RandallButh wrote:I still find the term 'majority' opaque and hiding what the priniciples actually are.
I borrowed the term from the concept of 'majority text' related to NT manuscripts. It implies in that case the reading that occurs in a majority of the manuscripts, and I used it to suggest the idea of pronouncing letters/letter associations in such a way as to accomodate the majority of cases found along history.
Consider this collection of words (and there are, of course, countless such cases):
εἰς – εἷς - ἦς – ἧς
(in – one – was (being) – whose (fem))
εἰ – εἶ - ἡ - ἤ - ἦ
(if – you (sg.) are/go – art. fem. – otherwise – I was (being))
ἰδέα - ἡδέα
(form - pleasant)
εἶδεν - ἴδεν - ἦδεν
((s)he saw (attic) – (s)he saw (homeric ionic) – (s)he was devouring)
λέγει – λέγῃ - λέγοι
((s)he says – say (pres. subj. act. 3rd sg.) – (s)he would say)
αὐτοῖς – αὐτῆς
(to them (masc./neut.) – her)
ἡμεῖς - ὑμεῖς
(we – you (pl.))
οἶκον – εἶκον - ἧκον
(house – I was/they were resembling – I was/they were come)
τοῖς – τῆς – τίς
(art. dat. pl. masc./neut. – art. gen sg. fem. – who?)
εἰκῇ - οἰκεῖ - οἰκῇ
(at random – (s)he inhabits)
λιπών – λοιπόν – λοιπῶν
(having left – remaining over – of the remaining over (pl.))
λιπεῖν – λιπῆν – λυπεῖν
(to leave (pres.) – to leave (aor.) – to greave)
λείπω – λίπω
(I leave – I left (subj.))
(1) If I pronounce [ει, η, οι, ι, υ] or [ο, ω] the same way, applying for instance the Modern Greek phonology, I would be doing a disservice to all those words (and to the grammar that stands behind them) that are so much different from one another in meaning, which I would force to sound alike. To what purpose? To be historically in agreement with one particular ('minority') situation found at a certain point in time (?)
(2) If I do indeed pronounce them differently, which I believe could be demonstrated that was the practice at certain moments of time along the history of the Greek language (not for all at the same time though), then I would be in disagreement with those who have already adapted their pronounciation to Modern Greek (for instance) principles.
What to choose? I personally prefer the first case.
Devenios Doulenios wrote:The Greeks themselves disagree with you. They use Modern Greek pronunciation for reading works from all periods of ancient Greek. If that isn't a real Greek solution, I fail to see why.
I agree with you as far as the Greeks of today are concerned; but how about the Greeks of ‘yesterday’? Do you think Plato, for instance, woud endorse that?