[Ads-l] More Facebook-ing

Paul A Johnston, Jr. paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Fri Jul 10 02:35:39 UTC 2015


I've heard Greeks say that the pronunciation never changed--i. e. that Ancient Greek was pronounced exactly like Standard Modern Greek, despite all the linguistic evidence and testimony of Hellenistic grammarians.



----- Original Message -----
> From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2015 10:11:54 PM
> Subject: Re: More Facebook-ing
> 
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> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: More Facebook-ing
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> > On Jul 9, 2015, at 9:21 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >=20
> > On Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 10:34 AM, Laurence Horn =
> <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> > wrote:
> >=20
> >> 'oxi
> >=20
> >=20
> > Homer made do with a monosyllabic long omicron, spelled "ou."
> 
> Although "The rarer =CE=BF=E1=BD=90=CF=87=CE=AF
> (=CE=BF=E1=BD=90-=CF=87=CE=
> =AF) denies with greater emphasis than =CE=BF=E1=BD=90."  (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).
> =20
> 
> LH=20
> 
> > 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.
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> > --=20
> > -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
> >=20
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