Is this a viable pronunciation system?

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Chris Servanti
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Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Chris Servanti » October 16th, 2015, 11:48 am

Hi. I'm learning Koine and have switched pronunciation systems a few times. Write now because of my teacher I'm using Buth's system. I think that's a great system that sounds good, but I think there are some holes in it that pave the path for inconsistency and make it difficult to memorize paradigms.

So, with that being said, (no trying to attack Buth's awesome work) I have thought about a pronunciation system for a while that reduces confusing between different letters that make the same sounds, keeping sounds where they are distinguishable and still maintaining the beauty of the audible language. Here is my idea, I'm open to suggestions.

Rough or smooth breathing marks are applied

β [β]
γ [ɣ]
δ [ð]
ζ [z]
θ [θ]
κ [k]
λ [l]
μ [m]
ν [n]
ξ [ks]
π [p]
ρ [r]
σ [s]
φ [ɸ]
χ [x]
ψ [ps]

For IPA consonants go here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_pulmo ... with_audio
Notes: Non-voiced consonants like τ and φ are not like t and f because they are non-aspirated

α [ɑ]
αι [ɑɪ]
αυ [ɑɸ] - before non-voiced consonant [ɑβ] - before voiced consonant or vowel
ε [ɛ]
ει [ɛɪ]
ευ [ɛɸ] - before non-voiced consonant [ɛβ] - before voiced consonant or vowel
ο [ɔ]
οι [ɔɪ]
ου [u:]
η
ηυ [iɸ] - before non-voiced consonant [iβ] - before voiced consonant or vowel
ι
υ [ʏ]

For IPA vowels go here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel ... with_audio

I have reasoning behind what sounds are chosen here so if one puzzles you just ask.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 16th, 2015, 4:30 pm

Chris Servanti wrote: ει [ɛɪ]
η

At no point in the history of Greek was this true.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 16th, 2015, 7:22 pm

Ordinarily, the cost of non-conformity is a mixture in varying degrees of disenfrancisement and marginalisation. Implicit in Stephen's observation is that others will need to be convinced of the benefit of your system before adopting it. As a learner, you will have cut yourself from a wide range of resources that characterise our multimedia age.

As a system for self-study, in fact any system works. When you want to interact with others, the middle ground needs to be as expansive as possible. I think it is in your own self-interest to conform to your teachers' way of pronouncing until you have mastered at least the language to a workable level. Mastery of a few different pronunciation systems may be desirable, if you are able, to allow you to opperate in a variety of contexts. Making your own won't.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Chris Servanti » October 16th, 2015, 8:44 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Ordinarily, the cost of non-conformity is a mixture in varying degrees of disenfranchisement and marginalization. Implicit in Stephen's observation is that others will need to be convinced of the benefit of your system before adopting it. As a learner, you will have cut yourself from a wide range of resources that characterize our multimedia age.

As a system for self-study, in fact any system works. When you want to interact with others, the middle ground needs to be as expansive as possible. I think it is in your own self-interest to conform to your teachers' way of pronouncing until you have mastered at least the language to a workable level. Mastery of a few different pronunciation systems may be desirable, if you are able, to allow you to operate in a variety of contexts. Making your own won't.
Value point, which is why I am able to use Buth's.

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Chris Servanti » October 16th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Chris Servanti wrote: ει [ɛɪ]
η

At no point in the history of Greek was this true.


True, however when you use these, the gate or recognition opens wider. For instance, it's not hard to distinguish (in writing) where an η and ι would go - they're not easily confusable if you use the same sound. Now, as for η and ε, they can be easily confused because of their approximacy. As for ι and ει; when they have the same sound they can also be easily confusable, but as different sounds they are simply distinguished.

So, whereas this wouldn't be a necessarily accurate pronunciation, it could be a useful one.

Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » October 17th, 2015, 6:08 am

Chris Servanti wrote:
True, however when you use these, the gate or recognition opens wider. For instance, it's not hard to distinguish (in writing) where an η and ι would go - they're not easily confusable if you use the same sound. Now, as for η and ε, they can be easily confused because of their approximacy. As for ι and ει; when they have the same sound they can also be easily confusable, but as different sounds they are simply distinguished.

So, whereas this wouldn't be a necessarily accurate pronunciation, it could be a useful one.
So if that's what you want, why not just use Erasmean? It makes maximal distinctions between sounds...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
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Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 18th, 2015, 4:28 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Chris Servanti wrote: ει [ɛɪ]
η

At no point in the history of Greek was this true.


True, however when you use these, the gate or recognition opens wider. For instance, it's not hard to distinguish (in writing) where an η and ι would go - they're not easily confusable if you use the same sound. Now, as for η and ε, they can be easily confused because of their approximacy. As for ι and ει; when they have the same sound they can also be easily confusable, but as different sounds they are simply distinguished.

So, whereas this wouldn't be a necessarily accurate pronunciation, it could be a useful one.

I suppose my attitude here is similar to what Greek keyboard you should learn: you should learn a/the standard, rather than (re)invent your own. The benefits of doing your own thing are fairly marginal, albeit tailored to your way of thinking, and even then only at the beginning. Plus you subtly alienate yourself from a community with your idiosyncratic system.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Chris Servanti » October 19th, 2015, 9:41 pm

I see the value of not doing the eta iota changes. Thanks for the input!

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 20th, 2015, 12:47 am

Just to remind you that the relationship between the written and the spoken is no so simple as the one-to-one correspondence models that are being discussed here...

There is evidence that the spelling system was in some respects conventional, and a variance in pronunciation existed with eta, which is not directly evident from the written form.
Coptic sounds wrote:Emile Maher Ishak ... completed his D.Phil thesis [(1975)] at the University of Oxford entitled ‘The phonetics and phonology of the Bohairic dialect of Coptic and the survival of Coptic words in the colloquial and Classical Arabic of Egypt and of Coptic grammatical constructions in colloquial Egyptian Arabic’.
Some of the "Coptic" words that have survived are of Greek origin.

There is a small quantity of standard Modern Greek words, where a Koine eta is preserved as a Modern epsilon - the Modern spelling reflecting the inherited (folk) pronunciation, rather than the (Classical spelling) conventional.

Buthian prescribes a lot of assimilations that go beyond one-to-one correspondence. There occur within words and across word boundaries. That is a natural language feature that sets it apart as a serious pronunciation system.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Is this a viable pronunciation system?

Post by Chris Servanti » October 20th, 2015, 2:59 pm

I have seen this in buth's work especially with the upsilon. The only problem I have with that is that there is no way to know this kind of authentic pronunciation for even a few words, let alone the entire language

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