Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

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jeidsath
Posts: 8
Joined: June 12th, 2014, 11:29 pm

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by jeidsath » April 29th, 2015, 12:25 pm

Well, I try everything, but the bulk of my practice comes from reading every day. I started with transliterations for the first few months, always reviewing with a plain Greek text and no English aids. These days I often use a Loeb -- I don't know of a faster way to absorb texts. My goal for "absorbing" any particular text is always to be able to re-tell the story naturally (in Greek) without the text in front of me, and to be read aloud with a natural manner. The Loeb is used as a extra-fast dictionary.

I make recordings of myself, and listen to them until I can understand the text. I re-record the same text until it sounds natural. Short recordings on loop are far more useful than long recordings. 2-3 minutes seems optimum.

My pronunciation is Attic from Allen's Vox Graeca. I strive for historical accuracy because it keeps me honest. It would be far too easy to invent my own pronunciation and perhaps lose something important to the poetry of the language.

I now believe that the most important part of any pronunciation system is vowel length distinction -- far more important than quality. The basic informational unit of Ancient Greek was not the syllable, rather the vowel or vowel-consonant pair (like Japanese). If your η and ει and ε and ι run together in your head after you read a sentence, you will have a very hard time internalizing the language. So I've spent the last several weeks concentrating on vowel length and mora-izing all of my diphthongs. It's been 15 months since I started, but I still adjust my pronunciation every so often, as I read more linguistic material, and converse with others, and read poetry. At first it was very hard to change the quality of a vowel, etc., but it has gotten easier, taking no more than 1-2 weeks to get back up to fluent reading speeds for minor changes.

I was on a long road trip this weekend, and listened to Spiros Zodhiates' recording of Mark, done with a Modern Greek pronunciation. The story was completely comprehensible, but I had to make mental guesses for many of the words, since they are all compressed and ioticized -- otherwise a beautiful reading, of course.

If I could attend my ideal classroom, it would be one set up along the lines of Rouse at the Perse school. Pardon any errors in the following transcription. The "Teaching of Greek at the Perse School" is available at the Internet Archive and is highly recommended.

Διδάσκαλος. -- χαίρετε, ὦ μαθηταί.
Μαθηταί. -- χαῖρε, ὦ διδάσκαλε.
Δ. Μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον, κελεύω ὑμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον. ὦ Σώκρατες, τί κελεύω;
Σ. *Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καλῶς ἀποκρίνει· τί ἐκέλευσα, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Ἐκέλευσας ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καὶ σύ, ὦ Γλαῦκε, καλῶς λέγεις. τί ποιεῖτε;
Μ. Οὐχ ὁρῶμεν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Ἀρχώμεθα ἄρα· μανθάνωμεν τὴν γραμματικήν. ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἄρχομαι, "ἡ πόλις"· σὺ πρόιθι, ὦ Κλέαρχε.
Κ. Ἀλλά, ὦ διδάσκαλε, οὐ μανθάνω τὸ πρόιθι.
Δ. Τὸ πρόιθι τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει τῷ πρόβαινε.
Κ. Ἁλλ’ οὐδὲ τὸ πρόβαινε μανθάνω.
Δ. Οἴμοι τῆς σῆς ἀμαθίας, οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας σοῦ· ἀμφοτέρως ἀποκρίνου, ὦ Γλαῦκε.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς μῆς ἀμαθίας--
Δ. Ἁμαρτάνεις· τί ἔδει λέγειν, ὦ Ὄμηρε;
Ο. Τῆς ἐμῆς ἀμαθίας.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς ἐμῆς ἄμαθίας. οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας μου.
[The master now explains that πρόιθι is the imperative of πρόειμι, I go on, and the imperative and present indicative of εἶμι are learnt form the grammar.]
Δ. Λαβέ νῦν τὴν γύψον, καὶ γράψον τὸ πρόιθι.
[ὁ Γλαῦκος γράφει τὸ προίθι.]
Οἴμοι μάλ’ αὖθις· οὐ γὰρ ὀρθῶς ἔγραψας τὸν τόνον. γράφε πρόιθι. ἆρα ὀρθῶς ἔγραψεν, ὦ μαθηταί;
Μ. Ὀρθῶς. σύ, ὦ Αισχύλε, λέγε τὸ γένος.
[Ὁ Αἰσχύλος ὀρθῶς λέγει.]
Νῦν γράφετε πάντες τὰ ὀνόματα ταῦτα. τί κελεύω;
Μ. Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς πάντας γράφειν τὰ ὀνόματα.
[Γράφουσι, καὶ γραφόντων αὐτῶν περιπατεῖ ὁ διδάσκαλος καὶ μεταγράφει τὰς ἁμαρτίας.]
Δ. Νῦν ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν τὸν μῦθον τὸν περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ. ἀλλὰ μῆν ἐγὼ ἤδη κάμνω--ἆρα μανθάνετε ὅτι λέγει τὸ κάμνω;
Μ. Οὐ μανθάνομεν.
[The verb is explained by action or in English (not translated by a word, but paraphrased) and the chief parts learnt.]
Δ. Ἐμοῦ κάμνοντος, σύ ὦ Εὐριπίδη, ἴσθι διδάσκαλος. ταχέως οὖν ἀνάβαινε ἐπὶ τὸ βῆμα καὶ δίδασκε. ἀγαθὸς γὰρ εἶ διδάσκαλος, ἄριστος μὲν οὖν.
[Ὁ Εὐριπίδης ἀναβαίνει καὶ καθίζει.]
Ε. Ὁρᾶτε πάντες τὴν δέλτον τὴν ὀγδόην καὶ τὸν πρῶτον στίχον. πόστην δέλτον, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Τὴν ὀγδόαν δέλτον.
Δ. (ὑπολαβών) Μὴ λέγε ὀγδόαν, ἀλλὰ ὀγδόην· ὄγδοος, ὀγδόη, ὄγδοον. καὶ σύ, ὦ Αἰσχύλε, μὴ παῖζε. τί κελεύω, ὦ Εὐριπίδη;
Ε. Κελεύεις τὸν Αἰσχύλον μὴ παίζειν.
Δ. Λέγετε ταῦτα πάντες.
[Λέγουσι.]
Πρόιθι διδάσκων, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Ἄρχου ἀναγιγνώσκειν Ἑλληνιστί, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
[Ἁναγιγνώσκει ὁ Αἰσχύλος περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ στίχους ἑπτά.]
Παῦε, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
Α. Παύομαι.
Ε. Κάθιζε, καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ ἄλλοι μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον. τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν ἄνευ βιβλίου τὸ πρῶτον μέρος τοῦ μύθου;
Α. Ἀλλὰ τί λέγει τὸ μέρος; οὐ μανθάνω ἔγωγε.
Δ. Ἐγὼ ἀποκρινοῦμαι ἀντὶ σοῦ, ὦ Εὐριπίδη· μέρος λέγει μόριον, Ἀγγλιστὶ "part." τὸ μέρος, τοῦ μέρους, τῷ μέρει, καὶ τὰ λοιπά, ἀτεχνῶς ὥσπερ τὸ γένος, ὅ νῦν δὴ ἐμάθετε. πρόιθι, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν;
Γ. Ἐγὼ οἷός τέ εἰμι.

ὄρνιθ’ ἔχω κατ’ οἶκον,
ὅς ψιττακὸς καλεῖται.
κάλλιστός ἐστιν ὄρνις,
καὶ ποικίλος τὸ χρῶμα.
καὶ θαῦμα δὴ μέγιστον·
ὅταν γὰρ οἴκαδ’ ἔλθω,
"ὦ χαῖρέ" φης’ "ἄριστε."
Ε. Ἑρμήνευε Ἀγγλιστί.
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Joel Eidsath

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

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 29th, 2015, 12:36 pm

Often stated sentiment wrote:There are no native speakers of Koine Greek.
There is no community of speakers operating only in that language, so there could not be any monolingual native speakers. At best, if both parents were able to speak Greek, and only spoke Greek to the Child in Greek during the later part of pregnancy and for the first month after birth, the child would be a native speaker.

A native speaker (L1) is defined as having exposure to the language "from birth", (i.e. age of onset < 1 month). Cumulative hours of exposure must then be sufficient to allow the language to develop. A simultaneous bilingual (2L1) is someone who has both languages "from birth". A subsequent bilingual is someone who starts learning later. Some people give the age of 4 as a significant age with people starting to learn before the age of 4 as an early-onset second language learner (cL2) as opposed to a second language learner per se (L2).

The way that an L2 naturally learns best seems to be by employing second language resources in a context which maximises cumulative exposure to the language. While common things can be picked by minimal exposure (< 15% of total linguistic exposure per day / week), irregular and unexpected patterns require adequate exposure to allow them to be acquired / retained. Leaving them till later is not a good strategy.

Maintaining an adequate learning environment over time is a challenge even for native speaker parents / or other significant adults.

As with any other post-hoc discussions of terminology, this is not to imply that "native speaker" is used in the sense of "age of onset <1 month", in any other post on this board than this.

Were the authour's of the texts in the New Testament corpus native speakers? Was the Koine used as a wide-spread language of household communication, and in what areas? By way of speculation, perhaps some were cL2, perhaps most were L2. Education and training would have a lot to do with proficiency, and that was by direct teaching and memorisation of passages, familiarisation and copying of good models, as well as other formal training. The eduation and training process would have been what produced educated competent users, able to produce texts, or to bring the autographs of others up to a literary standard. There is another major step beyond fluency and that involves education - preferably in the target language, rather than just about the target language.

Saying that there are no native speakers of Greek is a bit askew of the point, I think. I think it is better to say that there are currently no competent second language users of Greek whom we can take as examples.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 30th, 2015, 3:16 am

[quote="jeidsath quoting Rouse, "Teaching of Greek at the Perse School"]Ε. Ὁρᾶτε πάντες τὴν δέλτον τὴν ὀγδόην καὶ τὸν πρῶτον στίχον. πόστην δέλτον, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Τὴν ὀγδόαν δέλτον.[/quote]
Perhaps in the Victorian era students were scratching out their work on tablets with chalk (and reading from them too). These days however, even on digital tablets, we follow the language of paper books.

The word σελίς (as being a particular "page" of the papyrus role and later codex) or καταβατόν (as referring to the words going down the σελίς, with σελίς being therefore being left to be referred to as the area around the text) - depending on how one visualises the "page", as the paper (σελίς) or the content on the paper (καταβατόν) - would be more suitable in our present age than Rouse' δέλτος.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

jeidsath
Posts: 8
Joined: June 12th, 2014, 11:29 pm

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by jeidsath » April 30th, 2015, 10:42 am

Quite true. You'll find in the introduction to the reader that Rouse is using here, however, that he suggests σελίς in his example instructions to the class. I imagine that he only avoids it in this dialogue because it's third declension, and this is only a few weeks into the course. There are much more advanced classroom transcriptions in the report.
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Joel Eidsath

dmarino
Posts: 8
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 9:17 pm

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by dmarino » April 30th, 2015, 9:14 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote: To go the language learning route and learn Restored Koine, start with Living Koine Book 1, MP4 version. http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/
Thanks Paul! This resource has been thrown out a couple times so far and I am interested in trying it out. I was wondering if you've heard of BibleMesh and their biblical language courses? From what I understand they put a lot more emphasis on reading the text which I've heard is the approach of most European schools use rather than the "learn to decode method" popular in the US. I think both have their strengths.
http://biblemesh.com/course-catalog/biblical-languages
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 1st, 2015, 9:08 am

jeidsath wrote:Quite true. You'll find in the introduction to the reader that Rouse is using here, however, that he suggests σελίς in his example instructions to the class. I imagine that he only avoids it in this dialogue because it's third declension, and this is only a few weeks into the course. There are much more advanced classroom transcriptions in the report.
I'm not in favour of avoiding things that one would naturally use, even if they are "advanced" in terms of a teacher's planned acquisition order for their students. It inadvertently creates a pidgin. Such elements can be introduced as grammatically uncontextualised forms early on and explained in their grammatical context later, as the preprogrammed sequence of learning "catches up" with the material.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 12:50 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
jeidsath wrote:Quite true. You'll find in the introduction to the reader that Rouse is using here, however, that he suggests σελίς in his example instructions to the class. I imagine that he only avoids it in this dialogue because it's third declension, and this is only a few weeks into the course. There are much more advanced classroom transcriptions in the report.
I'm not in favour of avoiding things that one would naturally use, even if they are "advanced" in terms of a teacher's planned acquisition order for their students. It inadvertently creates a pidgin. Such elements can be introduced as grammatically uncontextualised forms early on and explained in their grammatical context later, as the preprogrammed sequence of learning "catches up" with the material.
And this is the beauty of teaching the language as a real language. It is what it is. It does what it does. Whether or not the meta-language is easy or difficult, the expression, by itself, is like any other expression.

I really like the way you've said this: "Such elements can be introduced as grammatically uncontextualised forms early on and explained in their grammatical context later...."
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γράφω μαθεῖν

jeidsath
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Joined: June 12th, 2014, 11:29 pm

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by jeidsath » May 2nd, 2015, 3:10 pm

I had the chance to do a bit of research regarding δέλτος. Apparently I was wrong about the usage. This is all trivial, and perhaps a tangent from the original thread, but I like to correct my mistakes, and it may be interesting on its own account.

In the transcript, Rouse's student, who has at this point taken over teaching the class, tells the class: "Ὁρᾶτε πάντες τὴν δέλτον τὴν ὀγδόην καὶ τὸν πρῶτον στίχον." When Glaucon is asked to repeat this, he misstates it as "τὴν ὀγδόαν δέλτον," Rouse corrects ὀγδόαν but not δἐλτον. Like Stephen, I have been reading this at "page 8," but after looking at the reader itself, I'm incorrect. In fact, the story in question is from "chapter" 8 of Rouse's reader (published 1909, the Perse school report dating from 1914). The lines quoted from memory by the student do not occur anywhere in the Ψιττακός story itself, but rather in a song referenced from a footnote:

ὅρα τὸ μέλος ἐν σελίδι ἑκαστοστῇ εἰκοστῇ ἐνάτῇ.

Notice that Rouse correctly uses σελίς here to mean page. That is beside the point though. The real question to ask is: Can we accept δέλτον as a permissible term for "chapter?" I've heard κεφαλίον for chapter from several sources, but I don't think that usage is ancient. Woodhouse suggests ὁ λόγος instead.

The LSJ describes a shift in usage of δέλτον, which originally meant writing tablet (originally shaped like a triangle or Δ), to any piece of writing. In Lucian it's a will, and the letter from Plato to Dionysius is referred to as being on a δέλτον. Both documents seem a bit too long for wax tablets. The LSJ further gives the example δέλτον χαλκῆν ἐκσφραγισθεῖσαν, which I assume means some document sealed with a copper stamp (I don't know the context), and also "Ὁμήρου δέλτον." I think the last is a reference to this inscription (from the second or third century A.D.): http://telota.bbaw.de/ig/IG%20IX%201%C2%B2,%204,%201036

So, if we can refer to a book of Homer as δέλτον, perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on Rouse for referring to a chapter of his reader that way (or for letting his student do so). Personally, I'm still not sure what word to use for chapter, but I will probably stick with λόγος.
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Joel Eidsath

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 2nd, 2015, 6:39 pm

jeidsath wrote:I've heard κεφαλίον for chapter from several sources, but I don't think that usage is ancient.
Don't know about classical usage, but this is indeed the word in the long Christian exegetical tradition stemming back to (late) antiquity when they started segmenting the New Testament.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

jeidsath
Posts: 8
Joined: June 12th, 2014, 11:29 pm

Re: Your Learning Approach & Pronunciation

Post by jeidsath » May 2nd, 2015, 8:06 pm

Thank you for pointing this out. I had only the word aloud, and had misspelled it. It should be κεφάλαιον.

The LSJ gives example usage of κεφάλαιον as "chapter" from Gnomon of the Idios Logos, which would be 2nd century, though I can't find the example usage. The other LSJ citations are from fifth and sixth century sources. So it does seem to be a perfectly good word for chapter. If you're always sure to include an ordinal alongside, it will be easy to distinguish from the related meaning of "main point" or "topic."
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Joel Eidsath

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