A recent post on the Classics for Everyone blog might be of interest to a number of readers, particularly those who recently attended the Summer Greek school here at Newman.
At the beginning of the week we spent some time discussing the problems that are posed concerning how to pronounce words of a language that is no longer in use. This problem is exacerbated by differences in conventions relating to pronunciation of Classic and Koine Greek, different institutional and national preferences, as well as a school of thought that is seeking to adopt modern Greek forms.
We also looked at a few ways that do help us to approximate (at least) how we think various letter forms and dipthongs were sounded; sound effects in plays (notably Aristophanes’ Frogs ), onomatopoeic words, as well as apparent auditory errors in the copying of manuscripts. However, we also noted that the oral aspect of Koine is helpful (I’d argue essential) in not only learning the language and helping words to register in our minds, but it also helps to make sense of some of the language’s idiosyncracies (for example, why some endings differ depending on whether the following word begins with a vowel or consonant).
Classics for Everyone‘s post below explores this question in much more detail:
Just sounding it out? Greek and Latin from speech to page | Classics for Everyone.