The "ν" sound after "μ" + nonsyllabic "i"

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by panettonea, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. panettonea Senior Member

    Αγγελος mentioned that words in which μ is followed by an "i" sound that has lost its syllabic value, such as μια, have an "ν" sound after the "μ." Assuming I understood him correctly, that would mean that μια should sound like mnya.

    However, I find it difficult to pronounce the word that way. Pronouncing it mya is so much easier. Is it wrong to say it that way, or is the "ν" sound so subtle that you can hardly hear it anyway?
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  3. panettonea Senior Member

  4. Perseas Senior Member

  5. panettonea Senior Member

    Really? Perhaps one has to be a native speaker of Greek to hear the "n" in those clips then, because I really can't hear it. Maybe that means that even if I can't hear myself saying the ɲ, a native speaker could. ;)

    Incidentally, this page lists both mɲa and mja, but perhaps the latter is not "official."μια

    This reminds me a bit of English. Most English dictionaries will tell you that the vowel sound in "bat" is the same as the vowel sound in "bank." Nonsense. I don't know anybody who pronounces those vowels the same. Maybe in other places they do, but not in the U.S.
  6. panettonea Senior Member

    This is interesting. I asked my mother how she pronounces μια. To give some background, when my grandparents were growing up in rural Greece (over 100 years ago), education was rare. At most, children got about a second- or third-grade education, and often the girls got none. So, my grandparents spoke uneducated peasant Greek. For instance, my maternal grandmother, who was never allowed to go to school at all, used to pronounce έτσι etch. My parents were born in the U.S., so their Greek was second-generation uneducated peasant Greek :), which unfortunately they didn't even pass on to their children.

    Anyway, my mother clearly pronounces the ν in μια, but with an interesting twist--she adds a vowel between the μ and the ν: minya. I guess folks in Greece would get a kick out of that one. :)
  7. Αγγελος Senior Member

    As long as the vowel she inserts is more in the nature of an ι than of an ου...:)
  8. panettonea Senior Member

    It definitely is. And with the help of a dictionary, I think I understand your concerns. ;)

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