Greek pronunciation

lee matheny leematheny-virginia at whro.net
Tue Jan 12 13:30:13 EST 1999


Hello folks,
I apologize for again asking this question if it's already been posted.
someone recommended "At the lighting of the lamps" by Mcgulkin. BTW,
I am thoroughly enjoying it, both latin and greek. I learned the 
erasmusian pronunciation. The author then says something on page xiv
"there is a pronunciation guide to Greek given below. This follows
Byzantine phonetic practice, very similar to modern Greek. It is
arguably the correct way to pronounce the new testament texts (there is
a recorded conversation between Tiberius and Caesar Augustus which only
makes sense if one presumes an approximation to Byzantine phonetics),
but it is undoubtedly the correct way to pronounce the Greek patristic
texts."
What gives? Carl, I trust your knowledge of Attic greek (and in many
other matters). What conversation could he be talking about? What
considerations would lead someone to such a conclusion? poetry?
What pronunciation is most proper? I conclude my tirade with a couple of 
observations/theories. 
1. Greek was certainly pronounced differently in different regions of 
empire.
Q. Why did greek not "degenerate" into other languages like Latin did?
   Too little time before being crowded out?
2. Would not a language change over 2 millennia (sp)? English is quite
different just 500 years ago? Or is there a difference in that English
was so poor a language that it had to borrow from latin/french?
3. finally to bring this back to b-greek criteria. Is there any example
of where pronunciation could make a difference in translation? The
accents? or the more obvious hymns? if they were sung is that a clue on
pronunciation?

thanks, sorry so long. I will probably write in another two years. I 
read the list but am too unsure to add to most discussions. hopefully
learning. I even have a notebook to write down terms with definitions
and examples. started with mood, aspect, predicate, now circling back
to aspect a while back. <smile>

take care,
lee



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