Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at
Fri May 10 21:46:16 EDT 2002

At 08:07 PM 5/10/2002 -0400, Andrew W. Carlson wrote:
>What I was confused about was in Erasumian Pronunciation (the standard
>pronuctiantion for Koine Greek that is taught) are the vowels A, I, and U
>always pronounced long as in their alphabetical names, or are they
>pronunced both short and long?

Technically, yes.  But, as vowel length is not phonemic in English, almost
no one, however, actually does that in the U.S.  (In English, a so-called
long vowel actually changes its quality.)

>If so, how do you determine whether or not to pronounce the vowel in
>question long or short?

It's marked in dictionaries.  If you know the rules for the
accents, you can make some inferences.  For example, if the
A, I, or U carries a circumflex accent, it is always long.
Also, Greek poetry follows certain metrical rules, so if you
see a word in Homer, for instance, you can in some circumstances
infer the length of an A, I, U in the word.  That's where the
dictionary writers get their information.

>Andrew W. Carlson

Stephen Carlson, no relation
Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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