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Pronunciation of Greek Letter Omicron

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发表于 12-7-2021 13:54:37 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 12-11-2021 09:21 编辑

AnnaMaria Andriotis and Joanna Sudgen, Oh My Krone? Omni-Kron? It's All Wrong. How would Plato pronounce it? Nobody knows. Wall Street Journal, Dec 7, 2021, at page A1.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how ... t-wrong-11638813311

Note:
(a)
(i) In print, the article continues to page A14m where its title is: "Omicron Is Greek to Everyone."
(ii) Online:
(A) title and subtitle: However You Pronounce 'Omicron,' You're Probably Saying It Wrong. Even scholars of ancient and modern versions of the language sometimes disagree. Don't get them started on 'Oikos.'
(B) *but not in print) a photo with caption: "Odysseas Papadimitriou, who runs the credit-card comparison website WalletHub, was aghast when he heard a TV news anchor try to pronounce 'Omicron.'  PHOTO: WALLETHUB"
(C) WalletHub  (2013- ; is based in Washington, DC and owned by Evolution Finance, Inc).  en.wikipedia.org for WalletHub.
(D) Odysseas Papadimitriou. Investopedia, undated
https://www.investopedia.com/contributors/466/
("is the founder and CEO of Evolution Finance, the parent company of WalletHub, a website offering free credit scores, credit reports, credit monitoring, and personal finance tips. * * * Odysseas received and [sic; should be 'an'] MBA in finance from Duke University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Brown University")

He is obviously living in US (specifically in DC area).

(b) "Listening to news of the latest Covid variant, Odysseas Papadimitriou couldn't understand what a[n American] television news anchor was saying. 'It sounded like, "Oh my krone," ' he said, 'and I was like, what's that?'  It took a few minutes before Mr Papadimitriou * * * realized it was the letter O of his native Greek language. * * * He pronounced the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet as 'AWE-mee-kron,' as spoken in modern Greek."
(i) krone
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krone   
( "(the cognate of crown) may refer to: [sectional heading] Currency")

The e in krone (basically a dollar in Denmark and Norway currencies; plural: kroner) is pronounced in both Oxford online dictionary (Lexico.com) and
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/krone

Apparently krone is different from drone or clone.

(c)
(i) let's call the whole thing offhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le ... le_Thing_Offtomayto, tomahto:
"a negligible, trivial, or unimportant difference, distinction, or correction. (Refers to the American pronunciation of tomato as 'tomayto,' compared with the British pronunciation of 'tomahto.' Specifically, it is an allusion to a verse in the song
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off": "You like potayto, I like potahto; you like tomayto, I like tomahto; potayto, potahto, tomayto, tomahto, let's call the whole thing off!' ")
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/tomayto%2C+tomahto
(ii) Let's call the whole thing off
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Call_the_Whole_Thing_Off
(iii) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - Let's Call The Whole Thing Off.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOILZ_D3aRg

(d) "Modern Greek speakers would disagree, because for them the letters 'o' and 'i' when put together are pronounced 'ee.' So for them, the word, which [noun masculine oykos] means house, is 'EE-kos.' "
(i) Greek pronunciation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_pronunciation
("may refer to:
• Ancient Greek phonology
• Koine Greek phonology
• Modern Greek phonology")

Here "Modern Greek phonology" does not deal with diphthongs. So disregard it.
(ii) Ancient Greek phonology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_phonology
("is the reconstructed phonology or pronunciation of Ancient Greek. This article mostly deals with the pronunciation of the standard Attic dialect of the fifth century BC, used by Plato and other Classical Greek writers"/  section 3 Vowels, section 3.2 Diphthongs: all diphthongs with /i u/ as the second semivocalic element [including] /oi̯/ [pronunciation for diphthong:] οι")
(A) Attic (disambiguation)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attic_(disambiguation)
(may refer to "The adjectival form of the word Attica, a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens")
(B) Attica was "named in the honour of Atthis, daughter of king Cranaus of Athens" in Greek mythology. (There is no story about Atthis in the Mythology.)
(iii) Modern Greek Pronunciation. In Susan Jeffers, Online New Testament Greek I and II. Department of Inguistics, University of Toronto, September 2012-April 2013
http://individual.utoronto.ca/NT ... ekPronunciation.pdf
(1. The Greek Alphabet and Pronunciation: letter I ι yota [where y is pronounced same as ee in feet; but others spell iota, whose i is pronounced same as 'eye']; 3. Pronouncing Diphthongs: oι)

Take notice that the lowercase of iota does not have a dot at the top.


(e) "Archegos Capital Management * * * Behind some of the dissonance: The English letter 'g' is replaced by the Greek letter gamma, which has a sound in modern Greek that's somewhere between a 'g" and a 'y.' "
(i) Modern Greek-English dictionary:
* ἀρχηγός (romanization: archigós; noun masculine): "leader"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/αρχηγός
* γύρος (romanization: gýros; noun masculine)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/γύρος

Note both of the above greek spellings contains lowercase gamma γ.
(ii) "The English letter 'g' is replaced by the Greek letter gamma"
(A) Another way to look at the sentence is when Greek words are romanized or tranliterated (alpha to a, beta to b, delta to d etc), gamma is to g. The g in ENGLISH has two pronunciations: hard g (as in egg) and soft g (.as in given name Gerry). The enw.ikipedia.org page for gyros has various pronunciations that includes jiros, giros (a hard g, as in gray). Then there is g in MODERN GREEK (disregard g in Ancient Greek).
(B)
http://individual.utoronto.ca/NT ... ekPronunciation.pdf
(1. The Greek Alphabet and Pronunciation: letter Γ γ [letter name:] ghama ppronunciationL] go, or yellow)

(f) "We don't say Paree, We say Paris."
(i) Paris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris
(showing French pronunciation, which does not have s; section 1 Etymology)
(ii) French phonology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_phonology
("three processes affecting word-final sounds: liaison, a specific instance of sandhi in which word-final consonants are not pronounced unless they are followed by a word beginning with a vowel," followed by elision and enchaînement)


-----------------------------text
Listening to news of the latest Covid variant, Odysseas Papadimitriou couldn’t understand what a television news anchor was saying. “It sounded like, ‘Oh my krone,’” he said, “and I was like, what’s that?”

It took a few minutes before Mr. Papadimitriou, who runs the credit-card comparison website WalletHub, realized it was the letter O of his native Greek language. “Oh my God…she’s saying Omicron,” he said. “It was a horrible sound.” He pronounced the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet as “AWE-mee-kron,” as spoken in modern Greek.

The World Health Organization's decision this year to use letters of the Greek alphabet to name Covid variants is a source of bpth honor and consternation for Greeks and Hreek-Americans.

* * *

Even before the pandemic, linguists couldn't agree on what Ancient Greek sounded like, other than that it often didn't sound like modern Greek. Among scholars, there's no consensus on how Omicron was pronounced in millennia past. Even in those days, people in different regions spoke their own dialects.

"There isn't one way of saying Omicron" said Armand D'Angour, professor of classical languages and literature at the University of Oxford. "First of all, you know, we're not there,we haven't recorded it."

Egbert Nakker, professor of ancient Greek at Yale University, says the letter is pronounced "AWE-mee-kron" in both modern and ancient Greek. But he is open to other forms: "Some people would say 'oh-MIKE-ron,' that is the Americanized way. I wouldn't do it but I don't think it's completely unacceptable."

That said, scholars do agree that some pronunciations are definitely wrong, no matter the time period. President Biden has made the common mistake of referring to the [Covid-19] variant as "OM-nee-kron," adding an "n" after the "m."

"No, that of course is nonsense that can be discarded right out of hand," Prof Bakker said.

Fights about Greek pronunciation are more than "to-MAY-to vs to-MAH-to" argument. They reflect Mount Olympus-size worries among Greeks who fret their country, the birthplace of democracy, commands a diminished role on the world stage versus ancient times.

"For Greek people, the debate reflects an anxiety about the waning familiarity with te knowledge of Greek," says Katherine E Fleming, provost at New York University and a historian of modern Greece,

The Greek language has changed drastically from ancient times to the present day., evolving over thousands of years amdmany empires. The standardized Greek alphabet was formally adopted by the Athenians in 403 BC, said Prof D'Angour. The language expanded to different sounds and iterations as the empire of Alexander the Great [356 BC – 323 BC] spread to the present-day Middleeast and beyond. More changes occurred during Byzantine Empire. Modern Greek followed.

Present-day, non-Greek society borrows from both ancient and modern, mixing pronunciations.

For instances, US consumers tend to side with ancient Greek when it comes to the popular Oikos yogurt, pronouncing it "OY-kos," Modern Greek speakers would disagree, because for them the letters "o" and "i" when put together are pronounced "ee." So for them, the word, which means house, is "EE-kos."

During the meltdown earlier this year of Archegos Capital Management
[owned by Bill Huang, an Korean-American], the financial firm's name became its own issue, Meaning "leader" or "chief," he nae is pronounced "ar-hee-YOS" by speakers of modern Greek. Many Americans pronounced it ar-KAY-gos, which is ancient Greek pronunciation.

Behind some of the dissonance: The English letter "g" is replaced by the Greek letter gamma, which has a sound in modern Greek that's somewhere between a "g" and a "y." For context, think "gyros," To Americans, they are JI-roes [Because there is no standarized pronunciation symbols in US, 'roe' -- the fish egg sac -- is used to tell readers how to pronounce 'ro' in gyros]. To Greeks, the "g" is softer and the sandwich is a YEE-ro.

Two previous Greek letter didn't become an issue because the WHO skipped them altogether * * *

All of this has led to a muddling, not just pronunciation , but also of just what Greek is. "It irritates sensitive feelings on how a language with such a long history is repespected, being given attention to, and is taken care of by non-Greeks, mainly of the West," said Stefanos Katsikas, associate director at the Center for Hellenic Studies at the University of Chicago.

For all the gravitas some academics impart to the linguistic debate, others think it is something of a tempest in a flytzani tsagiou, or teacup.

Arguing over the way to say a Greek letter in the US is like people arguing about how to pronounce Paris, said NYU's Prof Fleming: "We don't say Paree, We say Paris."

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