds, with theorists and specialized readers applying the old Attic E for either [ε] or [i]. Add to these the iotacization of EI and H by Socrates’ time, and you’ll see ἱμέρα, ἡμέρα, ἑμέρα in that light. It is also for such reasons that we ΠΕΡΙΚΛΕΣ and ΠΕΡΙΚΛΗΣ, ΔΕΜΟΣΘΕΝΕΣ and ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ.

Cheeres,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Jason Hare » August 8th, 2011, 12:33 pm

Philemon,

Haven't you noticed that EVERYONE is stating the same thing.

The word εἶ is the NAME of the letter epsilon, just as ἰῶτα and ἦτα are the names of the letters iota and eta. In that text, εἶ does not mean the diphthong ει. It means the letter ε. Why are you not catching that? The author spelled out the name of ι as ἰῶτα, the name of η as ἦτα and the name of ε as εἶ. He wasn't comparing iota and eta to the combination epsilon-iota. Did you just miss that every single time that it was mentioned in this thread?

This was first mentioned in this thread here. It was repeated here and here.

LSJ mentions it under εἶ in the following way:

εἶ, indecl., name of the letter ε, pronounced like the letter itself, Pl.Cra.393d, 437a, al., Michel832.46 (Samos, iv B.C.), etc.; later pronounced ῑ, Hdn.Gr.2.390; written ἶ, BGU427.15.


Why do you keep persisting as if it was comparing ει to η and ι? The text was obviously comparing ε (εἶ) to η (ἦτα) and ι (ἰῶτα). Once again, εἶ is the name of the letter epsilon. It is not the diphthong ε-ι.
Jason A. Hare
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 8th, 2011, 2:30 pm

Jason,

Your response is impressive (minus its austere tone). I will not dwell on this issue, as my point also has been repeated several times.
That is, what we glean from Cratylos (418b-c) is that I, EI, H are pronounced similarly or identically. I am sure that you as well as the "OTHERS" you mentioned
would agree that the pronunciation of ἡμέρα did not change three times.

I trust that your comments, perhaps intended do distract, actually helped make my point clear.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Jason Hare » August 8th, 2011, 6:47 pm

Philemon Zachariou wrote:Jason,

Your response is impressive (minus its austere tone). I will not dwell on this issue, as my point also has been repeated several times.
That is, what we glean from Cratylos (418b-c) is that I, EI, H are pronounced similarly or identically. I am sure that you as well as the "OTHERS" you mentioned
would agree that the pronunciation of ἡμέρα did not change three times.

I trust that your comments, perhaps intended do distract, actually helped make my point clear.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou


Philemon,

I'm surprised at your ability to wave off what is quite obvious to everyone else. It's not an issue you need to "dwell on," but only take into account, which you currently are not doing. Do you not understand what has been said, or do you simply not care? You've really confused me in your reaction, since it's completely irrational. I'd just like to know what makes you think that the εἶ of the text is not the name of the letter epsilon.

Jason
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 8th, 2011, 11:20 pm

Jason,

The reason we seem to be going around the roses is that there are two parts to what Socrates is saying. The first part is what you and I hear the same way, I am sure. And that is, the names of three different letters. Granted.

The point of departure is in interpretation—that is, in what one also hears when Socrates is referring to those three letters by name.

What you see and hear is the names of three different letters and their sounds (you tell me how many). What I hear is iotacization at work: the names of three different letters that stand for the same sound, [i].

And that’s where, my friend, we depart.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Philemon Zachariou » August 9th, 2011, 12:58 am

… and as I pointed out earlier, E before the 5th c. BC was used for what later was represented by E, Η, and ΕΙ. In Socrates’ time the introduction of H interfered with E (which still represented [ε] and [i]). If you think that Socrates’ mention of ΕΙ is simply the name of Epsilon [ε], then you will continue to imply that the Greeks had alternative pronunciations for HMERA and, by the same token, alternative pronunciations for a host of other words spelled with these letters. What I am saying is that Socrates’ EI was not in reference to the name Epsilon but to the iotacized diphthong EI.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Jason Hare » August 9th, 2011, 6:22 am

Philemon Zachariou wrote:… and as I pointed out earlier, E before the 5th c. BC was used for what later was represented by E, Η, and ΕΙ. In Socrates’ time the introduction of H interfered with E (which still represented [ε] and [i]). If you think that Socrates’ mention of ΕΙ is simply the name of Epsilon [ε], then you will continue to imply that the Greeks had alternative pronunciations for HMERA and, by the same token, alternative pronunciations for a host of other words spelled with these letters. What I am saying is that Socrates’ EI was not in reference to the name Epsilon but to the iotacized diphthong EI.

Cheers,

Philemon Zachariou


But why do you take it to refer to this? Is it only because this is what you want to read it as saying? Is there any demonstrable support for your position?
Jason A. Hare
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby cwconrad » August 9th, 2011, 8:32 am

Am I the only reader of this once-interesting thread who find the endless recursion getting ever more tedious?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek Authentically

Postby Stephen Carlson » August 9th, 2011, 8:55 am

I think everyone has had their say ... multiple times. At a result, I'm locking this thread.

Stephen
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