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Re: Mysterious sounds (was: Hebrew?)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, October 2, 2004, 17:03
On Friday, October 1, 2004, at 04:22 , Robert Hill wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- > Hash: SHA1 > > On Friday 01 October 2004 19:59, Rodlox frosanâ: > > On a technical note, those characters really don't show up well :P > I don't have a unicode enabled terminal at the moment, and having to > guess at > symbols is really not fun. Just an FYI.
They were used in Rodlox's original message & have been used by others before me. It is rather difficult to reply to the thread without some reference to them. I am a little surprised that you haven't picked up from the context of the thread what the symbols are. However, so you can follow: æ is the lower case a-e ligature (Unicode Hex U+00E6) œ is the lower case o-e ligature (Unicode Hex U+0153) Rodlox has used: Æ the upper-case A-E ligature (Unicode Hex U+00C6) I appreciate that the mashing that non-Unicode terminals give is not fun. However, it would have been difficult to avoid them entirely in this thread. I hope at least what I have said above will enable you to match up the symbols. ========================================================================= = On Saturday, October 2, 2004, at 05:48 , Ben Poplawski wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 21:59:47 +0200, Rodlox <Rodlox@...> wrote: > >>> Yes, indeed. What are the sounds? >> >> that indeed is what I am trying to find out. >> >> >>> Yes, but not for Greek which does not use the Roman alphabet or any >>> symbols remotely like the ones Rodlox gave. >>> >>> So I ask Rodlox: >>> What are the _sounds_ you mean by "æÆ or œ"? >>> Why do you ascribe them to Greek? >> >> I thought I saw them used within transliterations of Greek words/names. >
No - not in _transliterations_. Where you may have seen them is in relatively modern transcriptions of _Latin_ based forms of Greek names.
> I think a-e ligature stands for Latin ae [aj] and for when Latin borrows > Greek ai (same diphthong). The o-e lig is Latin oe, Greek oi [oj]. >
You think correctly :) It was the custom from about the 16th cent, I think, to write the _Latin_ diphthongs |ae| and |oe| as ligatures, so for example one wrote _puellæ_ "girls". This habit continued until the late 19th or early 20th cen. Nowadays, at least in anglophone countries, this is normally written the Roman way as _puellae_. When the Romans borrowed Greek names they rendered the Greek diphthongs |ai| and |oi| as |ae| and |oe| respectively - they also tended to modify the endings to fit Latin patterns. hen it was fashionable to print the Latin diphthongs as ligatures, this was also done when they occurred in words borrowed from Greek. *But the ligatures have nothing to do with Greek*
> Like, G. Oidipos > L. Oedipus
Ouch! _Oidipous_ is the Greek :) ============================================= On Friday, October 1, 2004, at 08:59 , Rodlox wrote in reply to me:
> >> Eeeek!!! Why Greek????? > > I was considering whether or not to give a Greek twist to a WIP of mine.
Right - I meant why did you consider æ and œ to be Greek, because they certainly aren't. But I think that's answered below. But to return to your reply above. I am not clear how you understand "a Greek twist". If you would like to mail me privately (it avoids the 5-a-day limit for start :) with your ideas or whatever, I would be very happy to give information, advice, suggestions etc.
>> Neither the sound [æ] nor the sound [œ] exist in Greek or, as far as we >> know, were ever standard in Greek. As for Æ, what _sound_ is that meant >> to >> indicate? > > I thought it was a capital æ.
Right. So you were talking about spelling all along and not about _sounds_ as such. Rather you wanted to know what sounds were represented by those ligatures. The trouble is if you speak about _sounds_ we think the symbols you then give are indicating those sounds, that is are IPA or X-SAMPA. I think some of were thinking your æ meant XCS [&] (real X-SAMPA [{]), and that your œ meant the X-SAMPA [9]. Æ is indeed capital æ. But that s to do with _writing_.
> thought I read somewhere about either Anæus or Ænæid or something to that > effect.
OK. What you're thinking about is _Æneas_ and the _Æneid_ or, as they are usually written now in the anglophone world, _Aeneas_ and the _Aeneid_; and for the sake of Robert and others in his situation, I'll stick with those spellings. I'm afraid neither of the words are Greek. Aeneas is both Latin & English; Aeneid is English! _Aeneid_ is the English name of the _Latin_ epic poem written by the _Roman_ poet, Vergil, over 11 years from 30 BCE till his death in 19 BCE*, and called in Latin _Aeneis_ /aj'ne:is/ (genitive: Aeneidis). It was given this name because the hero of the poem is Aeneas (Latin: /aj'ne:a:s/, English /i'ni&s/), who was supposed to be a survivor from Troy and founder of the Roman race. _Aeneas_ is the _Latin_ form of the Greek name _Aineias_. *Actually it wasn't completed when he died. He had intended to spend another three years revising the whole work. Being somewhat of a perfectionist (which I understand only too well, hence BrSc remains incomplete!), he gave orders on his deathbed that the work should be burnt. The emperor Augustus made it clear tha this would not happen; so Vergil appointed two guys named Varus & Tucca as as his literary executors. A compromise was reached and the Aeneid was published with no attempt at any extensive revision. But even in its unfinished state it remains IMO one of Europe's finest literary works. (There you are - a little extra info at no extra cost :-)
> Yes, indeed. What are the sounds? > >> that indeed is what I am trying to find out.
Well, I think this has been aired at great length. But it will be obvious by now that the written ligatures æ and œ are not Greek innovations and, indeed, have nothing to do with Greek. They are innovations in the western Roman alphabet tradition. As for the sounds they represent & have represented, these have been various, which tends to be the case with the Roman alphabet :) But the Greek sounds sometimes represented that way in Latin-based transcriptions are: - a-e ligature, represents Greek |ai| which was originally [aj] (the sound of 'eye' in RP English), but had become [E] by the end of the 1st cent CE and has retained that sound ever since. - o-e ligature, represents Greek |oi| which was originally [oj] (similar to the sound of 'oy' in 'boy'), but as early as the 2nd cent BCE had become [y] (French 'u' in 'lune') in some dialects and had become [y] everywhere by the end of the 1st cent CE. During the Byzantine period the sound become unrounded as [i] and keeps this sound to the present day.
> I thought I saw them used within transliterations of Greek words/names. > > sorry.
That's OK - hope things are clearer now. BTW 'Vergil' is often written as 'Virgil'; his real name in Latin was _Publius Vergilius Maro_ (hence sometimes he is facetiously Americanized as _Publius V. Maro :-) Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Rodlox <rodlox@...>My Apologies about Mysterious sounds (was: Hebrew?)