EHOBBS at WELLESLEY.EDU
Fri Jul 17 16:48:40 EDT 1998
Dale Wheeler mentions "*three* pronunciation schemes abroad" for
ancient Greek: (1) modern (ala Zodhiates), (2) strict Erasmian, and
I would have thought that (2) and (3) were identical (the "classical" being
the nearest to "strict" Erasmian). But perhaps he means that many
classicists now teach following the (fairly recent) _Vox Graeca_
style. I would have thought that the third type might be what is usually
taught in seminaries, pronouncing Phi as "f" instead of plosive "p",
Theta as "th" instead of plosive "t", etc. (Many seminaries teach an
unbelievable Omicron pronunciation: as "ah"!) The recent-decades reversal
of Omicron and Omega varies from university to university.
It is true that Germans tend to pronounce "EI" like a German "ei" (as in
"mein") and often Zeta as "ts" like a German "z". And in Britain, in past
generations Greek was pronounced as though the vowels were English, and the
accent as in Latin. The wonderful sentence was "Irene met a sow!" (EIRHNH
META SOU). Americans need to recall that in Britain, "Irene" is usually
pronounced with three syllables (eye-REE-nee).
I once made tapes of parts of the GNT for my classes. I found, when
listening to them myself, that my American speech-patterns affected what I
was pronouncing, though I didn't hear myself doing it as I spoke the Greek.
(I grew up in the Midwest, hated the Chicago accent I heard, and to a
degree imitated my parents' soft Virginia accent. That showed up on these
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