[B-Greek] language pronunciation

Nicholas Aggelopoulos n_aggelopoulos at hotmail.com
Sat May 2 18:43:43 EDT 2009






Some of these languages are no longer living languages, therefore there is no option available but to attempt to reconstruct the pronunciation. That of Esperanto is artificial of course. The irony is that whereas the Cambridge choirs for example pronounce Angelus ad Virginem as Andzelus ad Virdzinem (i.e. as a voiced palato-alveolar affricate), clearly dismissing the historic pronunciation, the equivalent practice regarding Greek pronunciation has been until recently to pronounce Greek, a living language, in an artificial "reconstructed" style. 

As with Latin, some say that the English of Shakespeare differed from today's - indeed John Donne does not always rhyme in Modern English because the pronunciation has changed. Yet most people read John Donne at Universities in the Modern English style, even with an American pronunciation, without anyone protesting. Shakespeare plays are normally in the Modern English pronunciation. On the other hand, the language of the Byzantine scholars at the time of Erasmus and Shakespeare as far as we know was not significantly different from today's Greek in its pronunciation, but with Greek we have a problem. 

Indeed the assumption was that Greek pronunciation had "degenerated" in Byzantine times - and not in the classical period. Presumably it would not be possible for the Greeks of ancient times to be "degenerates", being the subject of study by Professors of the time, whereas the new Greeks of Byzantium who nobody studied must have been responsible for much degeneration. Homer whose language was a mix of Ionian, Aeolian and Doric was apparently of a pure undegenerated Erasmian standard. Is it acceptable for Greeks to find this special "restoration" of the ancient Greek pronunciation flattering, unusual, surprising? The Erasmian school almost by definiton took no interest in the Orthodox Church and Byzantine scholarship. Greek literature and scholarship post New Testament has been summarily dismissed by the Erasmians.

Nikolaos Aggelopoulos

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> From: leonardo1orchardcity at mac.com
> Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 04:25:56 -0500
> To: lightmanmark at yahoo.com; b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] language pronunciation
> 
> Coptic is not a living language?
> 
> How about Tocharian, or Oscan or Umbrian, none of which I know a thing 
> about, other than the latter being related to Latin.
> On Apr 30, 2009, at 10:17 PM, Mark Lightman wrote:
> 
> > There's also Coptic, Northumbrian and Esperonto, but I don't
> > want to give Buth any ideas.  ;)
> >  
> > Mark L.
> >
> > --- On Thu, 4/30/09, Jeffrey T. Requadt 
> > <jeffreyrequadt_list at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > From: Jeffrey T. Requadt <jeffreyrequadt_list at hotmail.com>
> > Subject: RE: [B-Greek] language pronunciation
> > To: lightmanmark at yahoo.com, "'B Greek'" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 8:16 PM
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Really? What about other ancient languages? I haven’t had any 
> > experience with them.
> >  
> >
> > From: Mark Lightman [mailto:lightmanmark at yahoo.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 7:14 PM
> > To: 'B Greek'; Jeffrey T. Requadt
> > Subject: Re: [B-Greek] language pronunciation
> >  
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- On Thu, 4/30/09, Jeffrey T. Requadt 
> > <jeffreyrequadt_list at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Can anyone think of any languages, other than Greek, that have had a
> > pronunciation "created" for them (such as Erasmian)? I'm not
> > talking about
> > distinctions between dialects, socio-economic classes, etc. I'm talking
> > about pronunciation that it taught, and used, only in universities.
> >
> >  
> >
> > Ugaritic.
> >
> >  
> >
> > Mark L.
> >  
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
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> > Version: 8.0.238 / Virus Database: 270.12.11/2089 - Release Date: 
> > 04/30/09 17:53:00
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
> > B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> > B-Greek mailing list
> > B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
> 
> ---
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