[Ads-l] More Facebook-ing

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 10 02:11:54 UTC 2015

> On Jul 9, 2015, at 9:21 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 10:34 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>> 'oxi
> Homer made do with a monosyllabic long omicron, spelled "ou."

Although "The rarer οὐχί (οὐ-χί) denies with greater emphasis than οὐ."  (Don't know if those cut-and-paste jobs will be transmittable, but if not, that' s /'ouxi/, more or less.)  And isn't it "ouk" before vowels?  Or does that come after Homer?   Then of course there's the non-finite /me:/ negator, roughly corresponding to Latin "ne" as opposed to "non".

I remember that "vee" story but I have to (sheepishly) admit that I'd forgotten it was from M. Pei, a.k.a., in my undergraduate days, he whose name must not be spoken (before it was almost entirely forgotten).  


> OTOH, moderns
> have coalesced Homer's diphthonged "nai" into the /nE/ that Larry notes,
> but without bothering to update the spelling. The legendary linguist, Mario
> Pei, noted this phenomenon when he pointed out - or, perhaps, merely
> asserted - that Greek-speaking sheep of today supposedly say "vee, vee,"
> instead of  "baa, baa," as all other good, Indo-European-speaking sheep do,
> because the Greeks have retained the ancient orthography, despite the fact
> that the sounds represented by that orthography are no longer extant.
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
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