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Thread: Diphtongs in classical greek

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Diphtongs in classical greek

    How were the „oi” „ai” „au” „eu” (now [i] [e] [af/av] [ef/ev]) pronounced back then?

    I know the b->v and mp->b changes, but not these. When selecting Thraikioi Podromoi I hear it as it's written, not Threki Podromi as it would be in modern greek.

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek


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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayce
    How were the „oi” „ai” „au” „eu” (now [i] [e] [af/av] [ef/ev]) pronounced back then?

    I know the b->v and mp->b changes, but not these. When selecting Thraikioi Podromoi I hear it as it's written, not Threki Podromi as it would be in modern greek.
    What do you mean with these? b->v and mp->b ?
    are you trying to say that a "b" sounds like "v"? that's not true. The greek alphabet doesn't have a sound that would match the letter v
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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    I meant β is spelled v and μπ is spelled b now. When in classical they were spelled b and mp respectively. I'm interested in how οι αι ει ευ αυ were spelled back then.

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    Member Member zooeyglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayce
    I meant β is spelled v and μπ is spelled b now. When in classical they were spelled b and mp respectively. I'm interested in how οι αι ει ευ αυ were spelled back then.
    well, spelling wise, we have lots of documentation to support how things were spelled - so οι αι ει ευ αυ were mostly as put there - pending dialectic variation, obviously.

    for how that sounded, i've heard various ideas about it, but the most commonly accepted one (lame as it is) is that we have no idea. just like we have no idea how classical latin sounded when spoken, if indeed it was spoken at all in the way it was written. that's certainly the conservative response to the "sound" of classical greek and latin.
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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    So the reason why Greek unit selection sounds sound so weird is because it is thought that Greek was WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)... I still think for example [θraīkjoī podromoj] sounds stupid; no wonder modern Greek pronunciation changed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    You are talking about modern greek pronunciations. They differ a lot in certain places from classical greek. It's a topic that many many threads here have been about - I'm in a rush this second so I can't search for them, but many many threads have tried to explain the differences.

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    No need to, I got the idea, I was just wondering about those because of the „weird” selection sounds.

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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Don't travel to a country where they still use a wide variety of vowels and diphtongs then...
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    Symbasileus ton Rhomaioktonon Member Maion Maroneios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Listen, I 've heard some pretty damn idiotic things as how letters and diphthongs where pronounced in ancient times. One thing I can tell you is that neither modern greek pronounciation neither Erasmian must have been what it really was. Just because western-europeans ancient Greek ''experts'' cannot pronounce a single Greek word, doesn't mean they have to make up their own rules which suits them best. Like this guy I saw on a documentary about the Peloponnesian War who spoke about a naval battle that had occured at the Hellespond between Sparta and Athens, near a place called Aigos Potamoi. In modern Greek we pronounce it like: Egos Potami (Αιγός Ποταμοί). I laughed my brains out when he said something like: A-i-gos Po-u-tamo-i, pronouncing the diphthongs ai and oi seperately. It sounds strange, let me tell you...
    ~Maion

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Listen once, I am not the one who made anything up; as a matter of fact we didn't make something up like that.
    Listen twice, we don't use Erasmian either (because that only applies to post-Koine Greek (at least post-14 AD)) we use what scholars have inferred from transcriptions into various languages.
    Listen thrice, look up keravnos' signature and follow that link to the page about how we think ancient Greek was pronounced.
    Listen one more time yet: if you can find it in these forums, be sure to follow that link abou once gave us, where they try to read the works of Aristophanes and others...
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    ὁ δ᾽ ἠλίθιος ὣσπερ πρόβατον βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζει” – Kratinos in Dionysalexandros.

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Well, my native language is Romanian, a WYSIWYG language, so diphthongs do not transform into other vowels, like in Greek and French, but if I try to pronounce Greek words directly I don't find it ergonomic at all. I mean I can't see how a guy from that period could transmit information to another guy with any efficiency by talking like the guy that said a-i-gos po-ta-mo-i. In common speech you had to use some reading rules or spoken abbreviations or your tongue would tie itself into a knot.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Nice - totally discount what outsiders say about your history because you think they sound funny when they say it. It's an easy way to feel superior and to feel like you alone have the right to say anything ultimately about the history of the people in the country you are from.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayce
    Well, my native language is Romanian, a WYSIWYG language, so diphthongs do not transform into other vowels, like in Greek and French, but if I try to pronounce Greek words directly I don't find it ergonomic at all. I mean I can't see how a guy from that period could transmit information to another guy with any efficiency by talking like the guy that said a-i-gos po-ta-mo-i. In common speech you had to use some reading rules or spoken abbreviations or your tongue would tie itself into a knot.
    Well that is subjective to personal experience, or rather inexperience. For instance if you travel up to Germany or the Netherlands, people who can read the Greek alphabet will have no trouble at all pronouncing it (with a bit of an accent, most likely, but still it'd be a piece of cake). Reason: their nativ e language is vowel and diphthong heavy as well, and especially so with Dutch relatively little simplification has occurred. French or Latin for instance will take more effort to master.
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    ὁ δ᾽ ἠλίθιος ὣσπερ πρόβατον βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζει” – Kratinos in Dionysalexandros.

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    I was talking about Ancient Greek that is thought to NOT have the current rules (Ex: „αιοι” - now, pronounced just like „εϊ” - then, we don't know, but I suspect they'd try to „quicken” the pronunciation (like Dutch) if the literary language were like „αϊοϊ”)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Teleklos Archelaou
    Nice - totally discount what outsiders say about your history because you think they sound funny when they say it. It's an easy way to feel superior and to feel like you alone have the right to say anything ultimately about the history of the people in the country you are from.
    Ok, there are many sensitive and somewhat ignorant of my countrymen around no need to rub it to our faces every time someone says an opinion......


    And Vincent_Valentine actually said that ancient Greek had different pronunciation than modern, what keravnos specifically explained many times.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    I've been studying Ancient Greek for several years now, and this is my understanding of ancient pronunciation. All these guides are based on an understanding of english pronunciation...
    oi= "OY"
    ai= "EYE"
    au= "OW"
    eu= a dipthong, the sound of which I cannot properly represent in Roman letters. It's something like the syllables "eh" and "ooh" being run together very quickly. It is NOTHING like the modern ef/ev pronunciation. (If you're familiar with the latin word "heu", it's something like that...) Also, for "Anubis88", ancient greek has no "v" sound, but in modern greek, beta is a "v", not a "b". Mu+Pi is the new "b".

    Hope this helps a little.

    Ted

  18. #18

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayce
    I was talking about Ancient Greek that is thought to NOT have the current rules
    So was I - I merely said that ancient Greek features a striking resemblance with Dutch as far as the vocal-palette goes...

    (Ex: „αιοι” - now, pronounced just like „εϊ” - then, we don't know, but I suspect they'd try to „quicken” the pronunciation (like Dutch) if the literary language were like „αϊοϊ”)
    Well in fact, there are a couple of things to consider:
    1) Lot's of contraction has already taken place by 272 BC.
    2) Lot's of contraction continues to take place, hence the famous Koine Greek.
    3) Lot's of contraction is actually due to what the French IIRC call "faire le pont" that is to stack up multiple words together and/or omit certain consonants (sigma, tau) or contract others (muta cum liquida, aspiration) and subsequently contract vowels preceeding or following the previous contractions... Hence some pretty weird diclinations, and many a pitfall for anyone who tries to write something in ancient Greek -be he/she a modern day Greek, a 'foreigner', or, dare I say it, the 'ancients themselves'.

    But the contractions such as the one you choose as an example is not really a simplification compared to the original. It's a complete shift in sound of the diphtong -ai- towards -e- and a subsequent omission of the -o-. That's a long way from Classical Attic which we use for the Greek Voicemod since it was the most widespread and is the best-documented clause we have, barring Koine or Byzantine Greek. And the latter two are anachronistic.

    4) In Dutch, this particular combination of diphtongs, would -if at all- be shortened to aio. In fact that 'sound' (aioh) is some Dutch version of "Ayee-ah" to use if you are annoyed/consider something unfair. "Oh c'mon", if you will.
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    ὁ δ᾽ ἠλίθιος ὣσπερ πρόβατον βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζει” – Kratinos in Dionysalexandros.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    At school I learned that -eu- in Greek is about equal to the Dutch -ui- but given that virtually no other familiar language I *know* implements that diphtong... I am in doubt about that one.

    EDIT: That is: œy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphthong#Dutch
    Last edited by Tellos Athenaios; 02-06-2008 at 01:43.
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    ὁ δ᾽ ἠλίθιος ὣσπερ πρόβατον βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζει” – Kratinos in Dionysalexandros.

  20. #20
    Symbasileus ton Rhomaioktonon Member Maion Maroneios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Tellos Athenaios
    Listen once, I am not the one who made anything up; as a matter of fact we didn't make something up like that.
    Listen twice, we don't use Erasmian either (because that only applies to post-Koine Greek (at least post-14 AD)) we use what scholars have inferred from transcriptions into various languages.
    Listen thrice, look up keravnos' signature and follow that link to the page about how we think ancient Greek was pronounced.
    Listen one more time yet: if you can find it in these forums, be sure to follow that link abou once gave us, where they try to read the works of Aristophanes and others...
    Wow, calm down my friend! I didn't say anything about the EB team or how they did the ancient greek voicemod or anything! I just stated the fact that I have heared some crazy things (to me they are) about how my ancestors pronounced letters and diphthongs. I just say it is strange to me and not what I think should be. Oh yeah, and one last thing: The only way to really know how they spoke, it to have a record of someone speaking ancient greek on tape
    ~Maion

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    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    I would be rather suspicious of said tape .

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  22. #22

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent_Valentine
    Wow, calm down my friend! I didn't say anything about the EB team or how they did the ancient greek voicemod or anything! I just stated the fact that I have heared some crazy things (to me they are) about how my ancestors pronounced letters and diphthongs. I just say it is strange to me and not what I think should be.
    Don't worry, it was just the fact that you started with "Listen" which is rather -direct- so I thought I'd do the same. I wasn't being mad at you for it or something. Just 'continuing' the line of speech you set out, thought it was kinda funny.

    Oh yeah, and one last thing: The only way to really know how they spoke, it to have a record of someone speaking ancient greek on tape
    Of course. Well transcription from/into various well-documented languages will give a clue or two as well, but apart from that... In any case my main conern is to ensure we don't have any grammar bugs in it; if the pronounciation is off at times... I can hardly complain, since I wouldn't do a better job at acting and at the same time tackling the language.
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    ὁ δ᾽ ἠλίθιος ὣσπερ πρόβατον βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζει” – Kratinos in Dionysalexandros.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Here is Keravnos and his damned sig...

    This has been talked about sooo many times, but one thing really needs to be asked, again...

    Do you REALLY think that language hasn't changed in 2300 years since the time BC was around?

    If ΑΙΓΟΣ ΠΟΤΑΜΟΙ really did sound like egos potami that it sounds like in modern greek why would ancient greeks bother with writing it like that? Or having 3 different dipthongs all sounding like "e"?

    The obvious answer is that sometime in the long gone past those dipthongs sounded different...


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  24. #24
    Ambassador of Bartix Member Tiberius Nero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent_Valentine
    Listen, I 've heard some pretty damn idiotic things as how letters and diphthongs where pronounced in ancient times.
    That doesn't sound like you are stating only your opinion; saying that "it sounds strange to you" and that it is idiotic is not exactly on the same level of judgement.

    Anyway, I have spent much time on this forum and in real life debating things that are pretty obvious so I am not going to do so again (hopefully); I have said all I had in this thread, check it out if you wish:

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...ght=commentary
    Wow, got 3 ballons in one fell swoop

  25. #25
    Symbasileus ton Rhomaioktonon Member Maion Maroneios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diphtongs in classical greek

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos
    Do you REALLY think that language hasn't changed in 2300 years since the time BC was around?
    Certainly not

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos
    If ΑΙΓΟΣ ΠΟΤΑΜΟΙ really did sound like egos potami that it sounds like in modern greek why would ancient greeks bother with writing it like that? Or having 3 different dipthongs all sounding like "e"?
    Ummmm, mabe because you have words in singular and plural? Like ΠΟΤΑΜΟΙ is rivers (oi-plural) and ΠΟΤΑΜΟΣ river (os-singular)? There are too many reasons for this. But is certainly doesn't necessarily mean it was because of different pronounciation. Why is ''enough'' written like it is in english while you pronounce it ''inaf''? Because of different pronounciaton? I know it's different, but I think you get the point. Anyway, that's not my reason of starting this. I don't really care how it was. I am extremely happy with EB's work and I admit I get the chills when I hear my Makedonai shout in Greek, anyway they do. I just stated my oppinion (I know, it was a little harsh the way I said it) and really I don't want to start a lon and never-ending debate. Be wel, my friends!
    ~Maion

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