Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Is vocalizing the Greek words and sentences important? If so, how should Greek be pronounced (what arguments can be made for one pronunciation over another or others?) How can I write Greek characters clearly and legibly?
R. Perkins
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Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by R. Perkins » June 9th, 2016, 4:29 am

*Quick question: I recently heard a man claiming to be well versed in exegesis pronouncing the article ὁ as "Ho" with the long sounding O as in an ὧ (he was quoting John 20.28)? He does this type of thing all the time & I'm wondering if I'm missing something? Is this acceptable in, say, transliteration speech? It sounds like he's pronouncing the omicron as an omega (I've heard other grammarians do this).

*He does the same thing w. ὄνομα, pronouncing the long sounding "ὧ" vowel, as sounding like "ὧνομα" (which, again, sounds erroneous to me)? Again, I may be missing something since I've only had Greek I & some subsequent exegetical study - so I wanted to come to those who know better than I :oops:.

*Thank you in advance!
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 9th, 2016, 7:32 am

R. Perkins wrote:I recently heard a man claiming to be well versed in exegesis pronouncing the article ὁ as ...
Pronunciation has nothing to do with exegesis. There's a variety of pronunciations for New Testament Greek. Sounds like you probably learned Erasmian pronunciation, which carefully distinguishes ω/o. Erasmian pronunciation was never an authentic pronunciation, but lots of good exegetes use Erasmian pronunciation, which was made up by Erasmus in the middle ages.

It's true that ι/ει, υ/οι, and ω/o were probably distinguished in earlier Greek. This distinction was probably lost by the New Testament period.
The most significant changes during the Koine Greek period concerned vowels: these were the loss of vowel length distinction, the substitution of the Ancient Greek system of pitch accent with a stress accent system, and the monophthongization of diphthongs (except αυ and ευ). These changes seem widely attested from the 2nd century BC in Egyptian Greek, and in the early 2nd century AD in learned Attic inscriptions; it is therefore likely that they were already common in the 2nd century BC and generalized no later than the 2nd century AD.
Many people here on B-Greek use a Restored Greek pronunciation, in which ω/o are pronounced the same way.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by cwconrad » June 9th, 2016, 11:24 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:... Erasmian pronunciation, which carefully distinguishes ω/o. Erasmian pronunciation was never an authentic pronunciation, but lots of good exegetes use Erasmian pronunciation, which was made up by Erasmus in the middle ages.
It is true that what is called "the Erasmian pronunciation of Greek" is in common use in places where ancient Greek is still taught and pronounced in the U.S., but if I may quibble a bit (I quibble ad nauseam), Erasmus is not usually considered medieval but rather a leading figure of the renaissance, and he did not exactly "make up" the "Erasmian pronunciation." The history of pronunciation of ancient Greek since the time of Erasmus is complex and not a matter of universal consensus. It's easier to set forth the options open to students today and talk about advantages and disadvantages each option.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 9th, 2016, 8:26 pm

When I taught Greek at Duke, I used the British short-o sound for omicron (which doesn't exist in American English but the Aussies have it), and my American students almost invariably heard it as a long-o. It also really bugged them when they heard their classmates in the other Greek section pronounce omicron with an American short-o, which frankly sounds like a Greek alpha to me.

Erasmian has little to do with this, except that it recommends a slightly different sound for a short-o and a long-o, which has major consequences in American speakers. They are merged in Restored Koine. The problem is that, with the American "father-bother" merger, the short-o and the broad-a have merged, leading a lot of American students of Greek to pronounce οmicron as αlphα and be upset when they hear οmicron sound like ωmega, when the Koine Greek speaker would have had the opposite reaction.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 10th, 2016, 7:56 am

Differentiating vowel lengths AND using a stress accent is un-Greek.

When Greek changed from pitch to stress accent, the length of vowels became dependent on whether they were in a stressed syllable or not. The inherent length of the vowels was lost.

Previously there were short vowels on the one hand and long vowels and diphthongs on the other. When inherent vowel length was leveled on favour of variable vowel length, the long vowel omega went to its nearest corresponding short vowel omicron. The diphthongs were monophthonised in a number of ways. The labiovelar approximant [w] lengthened the first element of the diphthong to conform to the new standardarised vowel length, and the labiovelar approximant became a consonant, either the voiced or unvoiced labiodental fricatives [v] or [f]. The front closing diphthong αι's monophthongisation happened by become a simple vowels somewhere near the midpoint between [a] and . A similar midpoint type of monophthongisation happened with the οι diphthong resulting in its merging with the upsilon.

Pronouncing Greek with long/short vowel distinction and/or with diphthongs as diphthongs AND with word stress not pitch accent is anachronistic. No authentic Greek pronunciation has ever done that.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

R. Perkins
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by R. Perkins » June 11th, 2016, 4:16 am

*Okay, thanks for the responses. But, (& pls. pardon my ignorance here) - it seems as if I'm reading conflicting info.? I realize there's much debate over the precise pronunciation of ancient Koine. But, to me, an omicron & omega respectively make the sounds they're supposed to make?

*Sort of like when folks say "Lωgωs" in English (which drives me insane). To me, this is a clue the speaker has not had formal Greek training (& immediately causes me to be suspect of anything they claim "in the Greek"). Same thing in this situation - or no?

*Thank you so much for all the help (this is not for a class or anything - just trying to learn).
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 11th, 2016, 9:34 am

R. Perkins wrote:Sort of like when folks say "Lωgωs" in English (which drives me insane).
Do you mean that "Lωgωs" is pronounced the same as the word "logo" with a "s" at the end?

The "o"s in that word are pronounced as the diphthong /əʊ/ or /oʊ/, not a simple long vowel sound.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 11th, 2016, 10:45 am

R. Perkins wrote:*Sort of like when folks say "Lωgωs" in English (which drives me insane). To me, this is a clue the speaker has not had formal Greek training (& immediately causes me to be suspect of anything they claim "in the Greek"). Same thing in this situation - or no?
Well, it looks like then that every person using the Restored Koine pronunciation will drive you insane.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 11th, 2016, 5:54 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
R. Perkins wrote:*Sort of like when folks say "Lωgωs" in English (which drives me insane). To me, this is a clue the speaker has not had formal Greek training (& immediately causes me to be suspect of anything they claim "in the Greek"). Same thing in this situation - or no?
Well, it looks like then that every person using the Restored Koine pronunciation will drive you insane.
And that includes quite a few people here ...
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Pronunciation of the Article "Ho"?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » June 11th, 2016, 8:12 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
R. Perkins wrote:Sort of like when folks say "Lωgωs" in English (which drives me insane).
Do you mean that "Lωgωs" is pronounced the same as the word "logo" with a "s" at the end?

The "o"s in that word are pronounced as the diphthong /əʊ/ or /oʊ/, not a simple long vowel sound.
Or when Santa says " ᾧ ᾧ ᾧ "
Watch out for those Hos :-)
Shirley R.
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