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Short and long [i]

Posted: October 5th, 2017, 6:23 pm
by Eeli Kaikkonen
There's an interesting blog post in Evangelical Textual Criticism blog. Peter Williams says there was a distinction between short and long [ i ]. ... -luke.html

What do you say?

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 6th, 2017, 10:11 am
by Nikolaos Adamou
Two points.
As Caragounis and others have pointed, there are many errors in manuscripts
interchanging the I, H, Y, EI, OI
or O & Ω

the sounds in native Greek are closed.

BUT as I pay more attention and I record sounds
in both plane χύμα language as in its liturgical usage
It is clear that there are differences in the sound of the above letters

ΗΛΙΟΣ shows the difference between H & I,
EINAI, is a different EI from the above and different AI from E as in ENA

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 6th, 2017, 1:47 pm
by Stephen Hughes
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
October 5th, 2017, 6:23 pm
What do you say?
Adjusting the spelling convention for γίνομαι / γείνομαι in Luke seems like an evolutionary (ie non-disruptive) innovation in the presentation of the text that will cause only minor inconvenience for readers, and regardless of whether the theory based on the evidence is any way true, may facilitate an understanding of the state of the language before standardisation of spelling took place. If a spelling choice was patterned and deliberate in this point, it may have been true of other features too - it is always useful to include "outside the box" in ones repertoire of thinking.

In regard to ioticism ... I don't see any reason how a brief listing of the various senses that the word "ioticism" is used in by different authours in different contexts, and frank discussion about how those concepts that "ioticism" is used to describe in terms of various models for the interplay between the language's phonic, phonemic and graphemic systems and (based on the blurb in the article) individual features (such as this word) could be anthing but a welcome development.

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 6th, 2017, 2:06 pm
by S Walch
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
October 5th, 2017, 6:23 pm
There's an interesting blog post in Evangelical Textual Criticism blog. Peter Williams says there was a distinction between short and long [ i ]. ... -luke.html

What do you say?
I would certainly agree.

There's also the interesting 'corrections' in certain manuscripts from ι to ει, for example the correction in P15 (1 Corinthians 7:18-8:4) in 1 Cor 7:23 from γινεσθε to γεινεσθε, and also has γεινεσθαι in 7:36.

P46 (Pauline epistles) also has the uniform spelling as γειν (Rom 11:6, 12:16; 1 Cor 4:16, 7:23, 36, 10:7, 32, 11:1, 14:20 x2, 25 etc., etc.) as opposed to γιν-.

So one would think that it may be good to look at the letters of Paul as another data-set for the differentiation between long and short /i/.

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 6th, 2017, 2:08 pm
by RandallButh
A person needs to think systematically and phonologically when dealing with historical matters.

It appears that the feature "length" is what dropped out of the language 300BCE-100BCE and that this is what precipitated the "Great Greek Vowel Shift".

If, in fact, length was the culprit, then positing a 'short i' and a 'long i' in the 1-2 centuries CE would seem unjustified or at least dicey. Historical spellings and spelling adjusted for high-tone accent would be a more likely explanation for the ει spellings of many words. I would recommend a brief perusal of my PDF on Koine Pronunciation at as well as longer, full studies like Gignac and Horrocks, should one find the time.

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 7th, 2017, 12:01 pm
by Stephen Hughes
Graphemically, by writing ΓΕΙΝⲰϹΚⲰ, it would have been less likely that late antique OCR algorithms might have returned a (specious) ΠΝⲰϹΚⲰ*.

Re: Short and long [i]

Posted: October 10th, 2017, 9:33 pm
by Stephen Hughes
What an authour expects the alphabet to do, and what others expect that his use of the alphabet was doing may be at odds.

To offer a context for reading with variant spelling in a manuscript, perhaps we as readers of a text without consistency of spelling, like say the Devonshire manuscript, (or any other text with non-standard spelling) might be able share the experience with a degree of simititude to period readers of the New Testament with variant spelling 5 or 6 centuries after it was the current language. The poem is transcribed (by a modern editor) as it was originally written, but it is quite easy to standardise the spelling (and interpret words whose meanings have moved on) as well.

8 Iff other thowght in me do growe /
9 butt styll to love yow stedefastly /
10 if that the profe do nott well showe /
11 that I am yowrs Assueredly /
12 lett euery welth turne me to woe

If other thought in me do grow,
except still to love you steadfastly,
if that the proof do not well show
that I am yours assuredly,
let every outcome of labour turn (for) me to woe.

If for example, we were to say that Sir Thomas Wyatt (possibly ascribed authour) had a different number of phonemes in his English - the number represented by variation in his spelling, we might ask whether his understanding of the science (or art) of alphabet design was as refined as or own is. Was his variation between, for example, single and double "f" a) significant and if it was, then b) was it phonetic or phonemic. In other words, we are used to a certain set of significances in the alphabet, use our expectation to interpret what is there.

There is a general consensus that the relationship between graphemes and phonemes is not one-to-one. At the beginning of alphabetical writing, the alphabet adopted hadba certain (inadequate) number of symbols, which led to the the digraph innovation - diphthongs and double consonants. Based on the morphology of words using it (π.χ. κράζω), it is possible that zeta was initially used to represent a number of sounds. In other cases the /z/ is represented by sigma too, as in κόσμος.

To balance the argument that a long /i:/ is preserved in Luke, we would have to insist that words with compensatory lengthening for the loss of a consonant such as the ubiquitous ἀποκριθείς were also evidence of the existence of long /i:/ in the Koine period. Point being, that graphemic evidence for an historical loss of a consonant is not necessarily significant evidence for the inclusion of and extra phoneme in a later period of the language.