[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).  

LH 

> 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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