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zeta, ksi etc (was: THEORY Ideal system of writing)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, August 12, 2004, 5:34
On Wednesday, August 11, 2004, at 05:26 , Jim Henry wrote:

> Andreas Johansson wrote:
>> 4) An alphabet with additional signs to indicate common sequences. Latin >> and >> Greek, of course, already does this - 'x', xi, psi - but our hypothetical > > Also the Greek Zeta, according to one textbook - /dz/
No - 'tis the Semitic 'zai' (Hebrew 'zayin'). /dz/ is an widespread convention in reading ancient Greek. The evidence, however, is that it varied in the different dialects between [dd] ~ [zd] ~ [zz], with the latter becoming the norm in the Hellenistic period. Also in the Eastern Greek (from which Hellenistic, Byzantine & modern Greek alphabets derive) 'xi' was inherited from Semitic 'semk'. But Western Greek |X|, from which came the Roman |X|, (= /ks/) was an innovation; in the Eastern Greek alphabet it was pronounced [k_h]. Cf. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760