[B-Greek] Syllabification

Bert de Haan dehaanaf at gmail.com
Wed May 14 20:39:40 EDT 2008

 Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote:

 > I'd say that Mounce's rule is not so much wrong as that it's
oversimplified and that this particular example is a distinctly bad
one. It is true that EMPROSQEN derives from prefix EN (with N
assimilated to P), PROS and QEN (the ablatival suffix). But it can in
fact be separated into syllables with the S counted with the preceding
syllable or with the following syllable. See Smyth §§138-141
(http://tinyurl.com/6ypjh4): "S, when followed by one or more
consonants, is either attached to the preceding vowel (A-RIS-TOS), or,
with the consonant, begins the following syllable (A-RI-STOS). (The
ancients were not consistent, and there is evidence for the
pronunciation A-RIS-STOS.)"
> or Funk §§060-061 (http://tinyurl.com/5cdunl). I would myself prefer to divide EM-PROS-QEN, but where this really matters is in metrical versification.

(BdH) I have not bothered to commit any of the syllabification rules
to memory because I could not see the importance in knowing them. Even
in metrical versification, it doesn't make a difference if the
consonants are divided between two syllables or if they are kept
together in one syllable does it?  Either way there are two consonants
following a vowel. I can't discern a difference in pronunciation
either but that could easily be due to pronouncing the words wrong
either way.  I can understand how A-RIS-STOS might be pronounced
differently if the two Sigmas are both pronounced making for a longer
sounding sigma.  But I would pronounce ARIS-TOS the way I would
pronounce ARI-STOS.  Just like I pronounce "keep out" the way I would
pronounce "key pout" (at least at normal speaking speed but poetry
maybe shouldn't be read like that.)
Bert de Haan.

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