Jonathan Robie wrote:For my money ... I would probably support Greek with or without accents, but not with incorrect accents. If someone types the accents in, they probably want to get it right.
The issues there are not so easy to arrange into a stand-back-and-let-it-run learning system. The micromanagement and step-by-step correction that we have in a classroom is not there. The consequence of that lack of control and given that the memrise system doesn't allow me to pop in a error contexualised comment or explanation when a mistake is made means that in some cases even when a student is chopping wood with the blunt side of the axe, it could still be a valid path to a warm winter's evening.
Considering the issue of error v. inaccuracy, your suggestion, not only relates to accents, but also raises questions about breathings... According to my earlier training, an omitted breathing was a mistake, but an omitted accent was a pardonable offence. But if I use the Living Koine pronunciation as the spoken form of the language in the memrise list, then the spiritus asper
and spiritus lenis
are not effectively differentiated in pronunciation are not so important as the accents, which determine word-stress and are therefore necessary for effective pronunciation.
Another question of correctness or incorrectness is the oxytone / barytone distinction on the final syllable. A beginner who is not familiar with the rule differentiating the two, may have seen a form in writing with the barytone and copy it, but should that be classed as wrong? I don't think it is "wrong" (in the context of the language) because it is a possible form of the word - and in the post classical period the stress accent is the same no matter what the accent. But it could be "out of place" in a vocabulary learning context.
While we could say that an oxytone for a perispomenon is in the bigger scheme of things "wrong", the oxytone is never-the-less a valid accent mark, so it is 50% right (function - right, form - wrong). For Modern Greek, from the Koine period up to the 1970's it was always necessary to make the correct distinction between the 3 accents, but now of course in Modern Greek that is not necessary - now only the position of the stress is important, and a single undifferentiated stress marker is used - often a simple verticle stroke.
If later, cratic froms are listed, could the coronis be allowed to be omitted? I think so. But should it also be allowed to be written as an apostrophe? Perhaps. Iota subscript will probably want to be accepted as Iota adscript, because there will be students who are not working with a keyboad layout that can handle the subscript. The diaresis is another matter. It seems that it is universally necessary for correct pronunciation, but (again) not everyone (in non-first world countries or those using it on smart phones) will be able to type it on all computers at all times.
I think all students need to learn the alphabet near the beginning of their study, but perhaps not all teachers want to stress learning the accents so clearly. And some will not want to give much attention to breathings either.
In my understand that having the wrong breathing is wrong (no bones about it), but the evidence from the ellided prepositions in the papyri and spelling in the Coptic dialects suggest that there was variability in pronunciation in some places / at some periods. But the NT text that we read now has a standard for writing breathings.
Another issue (out of place in the context of this thread but relevent to what I am doing) is first person present indicative active or infinitive? Most of my learning was with the later, but the more I teach and the more I think about it, the infinitive is really the basic (almost atomic) unit of the language (and possibly the accusative not the nominative). Do any courses teach from the infinitive up for verbal conjugational structures (or from the accusative out for nominal decensions)?
Does anyone have a thought about what they consider the lines for rightness and wrongness start and end for beginners on the road from inaccuracy to accuracy?
"αἴκα" (The Spartan Ephors' reply to Philip II of Macedon) is even better than "nuts" (General Anthony McAuliffe reply to General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz).