Why not modern?

Paul-Nitz
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Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Paul-Nitz » November 28th, 2015, 7:20 am

As you are hinting at, the question of pronunciation is entirely moot if we always have a text in front of us.
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

RandallButh
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Re: Why not modern?

Post by RandallButh » November 29th, 2015, 12:46 pm

This is the key question. I suggest that the best answer is to be understood by those you talk to. (If you're not talking to anyone, well ...)
It's maybe three-fold in answer.

Yes, one wants a speaking partner to follow and understand. and for perspective one wants this to apply to a wide selection of situations outside of one's daily personal circles.
2. However, there are also millions of modern Greek speakers that can be included in the equation. Either modern, or a Restored Koine (two vowels beyond modern), or a Byzantine compromise (ypsilon/οι distinct, eta like iota/ει when with modern Greek speakers). Personal reading and speaking benefit from the eta because of its rather large functional load in the ancient dialect.
3. One of the purposes of speaking and listening is to produce RAPID comprehensible input that drives and builds internalization. This last point means that real listening skills at the speed of speech lead to better reading skills. (See Catherine Walter, 2008, "Phonology in Second Language Reading: Not an Optional Extra," TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 3, Psycholinguistics for TESOL [Sep., 2008], pp. 455-474 [Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. ].)
As you are hinting at, the question of pronunciation is entirely moot if we always have a text in front of us.
Paul, I suspect that he did, and if he didn't, I know others who do hold such an opinion. In fact, it is important to use the language outside of known texts. Limiting one's listening to known texts like the NT means that there is always a "memory shadow" involved in the listening or reading or whatever, and the learner only breaks into a situation with great difficulty, if at all, where they fully engage and track a communication in the language itself and at the speed of speech.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 29th, 2015, 6:02 pm

RandallButh wrote:
As you are hinting at, the question of pronunciation is entirely moot if we always have a text in front of us.
Paul, I suspect that he did, and if he didn't, I know others who do hold such an opinion.
Uh, no I didn't. :-)
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Why not modern?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » November 30th, 2015, 5:51 pm

"[...] the question of pronunciation is entirely moot if we always have a text in front of us."

I interpreted this to mean, or at least it made me think, that phonemic distinction between words or morphemes isn't so important if we use our pronunciation skill for reading texts. In classroom settings people often have written text before them even when they hear or speak it. The text may be previously know or unknown to the learner. This is true even for the Modern Greek course which I'm attending. We mostly both see and hear texts. All new words are learnt in both written and spoken form. Sometimes the non-distinctions in speech feel confusing for a beginner, but it's not really a problem. It's even less of a problem if our main goal is to read (privately) fluently and use spoken text for that end.

Some people say that learning is easier if there are as much distinctions as possible (ι, η, ει, οι, υ all different). But what would they say if non-English speakers wanted to learn English this way because it's "easier"? (Oh those poor English speakers who can't tell the difference between four, fore and for...)

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