What do you do with spirits and stress in modern pronunciati

< Previous | Next >

Arthur Fomalhaut

New Member
Portuguese- Portugal Spanish-Spain
I have read posting rules, and I dont intent to open a debate on pronunciation of Ancient Greek.

Only, I would be grateful, if those using modern, like the polyglot Prof. Argüelles does, or maybe we could say Bizantine, pronunciation tell me:

- what they do with spirits, /h/ or what
- even if the original stress is not of intensity, I feel a psychological need to place a consistent intensity stress somewhere, so dont know what to do, whether to take the graphic ancient one -and that is a problem cause it moves- or try to look for inspiration in some remnant of the word, or just the word, in Modern Greek -and for that I lack knowledge-

any other kind of thought of indication will be appreciated

I need to solve this else I cant study; I am perfectionist, obsessive student; please help :)

much obliged
 
Last edited:
  • Δημήτρης

    Senior Member
    Cypriot Greek
    When reading Ancient Greek using the modern Greek pronunciation:
    - /h/ is not pronounced
    - grave, acute and circumflex have the same use, to show which syllable is stressed
    - There is no distinction between long and short sounds
    - η,υ,ει,οι,υι merged to /i/ 'ι", αι το /e/ "ε", ω to /o/ "ο".
    - voiced plosives /b d g/ are voiced fricatives /v δ γ/
    - aspirated plosives /ph th kh/ are voiceless fricatives /f θ x/
    - nasal+voiceless plosives /nt mp ŋk/ are voiced plosives with optional prenasalization /(n)d (m)b (ŋ)g/

    This is pretty much how do we pronounce Ancient Greek, using the same phonetic values as in modern Greek.
     

    Arthur Fomalhaut

    New Member
    Portuguese- Portugal Spanish-Spain
    Thanks a lot, Demetrios;

    So I will ignore spirits always, that would be awkward as I used to do them when I studied at high school, and follow the moving stress -fake- of intensity; I find it uncomfortable in my mind but thats it

    I have now a unified pronunciation for all Greeks !!!!

    However after some brain racking I ve made my mind to keep:

    - rounded ipsilon in both Attic and koine-biblical
    - double consonants and /dz/ for zeta in Attic

    this way I give a touch to the old ones, as markers of something different from Modern

    very happy and frankly, I feel I found the truth, the best way
     

    Δημήτρης

    Senior Member
    Cypriot Greek
    Oh, I forgot to mention that change: ζ /dz/ is [z] in the modern pronunciation. If you say [dz], a Greek will understand τζ, not ζ. It's depends on your audience whether it's better to use [dz] and [y] rather than [z] and .
     

    Peano

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Catalan
    I'd like to know your opinion about removing the accents and spirits sometimes. Particularly from the Greek text "Πάτερ ἡμῶν" in the Wikipedia's article on Interglossa, which I myself edited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglossa#Sample_text

    When I look at the text, I feel so puzzled by so many tiny accents and spirits on it, they make the text seem much harder than it is! Then I wish to simply remove all those accents and spirits. But then I doubt, I don't know if this would be a crime, or rather an acceptable practice in a didactic context like this?
     

    Δημήτρης

    Senior Member
    Cypriot Greek
    Of course it's not a crime, writing sans-accents is a non-standard, informal practice mainly used when chatting on the Internet. But in an encyclopedia, I would expect monotonic accentuation for modern Greek text or quotations of ancient Greek phrases that survive in the modern language and polytonic accentuation for 'pure' ancient Greek. So, I advice you to keep the clutter on Πάτερ ἡμῶν.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_diacritics
     

    Peano

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Catalan
    Thanks to both. Actually, the question is whether to remove the spirits. To remove the accents is definitely a bad idea, yet at least they may be simplified (ώ instead of ῶ, etc.)
    In view of the Βικιπαίδεια link shown by Acestor, the γενικά version with only accents seems to be an acceptable alternative to the πρωτότυπο spirited version.
     

    Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Me again. I've just looked it up, to be on the safe side. The term "breathing" was actually introduced in 1746, while the English "spirit" and the Latin "spiritus" were the terms used till then. "Spiritus asper" and "spiritus lenis" might still make an appearance here and there.
     

    Peano

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Catalan
    Thanks. I actually learnt the word from a French Assimil handbook ("l'esprit"), and I gave it the simplest translation to English, ignoring that spirit was just the traditional English term.
    Anyway, it's good to know that the original sense of Latin spiritus was just breathing (from spirare breath). That's a good case of etymology! (breathing > life > soul).
     

    Arthur Fomalhaut

    New Member
    Portuguese- Portugal Spanish-Spain
    Thank you all.

    I have been revising starting lessons with my newly found pronunciation model and I find that actually it is much more comfortable, I think there are more words whose pronunciation is facilitated than made awkwarder.
    When it comes to etymological-sounding components into modern languages, some become obscure, but in compensation some come up with same sound, for example I dont know hema-

    Also it is thrilling to know that one day I can be reading New Testament with pretty much accurate sound as it actually was. If some day some time travel technology is made available to us, I will be able to talk to people there ha ha. Somehow dont have same plans for classic period :)

    Happens here the same that in Latin. Modern pronunciations have all the advantages: easier, sounding better, having a conection to a modern useful language, preparing to it, bigger chunk of time covered, facilitates using the language as a lingua franca again...

    I dont understand the nonsense of reconstructed pronunciations... they say it is about accuracy, but actually nobody does long vowels in Latin or intonational stress in Greek, so what kind of accuracy is that?

    Languages are always studied with the latest extant pronunciation; which student of German worries about some old German pronunciation? It is stupid.

    Sorry I said I didnt intended to open a debate. Thread closed :)
     
    Last edited:

    Arthur Fomalhaut

    New Member
    Portuguese- Portugal Spanish-Spain
    Pardon me Dimitris or someone, if you're still around, one last question please.

    How do you pronounce diphthongs in isolation such as the adverb "eu" (well). I am already used and happy doing /ef/ or /ev/ inside words, but when I see this eu alone it is so strange to pronounce /ef/... wouldnt be possible to do the Erasmian so to say diphthong for a change?
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Languages are always studied with the latest extant pronunciation; which student of German worries about some old German pronunciation? It is stupid.
    As a matter of fact, if your subject is Mittelhochdeutsch or Althochdeutsch, you do worry about correct (better said: reconstructed) pronunciation.

    Latin is a separate case: there are several standards: reconstructed Classical pronunciation and various national standards, influenced by the pronunciation of their own language. There are also at least two singing standards: "ce, ci = tse, tsi" (the "German" way) and "ce, ci = che, chi" (ch like in English or Spanish), the "Italian" way.

    The same goes for Greek. Even with Classical Greek you have the problem of the various stages like Preclassical, Classical or Hellenistic Greek, and besides that, various dialects. So you can really do almost anything you like, provided your system is consequent and coherent. The modern traditional pronunciation of Ancient Greek is mostly a compromiss between Ancient and Modern Greek with elements of national pronunciation habits.

    At this moment I'm shaping my own way to pronounce Ancient Greek... it's fluid and in motion.
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    "actually nobody does long vowels in Latin"
    Are you sure? I don't see why Czechs or Hungarians, who have distinctions of length in their own language in all syllables (or just the stressed ones) wouldn't do it! To us, of course, who lack such distinctions in our mother tongues, it seems like an exercise in futility...
    Hungarian friends tell me that Hungarian poetry does rely on distinctions of quantity. IF (and that's a big if) using a reconstructed pronunciation could make ancient poetry sound less like prose to us moderns, that would be a big advantage.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Czech and Hungarian spelling marks every long syllable as such. In German you have quantity distinctions only in stressed syllables. It isn't marked as such with an accent, but you mostly can deduce it from context: diphthongs count as long vowels, ß in modern spelling comes only after long vowels and ss after short ones (like in Floß and floss), open syllables usually have long vowels, syllables with one consonant in the syllable coda have either long or short vowels, and some letters are used as lengthening marks: h after pretty every vowel, e after i. Of course, there are exceptions such as loans from foreign languages or words where there was once a vowel that was lost at some stage: Trost has a long closed vowel, the tonic e in Frevler is also long and closed, but this is because the first syllable in Frevel is open.

    So, in theory, Germans should distinguish long and short vowels in Latin, but in practice, this distinction isn't systematically taught at school (at least where I went to school, i. e. in Northern Germany). I think this is due to the fact that Latin has no native speakers and that Latin classes in Germany focus on grammar & translation. By the way, even in modern foreign languages teaching correct pronunciation is not taught systematically or, at least, not insisted upon.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings all

    So, in theory, Germans should distinguish long and short vowels in Latin, but in practice, this distinction isn't systematically taught at school (at least where I went to school, i. e. in Northern Germany)
    Fascinating observation. At a Latin summer-school a few years back in which I tried to teach Latin (in German) to Swiss German-speakers, including some Ovid Met., I found it almost impossible to convey the Metrik of hexameters, because they found it so hard to distinguish between long and short vowels. "Es ist..." became invariably "Es īsch", for example.

    Σ
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    I think in Northern Germany you shouldn't have problems with that, except that you should insist on keeping the distinctions in every syllable, not just the tonic ones.

    Swiss German (Alemannic, also spoken across the border in Baden-Württemberg), for all I know, also distinguishes between short and long vowels, but their distribution obeys to completely different laws. It's comparable to the distribution of open and closed vowels in Italians as spoken in Northern Italy (except the regions Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia), largely depending on syllable structure (but e before nC is invariably closed) and Standard Italian (largely etymological).
    So Standard German "Es ist" becoming Alemannic "es īsch" does not surprise me at all, since in Switzerland the local dialects have a very strong position, unlike the dialects in Germany. Many, if not most, Swiss German native speakers speak Hochdeutsch with a strong local accent. I've been told it is even called Schriftdeutsch...
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Moderator's note: The discussion, though interesting, has veered far from the OP question and, indeed, this forum's acceptable content. Please continue via PM or, if you wish to, contact me so I can move the discussion to another forum.
    Subsequent posts that do not address the OP will be deleted.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top