Pronounciation of PNEUMA

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Fri Jan 10 05:52:57 EST 2003


Bert,

Regarding Bet Zata, a couple of thoughts. First, if it's easier for you, the 
distinction between tau and theta was quite likely one of spirantization, 
rather than friction. In other words, th was supposed to be an easy equivalent 
for students to learn, but it's actually the difference between saying a t 
with and without a release of air. (In English, the difference usually arises 
without the realization of the speaker between t following a vowel and 
following a consonant.) Maybe that would be easier for you, and if so, it 
would be more accurate anyway :-)

My other thought was that this is not a Greek word at all, so maybe you have 
nothing to worry about. It appears to be Aramaic, which would be perfectly 
acceptable, if you feel inclined, to pronounce like Modern Hebrew and treat 
the thetas as taus. Problem solved :-) (It might help, too, that there are 
actually two words--bet, meaning house, and zata, meaning olive.)

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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