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GRK101H1 (1)


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Rob Mc Cutcheon

GRK101: Introductory Ancient Greek Introduction • Ancient Greek belongs to a family of languages all descended from a single ancestral language called Indo-European • The history of Greek extends back from modern times to the second millennium B.C., and the language, as written in different locales and in different ages, varies • At any one time there are various dialects, differing somewhat in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar but mutually comprehensible • Over the centuries the language has steadily changed Rough and Smooth Breathing • The greek h-sound (like hand) is indicated by a rough breathing (‘) placed above the initial vowel of a word pronounced before the vowel sound • When a word is capitalized, the rough breathing is written before the initial vowel • In words beginning with a vowel and lacking an h-sound, the absence of this sound is indicated by a smooth breathing (’) • All words beginning with a vowel must have either a smooth breathing or a rough breathing • All words beginning with upsilon have a rough breathing • All words beginning with rho have a rough breathing which is not pronounced. Rho is the only consonant which takes a breathing Long and Short Vowels • Greek vowels can be classified into five long vowels and five corresponding short vowels • Long vowels took approximately twice as long to pronounce as short vowels • Vowels alpha, iota and upsilon are either long or short • Greeks did not mark the length of these vowels Diphthongs • Certain pairs of vowels called diphthongs are pronounced together to produce one continuos sound • Words beginning with diphthongs like words beginning with vowels, require a rough or smooth breathing. This breathing is placed over the second letter of the diphthong • AGreek word has as many syllables as it has vowels or diphthongs Iota Subscript andAdscript When the long vowels alpha, eta and omega are combined with short iota, the iota is written be- • neath the long vowels as an iota subscript and is not pronounced • If the long vowel is capitalized, the iota is written after the long vowel as an iota adscript and is not pronounced • Arough or smooth breathing is written before the long vowel Gamma Combined with Certain Consonants • The consent gamma, when combined with a palatal (kappa, gamma, chi, xi) has the sound of ng, like in baking Classification of Consonants • Certain consonants are classified according to the part of the mouth in which they are formed GRK101: Introductory Ancient Greek Introduction • Labials - pi, beta, phi • The lips are used in forming labials Dentals - tau, delta, theta • • The teeth are used in forming dentals • Palatals - kappa, gamma, chi • The palate is used in forming palatals • The consonants zeta, xi, and psi are double consonants • The combination of any labial with sigma produces the double consonant psi • The combination of any palatal with sigma produces the double consonant xi • The consonants phi, theta and chi were originally aspirated • They indicated a labial, dental or palatal accompanied by a puff of air • Thus certain inspirited consonants, when followed by a word beginning with a rough break- ing (= h), are written as aspirates Punctuation and Capitalization • Greek employs the same comma and period as does English • Asingle mark serves as both colon and semicolon written above the line • The question mark is the same as the English semicolon • Proper names are capitalized, as are the first words of paragraphs and of quotations • The first word of a sentence is not normally capitalized • Greek did not employ quotation marks, but in some texts quotation marks are occasionally em- ployed Accent • Most Greek words had one syllable whose musical pitch varied slightly from that of the other syllables of the word • Such a syllable is said to be accented and this difference of pitch is called the word’s accent • In English, accent is shown by an increased stress on the accented syllable (e.g. Relative, reli- gious, reconstruct) rather than by a difference in musical pitch • Unlike written English, written Greek marks accents wherever they occur The accent of a Greek word must be learned as an integral part of its spelling • • Greek indicates accent in the following ways: • ´ Acute accent marked a raising of the musical pitch • ` Grave accent marked a lowering of pitch of substitution of a steady for a raised pitch ˆ Circumflex accent marked a raising and lowering of pitch in the same syllable • • Since native speakers of English are used to a stress accent, it is customary to pronounce all ac- cented syllables of Greek words, whichever of the three accents they have, with a slight stress as in English • The range of possible accentuation of Greek words is strictly limited by the following rules: General rule for Greek accents: • • No matter how many syllables a word may have, the accent can appear only over one of the last thre
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