[B-Greek] Grammatical question: double dots over a vowel

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Jun 27 12:59:26 EDT 2006

On Jun 27, 2006, at 12:43 PM, Lillian Belt wrote:

> What do the double dots over a vowel mean?  Are they phonetic  
> markings or something esle?
>   Examples:  in the name of Isaiah - Matt 3: 3
>                     in the name of Moses - Matt 17: 3
>                     in the word hallelujah - Rev 19:  6

This is called a "diaeresis"; it regularly appears in Greek texts  
where the second vowel of what is normally a diphthong is to be  
pronounced as a separate vowel.

Thus Mt 3:3 HSAIOU with diaeresis over the iota means that this word  
has four syllables: H-SA-I-OU, not the three H-SAI-OU that it would  
normally (without the diaeresis) have.
So Mt 17:3 MWUSHS with diaeresis over the upsilon means that this  
word as three syllables: MW-U-SHS, not the two MWU-SHS that it would  
normally have.
So Rev 19:6 ALLHLOUIA with daeresis over the iota means that this  
word has five syllables: AL-LH-LOU-I-A, not the four AL-LH-LOUI-A  
that it would normally have.

You really ought to cite these words in the Greek text (using the  
standard BG transliteraiton scheme set forth in the FAQ.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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