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EAK Romanization et alia

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 14:47

I've recently had a private email from someone saying he cannot read the
Greek characters in my EAK mails as he has to use library computers, and
they do not suitable fonts. In fact I have been thinking whether I
should give Roman script versions of Greek and EAK words for those who
still cannot read Greek characters. The scenario of the "Western
Hellenic Alternative Timeline" does, of course, mean there would be _no_
Roman alphabet, and the Greek alphabet would now have spread around
various parts of our globe, where now the Roman alphabet is used.  So it
does not make sense to have an 'official Romanized version' of EAK.

However, for practical purposes on this list, it might be better to use
a form of Romanization besides the Greek alphabet. I propose basing it
on the tradition Roman transcription with the two definite following
- Y will be uniformly transcribed as _u_ (and not, sometimes as _y_). We
are used to French where |u| = /y/ and |ou| = /u/; so there is no reason
why we cannot use |u| and |ou| in exactly the same way in a "Romanized EAK".
- K will be uniformly rendered by _k_.

As for the aspirates - phi, theta and khi - they were traditionally
rendered _ph, th and ch_. These will probably be fricatives in EAK, so
we could use _f_  for phi, and _x_ for khi. But what do we do about
_theta_ - obviously using the Greek symbol defeats the object using
Roman script for those who cannot read the Greek characters! Would þ
(thorn) present similar problems? Could I use _8_ because of its
resemblance to the Greek theta?

At present I'll stick with _th_ as (a)the use of this combo to denote
/T/ is establish in English, Welsh, Cornish and Sindarin orthographies,
and (b) as EAK is psilotic the combo _th_ is unambiguous and _h_ has no
other use; also I will denote the single Greek characters ksi (xi) and
psi by the combos _ks_ and _ps_.

But what about eta (= /e/ in EAK, as opposed to epsilon = /E/) and omega
(= /o/ in EAK, as opposed to omicron = /0/)? I could use _w_ for omega,
which is normal in "ASCII Greek" and _w_ is used a vowel symbol in
Welsh. But while we might stomach |w| = /u/, what about |w| = /o/? In
any case, it still does not solve the problem of eta. I could use _e_
and _o_ with dots beneath, but that probably will cause problems to
those who can't read the Greek characters; below I will use _eh_ and
_oh_ for eta & omega.


(Thinks: Why are we still plagued with these font problems in the 21st

I am a little surprised to have had no comments on these from either of
the two Philips, so I assume my use of  -λαό (-laó) "people" to form the
plurals is not as outrageous I feared it might seem    :)

Just to update any who haven't followed the thread because of problems
reading the Greek characters:
- it has been decided that EAK nouns & adjectives should use what I have
termed the "compositional base" (CB), that is the base used when they
form the first part of a compound word (in most instances it means they
end in -o).
- the suffix -then (away from) is added to the CB of nouns, e.g. oîkos
"house, home" ---> oíko-then "from home"
- in ancient Greek we find _emé-then_ "from me, mine" and _sé-then_
"from you [s.], yours", so we safely take _emé_ and _se_ as EAK 1st &
2nd singular pronouns.

The 1st and 2nd pers. plural pronouns show a variety of forms in the
ancient Greek dialects. They are derived from stems asm- and husm- (cf.
Sanskrit _asma:n_ and _yusma:n_); but analogy was at work and the Koine
forms were _(h)ehmeîs_ and _(h)umeîs_ [nominative]. But analogy has
continued; tho modern 1st plural is similar to the Koine forms (but
remodeled under influence of the 1st singular), the 2nd plural has been
completely remodeled.

If we take the Koine forms, the CBs are (arguably) _ehme_ and _ume_, but
I propose having analytical forms, using laó (people) a bit like the
Mandarin use of -men, viz. emé-laó (we, us), se-laó (you [pl.]).

The demonstratives in EAK are:
generic:     touto (this/ that; these/ those.   French: ce, cette, ces)
near:           tode  (this [here], these [here].  French:  etc.)
distant:     ekeino (that [there], those [there].   French:  ce.....là

Word order will be in ancient Greek, Koine and AFAIK modern Greek, i.e.
article-adjective-noun, e.g. to sofo andro = the wise man.
The adjective may be place after the noun, in which case the article
*must* be repeated, e.g. to andro to sofo.

But demonstratives take the order: demonstrative-article-noun _or_
article-noun-demonstrative, e.g.
touto to gunaiko _or_ to gunaiko touto = this woman

Ancient Greek had no simple 3rd person pronoun. The forms given in
grammars as _he, hou, hoi [sing.], sphe_ [etc plural] were 'indirect
reflexives' and were moribund in classical Greek and had disappeared in
the Koine.

The nominatives of pronouns were used only for emphasis as the verb
endings normally made the subject clear. For the 3rd person, the
ancients simply used demonstratives substantivally, i.e. touto (this
person, celui). I have proposed that EAK do the same.

The oblique cases of the 3rd person pronoun were expressed by _auton,
autehn, auto_ in the Classical language and the Koine. In the Koine the
nominatives could also be used for _he, she, it, they.

But in both Classical Greek and the Koine, αὐτός (autos) could also:
- be used _adjectively_ to mean "same"
- like a demonstrative to mean "itself, himself, herself" etc (emphasizing)

I propose that EAK do the same, e.g.
to auto gunaiko _or_ to gunaiko to auto = the same woman
auto to gunaiko _or_ to gunaiko auto = the woman herself

I also propose that _auto_ can be used as a pronoun to mean _him, her,
it, them_.
At present my feeling is that when used as a _subject_ pronoun it should
carry emphasis, i.e. he himself etc.


PS - how do the two Philips (and other Hellenists) re-act to the
Romanized spellings in the examples. It's not too Glosa like, is it?   :)

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>