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At 2:07 am -0500 25/4/02, Danny Wier wrote:
>From: "Peter Clark" <[log in to unmask]>
[snip]

>If you have a vowel /u/ the |ou| ligature would be more practical, but I'd
>just use upsilon for an unrounded variant, even though by medieval times the
>pronunciation of upsilon already merged with iota *I think*.

It had.

>>         The consonants are a little harder. The easy ones: /p/ = [snip]
>
>For /j/: Unicode includes a "j" letter for the Greek code, or just use iota.

Hebrew /j/ was consistently rendered by iota in Greek.  By the 8th cent AD,
gamma before front vowels was also [j].  I have little that Greeks of 8th
cent. would've resorted to same methods as the modern Greeks to represent
/j/

>For /K/: I'm thinking either a double lambda (analogous to Welsh), or lambda
>with a reversed apostrophe above it, using the same convention as aspirate
>"rh" rho. Tau-lambda is another option, but misleadning.

tau-lamba is very misleading - especially as it actually occurs in Greek
where it represents /tl/

Nor would any Greek writer have used double lambda (not knowing modern
Welsh spelling conventions) since double lambda is of common enough
occurrence in where it represented /ll/, i.e. geminate /l/.  The sound was
probably still widespread in the Byzantine period, since altho geminate
consonants are no longer standard in urban modern Greek, they still persist
in some of the dialects till the present day.

Lambda with the 'rough breathing' is a possibility but, I think, unlikely.
The convention with rho was just convention.  Even when initial rho was
aspirated, there was never any phonemic contrast between [r_h] and [r] -
they were in complementary distribution, i.e. they were allophones of /r/.
The various diacritics developed by the Alexandrian grammarians were meant
as aids for those whose L1 was not Greek to help them pronounce it properly.

Even in the classical period, /h/ had disappeared from several dialects,
and this process continued.  By the end of the Roman period it is likely
that /h/ had gone entirely - certainly by the 8th century it had.

So how would a Byzantine Greek denote /K/?  The evidence we have from the
real word is that they either borrowed a convenient letter from another
script (e.g. from Hebrew for Old Slavonic, from Egyptian Demotic for
Coptic) or devised a new character from a ligature of existing characters
(e.g. Cyrillic /ja/ and /ju/).

What exactly they'd have done would to some extent depend upon whether /K/
was perceived as related to /l/ or as a variant sibilant (/K/ in the Nguni
langs, e.g. corresponds to /s/ in other Bantulangs).  I stringly suspect
that they regard it much in the same way as Kirshenbaum ASCII-IPA, i.e.
/s<lat>/ and have used sigma-lambda ligature to produce a new symbol.

>For /b/: double beta, for /v/, single beta. Or mu-pi for /b/, like modern
>Greek does. Or even add the Cyrillic.

mu-pi is used because voiceless plosives are 'automatically' voiced after a
nasal, and some dialects drop the nasal entirely.  Double beta might be a
possibility as the ancient voiced plosives were not doubled.  Written
double beta occurs only in odd borrowings like {sabbaton} from Hebrew,
which was pronounces /savato(n)/ by the Byzantine period.

Byt double gamma would, of course, by no good for /g/, as it denoted -and
still does denote - /Ng/

>For /S/: double sigma, sigma-kappa(-iota) (analogous to Italian), or use the
>Coptic or Cyrillic addition.

Again double sigma is no good as it was used in Greek for /ss/.  They would
either, I'm sure, have used sigma with some special diacritic or, as in
Cyrillic, added from another alphabet.

>For /ts/: tau-sigma.

Which is precisely what the Greeks do actually write!

>For /tS/... this one is a tough one, kappa-iota maybe,
>or tau-sigma-sigma (I hate trigraphs), or double kappa, or use the Coptic or
>Cyrillic letter.

Nah - I can't imagine them even considering a trigraph!  Yep - it's either
tau+(whatever single character is used for /S/) or a letter from another
alphabet.

FWIW the modern Greeks simply use sigma to represent /S/ in foreign
borrowings, and tau-sigma for /tS/.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

At 9:50 am -0500 25/4/02, Peter Clark wrote:
>Quoting Danny Wier <[log in to unmask]>:
>> If you have a vowel /u/ the |ou| ligature would be more practical, but I'd
>> just use upsilon for an unrounded variant, even though by medieval times
>> the
>> pronunciation of upsilon already merged with iota *I think*.
>    Well, I want to use the letter that was closest in pronunciation to the
>Enamyn sound; using just upsilon would have implied that the letter was either
>[y] or [i].

By the 8th cent. [i]

>But if |ou| (omicron-upsilon) would have been understood as [u],

It would.

>then that's close enough to [M] for my purposes.

Yep - if there was no /u/ to contrast with it.  After all, we happily
render Japanese [M] as {u}.

[snip]
>> For /j/: Unicode includes a "j" letter for the Greek code, or just use
>> iota.
>    I guess iota it is.

The most like choice IMO.

[snip]

>> For /K/: I'm thinking either a double lambda (analogous to Welsh), or
>> lambda
>> with a reversed apostrophe above it, using the same convention as aspirate
>> "rh" rho. Tau-lambda is another option, but misleadning.
>    Tau-lambda would be my first choice; if I am not mistaken, the various
>accent marks and apostrophes would have been just coming into existance at
>that
>point (or was it even later?) and in any case, probably would not have been
>understood, let alone used, by most (literate) Byzantines.

They had come in earlier - I think literate Byzantines would've prided
themselves on their accurate use - but for reasons given above, I don't
think lambda+'rough breathing' would've suggested itself.

I still think a sigma-lambda ligature would be the most likely solution.

>> For /b/: double beta, for /v/, single beta. Or mu-pi for /b/, like modern
>> Greek does. Or even add the Cyrillic.
>    Another site confirmed mu-pi, so that takes care of /b/. Beta can
>represent /v/. (And Cyrillic wasn't even invented at this point. Well, I guess
>Cyrill and his brother (M-something, too lazy to look him up) would have been
>in Moldovia at this point, but still too early for Cyrillic proper.

Moravia is where Cyril and Methodius (feast day in Catholic calender is
14th Feb.) were working among the Slavs.

But the earliest forms of Cyrillic are identical with the contemporary Grek
uncial script + the extra signs, so I think it can at least be used as an
indication of what is likely to happen if the Greek script is applied to
another language.

>> For /S/: double sigma, sigma-kappa(-iota) (analogous to Italian), or use
>> the
>> Coptic or Cyrillic addition.
>    Would a Coptic letter have been understood? I'm guessing probably not.
>Sigma-kappa is tempting, though.

A Coptic letter would not have been understood outside of Egypt.
sigma-kappa is not likely IMO.  Either sigma with a diacrtic or a letter
from another aphabet as, e.g. Cyrillic used used the Hebrew Shin.

>> For /ts/: tau-sigma. For /tS/... this one is a tough one, kappa-iota maybe,
>> or tau-sigma-sigma (I hate trigraphs), or double kappa, or use the Coptic
>> or
>> Cyrillic letter.
>    Or maybe tau-sigma-kappa, analogous to the above? I don't mind trigraphs,

Ach y fi!   No, please.  I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams any
Byzantine writing tau-sigma-kappa for /tS/

Either: tau+'sigma with diacritic'
or: tau+'whatever symbol = /S/'
or: single letter, e.g. adapted Hebrew Tzade (as Cyrillic did)

Ray.

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