[B-Greek] Modern vs. Erasmian pronunciation, something new

Curtis Hinson curtis at curtishinson.com
Thu Nov 30 16:45:33 EST 2006

That certainly all rings a bell.  There is a mythology regarding 
pronunciation that is deeply rooted and that flies in the face of a fair 
examination of phonological evidence and language acquisition theory.  
It is, in a word, closed-minded and un-scholarly. 

My experience these past few years teaching off and on has been that 
students who learn modern pronunciation from me have had no complaints 
about understanding the accent, never having known any other.  Erasmian 
students complain sometimes about a Greek accent when they hear it.  
This observation makes me suspect that we are indeed creatures of habit, 
even those with far more scholarly experience and background than I.  So 
we should cultivate and teach good habits to begin with, instead of bad 
ones, lest we later waste time defending systems that are merely bad 
habits and not good scholarship or good pedagogy.

I've been thinking that English is a big mess.  You know, we have vocab 
sourced from several different languages and one can't tell the 
pronunciation of a word by looking at it's spelling, one just has to 
know.  So why don't we pick a phonology from a source language and throw 
out the others?  That way "hors d'oeuvre" will finally sound like "horse 
doh-vrah", it's less work for students.  Or I guess instead we could 
just pick some random alien phonology that has nothing to do with 
English and use that.  Oh, wait, just kidding.  :-D

Bless the Name
Curtis Hinson

Randall Buth wrote the following on 11/30/2006 1:24 PM:
> I share some of your concerns and even your history. During the 80's
> to early 90's I
> was using a modern pronunciation. Around 1995-1996 while sitting in
> Africa far afield
> from most NT centers, Bible translation colleagues convinced me that
> no one in NT
> studies would listen to "modern" materials, even if pedagogically
> sound. The same
> people all agreed that a "Koine" pronunciation would need to be used. I agreed.

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