Pronunciation Help

Rbsads at Rbsads at
Wed Mar 6 22:02:47 EST 2002

Pronunciation is a hard question for us self learning beginners, and have 
hesitated asking the list as there seems to be a wide range of scholarly 
opinion. I have tried over the last year to be consistent, but have recently 
changed some vowel pronounciations after considering various recommendations 
from Summers, Mounce, White, and Crosby/Schaeffer.

I try to follow accent marks consistently, and use them as indicators for 
long and short vowels.

I have tried to distinguish long and short alpha, iota, and upsilon as 
follows: long alpha like father, short alpha like cat; long iota like 
machine, short iota like kit; long upsilon like hue, short upsilon like cup.

I have read that alpha may not have had a different long and short sound in 
Koine Greek, but it makes sense to me to have a distinct sound for the long 
and short alpha.

Most texts do not seem to differentiate between long and short upsilon.
Again, it makes sense to me to be consistent by distinguishing the long and 
short sounds.

I try to pronounce all consonants. The PN combination though is especially 

I pronounce omicron as pot and omega as home. I understand that modern Greek 
pronounces both omicron and omega as the English long O.

I pronounce alpha-iota dipthong as long "i" in like.  I pronounce 
epsilon-iota dipthong as long "a" in freight. I try to give epsilon-upsilon a 
double sound such as "e-oo" (short e). Similarly with HU, as "a-oo" (long a).

I had never read that EU might be pronounced as "ev" or that AU might be 
pronounced as "av".  And I have not read of a difference between velar and 
palatal pronunciations. I thought that velar and palatal were merely 
different names for that class of mutes.

I pronounce subscripted alpha long as in father.  All 1st declension E,I,R 
stem nouns in the singular with long alpha for the ending (father sound) and 
all 1st declension accusative plural with long alpha for the ending (father 
sound). I pronounce other 1st declension stems with short alpha for the 
nominative and accusative singular endings. 

I pronounce the ending alpha for plural nominative and accusative neuter 
nouns with short alpha (as in cat).

It would be good to know if any of these are outside acceptable options.


Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN


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Please let me know if it worked.


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