Koine Greek phonology


Koine Greek phonology

Koine Greek is phonologically a transition period: at the start of the period, the language was generally virtually identical to Classical Ancient Greek, whereas in the end the language had phonologically a lot more in common with Modern Greek than Ancient Greek.

Overview

The most significant changes during the Koine Greek period concerned vowels: these were the loss of vowel length distinction, the substitution of the pitch accent system with a stress accent system, and the monophthongalization of diphthongs (except Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ). These changes seem widely attested from the 2nd century BC in Egyptian Greek, and in the early 2nd century AD in learned Attic inscriptions; it is therefore likely that they were already common in the 2nd century BC and generalized no later than the 2nd century AD.

Another change was the fricatization of the second element of diphthongs Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ. This change likely took place after the vocalic changes described above occurred. It is attested in Egyptian Greek starting from the 1st century AD, and seems to have been generalized in the late Roman period.

Another series of changes was the fricatization of voiced plosives, which is widely attested in Egyptian Greek starting from the 1st century AD, but may have been generalized at a later date, possibly in the late Roman or early Byzantine periods.

Yet another series of changes was the fricatization of aspirated voiceless plosives, which is attested in several locations from the 1st century AD, but seems to have been generalized at a later date, possibly in the late Roman or early Byzantine period.

A last change (possibly related to fricatization of aspirated plosives) is the loss of aspirate, which may have begun as soon as the late 1st century BC in Egyptian Greek, seems to have taken place no earlier than the 2nd century AD in learned Attic inscription, and had most probably been generalized by the late Roman times.

Issues with reconstructions

The primary issue comes from the diversity of the Greek-speaking world: evidence suggests that phonological changes occurred at different times according to location and/or speaker background. It appears that many phonetic changes associated with the Koine period had already occurred in some varieties of Greek during the Classical period.

An opposition between learned language and vulgar language has been claimed for the corpus of Attic inscriptions. Some phonetic changes are attested in vulgar inscriptions since the end of the Classical period; still they are not generalized until the start of the 2nd century AD in learned inscriptions. While orthographic conservatism in learned inscriptions may account for this, contemporary transcriptions from Greek into Latin might support the idea that this is not just orthographic conservatism, but that learned speakers of Greek retained a conservative phonological system into the Roman period. On the other hand, Latin transcriptions, too, may be exhibiting orthographic conservatism.

Interpretation is more complex when different dating is found for similar phonetic changes in Egyptian papyri and learned Attic inscriptions. A first explanation would be dialectal differences (influence of foreign phonological systems through non-native speakers); changes would then have happened in Egyptian Greek before they were generalized in Attic. A second explanation would be that learned Attic inscriptions reflect a more learned variety of Greek than Egyptian papyri; learned speech would then have resisted changes that had been generalized in vulgar speech. A last explanation would be that the orthography in learned Attic inscriptions was artificially conservative; changes may then have been generalized no later than they are attested in Egyptian papyri. All these explanation are plausible to some degree, but would lead to different dating for the generalization of the same changes.

To sum this up, there is some measure of incertitude in dating of phonetic changes; indeed, the exact dating and the rapidity of the generalization of Koine Greek phonological changes are still matters of discussion among researchers. Orthographic variants in contemporary written sources is the most direct evidence, but it is not enough to date a change in every context. Testimony of grammarians and, to a lesser extent, transcriptions into foreign language are interesting because they can indicate which pronunciation was regarded as standard by learned speakers; however, it has been argued that transcriptions may in some cases be conventional rather than phonetic, and Greek grammarians appear to describe learned pronunciation while ignoring established vulgar pronunciation.

ample reconstructed phonological systems

Popular pronunciation, 1st century ΒC – 2nd century AD

The loss of length in the popular 4th century BC Attic and the spread of Greek under Alexander the Great led to a reorganization of the vowels in the phonology of Koine Greek. There were no longer distinctions of long and short vowels in popular speech.

Long vowels

Ancient grammarians and transcriptions suggest that voiced and aspirated plosive consonants were retained until the beginning of the Roman period. The voiced plosives became fricatives before the voiceless aspirates.

Other consonants

The /yː/ value for Polytonic|οι is attested later, in the 3rd century BC. An intermediate value of /øː/ has been suggested by some.

Diphthongs

No reference has been found on the status of the aspirate in Boeotian at this period.

Accentuation

The tonal accent system of Ancient Greek probably remained relevant.

Egyptian Greek, early 1st century BC

From the 2nd century BC, Egyptian Greek had monophthongalized diphthongs and lost vowel length distinction.

Vowels

There is little evidence of fricative pronunciation of β and γ in Egyptian Greek before the 1st century AD. Fricative pronunciation for aspirates may have been generalized even later in Egyptian Greek.

Other consonants

Other consonants

Accentuation

The stress accent system was probably generalized.

Diachronic phonetic description

Loss of vowel quantity distinction

The ancient distinction between long and short vowels was lost in popular speech at the beginning of the Koine period.

From the 2nd century BC, spelling errors in non-literary Egyptian papyri suggest stress accent and loss of vowel length distinction. The widespread confusion between Polytonic|ο and Polytonic|ω in Attic inscriptions starting in the 2nd century AD may be caused by a loss of vowel length distinction, but might be caused by a mere loss of vowel quality distinction, too. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=94]

However, for phonological reasons, this transition is likely to be linked to the transition to stress accent and therefore to have been generalized by the 3rd century AD. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=94]

Transition to stress accent

The means of accenting words changed from pitch to stress, meaning that the accented syllable had only one tone option (high) and was presumably louder and/or stronger.

From the 2nd century BC, spelling errors all over the Mediterrean suggest a loss of vowel length distinction, which is commonly though to result in the loss of tonal accent. More evidence of stress accent appears in poetry starting from the late 2nd century AD – early 3rd century AD. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=130]

Diphthongs

Pseudo-diphthongs

Before consonant, diphthong Polytonic|ει had started to become monophthongal in Attic as early as the 6th century BC, and pronounced like Polytonic|ε̄, probably as IPA| [eː] . From the late 4th century BC in Attic, pseudo-diphthong Polytonic|ει (now notating both etymological Polytonic|ει and etymological Polytonic|ε̄) came to be pronounced like Polytonic|ῑ, probably as IPA| [iː] (with the quality that the digraph still has in modern Greek). [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=69–72. Diphthong 'Polytonic|ει' had already merged with Polytonic|ι in the 5th century BC in regions such as Argos or in the 4th c. BC in Corinth (e.g. Polytonic|ΛΕΓΙΣ).Fact|date=April 2008 It was also the case in Boeotia in the early 4th century BC (Allen, "op. cit.", page 74)]

Before vowel, diphthong Polytonic|ει did not follow the same evolution as pre-consonantic Polytonic|ει. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=72–73] One theory to explain this difference is that pre-vocalic Polytonic|ει may have kept a diphthongal value IPA| [ej] until the 4th century BC, the IPA| [j] being progressively perceived as a glide from IPA| [e] to the next vowel. [This perceived glide would explain why, in the 5th and 4th centuries BC in Attic, though there was no pre-vocalic Polytonic|ε̄ that Polytonic|ει may have been confused with, Polytonic|ει was often written as Polytonic|ε; indeed, while the confusion seems to have ceased after the 4th century BC, several etymological pre-vocalic Polytonic|ει remain in altered Polytonic|ε̆ form in Koine Greek. Such a perceived glide may actually be even older, since in Homeric verses etymological pre-vocalic Polytonic|ει is often written either as a short Polytonic|ε or a long Polytonic|ει. Allen, "op. cit.", page 83–84.] From the late 4th century BC, pre-vocalic diphthong Polytonic|ει came to be confused with Polytonic|η, which implies that, unlike before consonant, it conserved a value of IPA| [eː] , with probably a loss of openness distinction with Polytonic|η; [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=72–73] for later evolution, refer to Polytonic|η below.

Starting from the 6th century in Attic, diphthong Polytonic|ου had been monophthongized and confused with Polytonic|ο̄. While its initial value had probably been IPA| [oː] , it must have evolved to IPA| [uː] quite early (possibly in the 6th century BC, and at any rate before 350 BC); this later value was preserved through modern times, as far as vowel quality is concerned. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=75–78]

hort-first-element Polytonic|ι diphthongs

Diphthong Polytonic|αι was probably monophthongalized at first as IPA| [ɛː] . This value is attested in Boeotian in the early 4th century BC with the Boeotian spelling of Polytonic|η for Polytonic|αι. [This spelling (e.g. IG 7.1672.6 Polytonic|Θειβῆος = Polytonic|Θηβαῖος, Corinna fr. 664 Polytonic|μέμφομη = Polytonic|μέμφομαι; cf. Harvcoltxt|Lejeune|1972|p=230-1) indicates that the transition of Polytonic|αι to IPA| [ɛː] had taken place in Boeotian but not in Attic in the early 4th century BC Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=74.] Confusion of Polytonic|αι with Polytonic|ε suggests that this transition had taken place by the mid 2nd century BC in Egyptian Greek. [Randall Buth, "Ἡ Κοινὴ Προφορά", page 3.] Still, diphthong Polytonic|αι must have kept a diphthongal value at least in learned language until Roman times, as it is transcribed as "ae" in Latin, and Latin "ae" is transcribed as Polytonic|αι, too. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=79] Further confusion between Polytonic|αι and Polytonic|ε is found in Palestine in the early 2nd century, [Buth, "op. cit.", page 3.] and the confusion between Polytonic|αι and Polytonic|ε starting from c. 125 AD in Attic suggests that the monophthongalization took place in the early 2nd century AD in learned Attic. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=79] Allen thinks the transition to IPA| [e] (i.e. loss of openness distinction with Polytonic|ε) to have taken place later; while Allen is not very explicit on this point, this theory seems based on the observation that while both Polytonic|η and Polytonic|αι are confused with Polytonic|ε, Polytonic|αι is not confused with Polytonic|η. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=79 The transition would then have taken place after the transition of Polytonic|η to IPA| [iː] /IPA| [i] was over in mainstream Greek, that is to say no earlier than the late Roman period or early Byzantine period.] However, not all scholars seem to agree. [Buth, "op. cit.", page 3.] No reference on this point of debate has been found.

Diphthong Polytonic|οι was monophtongalized as IPA| [yː] or IPA| [y] (depending on when the loss of vowel length distinction took place). [with possible intermediate states IPA| [øj] and IPA| [øː] ] This is attested in Boeotian in the early as the 3rd century BC with a spelling of Polytonic|υ for Polytonic|οι, but this was probably a dialectal trait. [Harvcoltxt|Lejeune|1972|p=230-1, Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=81: e.g. IG 7.283 etc. Polytonic|τῦς ἄλλυς προξένυς = Polytonic|τοῖς ἄλλοις προξένοις, ] Still, diphthong Polytonic|οι must have kept a diphthongal value at least in learned language until Roman times, as it is transcribed as "oe" in Latin. Further evidence of monophthongalization is found from the early 1st century BC in Egyptian Greek, as well as in the early 2nd century AD in Palestine. [Buth, "op. cit.", page 3.] Monophthongalization in learned language seems attested by a Polytonic|υ spelling for Polytonic|οι found in a text dated from early 2nd century AD and another from c. 240 AD. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=81] (Look up note on evolution of Polytonic|υ for subsequent evolution.)

Koine Greek initially seems to feature diphthong Polytonic|υι, which had been progressively monophthongalized to IPA| [yː] (written Polytonic|υ for Polytonic|ῡ) in Attic from the 6th century BC to the 4th century BC but retained in other Greek dialects. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=81, note 54] It was later monophtongalized as IPA| [yː] or IPA| [y] (depending on when the loss of vowel length distinction took place). (The author of these lines has not found any reference on when this change took place, but this transition may be phonologically linked to, and at any rate is quite unlikely to have taken place after, the similar transition of Polytonic|οι to IPA| [yː] /IPA| [y] ). (See discussion on Polytonic|υ below for subsequent evolution.)

hort-first-element Polytonic|υ diphthongs

Diphthongs Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ lost their ancient value of IPA| [au] and IPA| [eu] and acquired a fricative pronunciation of IPA| [aβ] and IPA| [eβ] or IPA| [av] and IPA| [ev] . [Comparable to the modern pronunciation of IPA| [av] and IPA| [ev] (partially assimilated to IPA| [af] , IPA| [ef] before voiceless consonants Polytonic|θ, Polytonic|κ, Polytonic|ξ, Polytonic|π, Polytonic|ς, Polytonic|τ, Polytonic|φ, Polytonic|χ, and Polytonic|ψ, this assimilation being undated).] Confusion of Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ with Polytonic|αβ and Polytonic|εβ is found as early as the beginning of the 1st century AD in Egyptian papyri, which attests a fricative pronunciation. [Buth, "op. cit.", page 4, note 8, citing Francis Thomas Gignac, "A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods. Volume One: Phonology. Milan 1976", pages 68, note 1, and page 70.] Yet, this fricative pronunciation was likely not generalized at once; for instance, Jewish catacombs inscriptions still show a diphthongal value in the 2nd–3rd century AD. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=80, note 47] Confusion of Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ with Polytonic|αβ and Polytonic|εβ becomes increasingly common in late Roman and early Byzantine times, which suggests that it had been generalized by this time. [Buth, "op. cit.", page 4, note 8, citing Harvcoltxt|Horrocks|1997|p=111]

Long-first-element Polytonic|ι diphthongs

Diphthong Polytonic|ῃ [note that the subscript Polytonic|ι notation is medieval, the Polytonic|ι is adscript in ancient texts where it appears] had started to become monophtongal in Attic at least as early as the 4th century BC as it was often written Polytonic|ει and probably pronounced IPA| [eː] . In Koine Greek, most Polytonic|ῃ were therefore subjected to the same evolution as other classical IPA| [eː] and came to be pronounced IPA| [iː] . However, in some inflexional endings (mostly 1st declension dative singular and subjunctive 3S), the evolution was partially reverted from c. 200 BC, probably by analogy of forms of other cases/persons, to Polytonic|η and was probably pronounced IPA| [eː] at first (look up note on evolution of Polytonic|η for subsequent evolution). [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=85–86]

Other long-first-element Polytonic|ι diphthongs (Polytonic|ᾳ and Polytonic|ῳ [once again, the subscript notation is medieval] became monophtongal by the 2nd century BC, as they were written Polytonic|α and Polytonic|ω; [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=86. However, when augmented from Polytonic|οι in verbs, diphthong Polytonic|ῳ had been altered to Polytonic|οι instead (Harvcolnb|Allen|1987|p=87), note 70] the former was probably pronounced IPA| [aː] , while the later may have been pronounced IPA| [ɔː] at first if openness distinction had not been lost yet, and was eventually pronounced IPA| [oː] at any rate (look up discussion of single vowels Polytonic|ο and Polytonic|ω below for details).

Long-first-element Polytonic|υ diphthongs

When augmented from Polytonic|ευ in verbs, diphthong Polytonic|ηυ had been altered to Polytonic|ευ from the 4th century BC. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=87, note 70]

Other long-first-element Polytonic|υ diphthongs (Polytonic|ᾱυ, Polytonic|ηυ and Polytonic|ωυ) had become monophtongal from the 1st century BC, as they were written as Polytonic|α, Polytonic|η and Polytonic|ω; [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=87] the first was probably pronounced IPA| [aː] , while the two later may have been pronounced IPA| [ɛː] and IPA| [ɔː] at first if openness distinction had not been lost yet (IPA| [eː] and IPA| [oː] otherwise), and were eventually pronounced IPA| [iː] and IPA| [oː] at any rate (look up discussions of single vowels Polytonic|ο and Polytonic|ω and single vowel Polytonic|η below for details).

ingle vowel quality

Apart from Polytonic|η, simple vowels have better preserved their ancient pronunciation than diphthongs.

As noted above, at the start of the Koine Greek period, pseudo-diphthong Polytonic|ει before consonant had a value of IPA| [iː] , whereas pseudo-diphthong Polytonic|ου had a value of IPA| [υː] ; these vowel qualities have remained unchanged through Modern Greek. Diphthong Polytonic|ει before vowel had been generally monophtongalized to a value of IPA| [eː] and confused with Polytonic|η, thus sharing later developments of Polytonic|η.

The quality of vowels Polytonic|α, Polytonic|ε̆ and Polytonic|ι have remained unchanged through Modern Greek, as IPA| [a] , IPA| [e] and IPA| [i] .

Vowels Polytonic|ο and Polytonic|ω started to be regularly confused in Attic inscriptions starting in the 2nd century AD, which may indicate that the quality distinction was lost around this time. However, this may as well indicate the loss of length distinction, with an earlier or simultaneous loss of quality distinction. Indeed, the fact that some less systematic confusion is found in Attic inscriptions from the 4th century BC may alternatively point to a loss of openness distinction in the 4th century BC, and the systematization of the confusion in the 2nd century AD would then have been caused by the loss of length distinction. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=94]

The quality distinction between Polytonic|η and Polytonic|ε may have been lost in Attic in the late 4th century AD, when pre-consonantic pseudo-diphthong Polytonic|ει started to be confused with Polytonic|ι and pre-vocalic diphthong Polytonic|ει with Polytonic|η. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=73. This evolution had probably happened by the early 4th century AD in Boeotian but definitively not in Attic, as shown by e.g. Boeotian Polytonic|πατειρ vs Attic Polytonic|πατήρ (Harvcolnb|Allen|1987|p=74)] C. 150 AD, Attic inscriptions started confusing Polytonic|η and Polytonic|ι, indicating the appearance of a IPA| [iː] or IPA| [i] (depending on when the loss of vowel length distinction took place) pronunciation that is still in usage in standard Modern Greek; however, it seems that some locutors retained the IPA| [eː] /IPA| [e] pronunciation for some time, as Attic inscriptions continued to in parallel confuse Polytonic|η and Polytonic|ε, and transcriptions into Gothic and, to some extent, old Armenian transcribe Polytonic|η as e. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=74–75]

Koine Greek adopted for vowel Polytonic|υ the pronunciation IPA| [y] of Ionic-Attic. Confusion of Polytonic|υ with Polytonic|ι appears in Egyptian papyri from the 2nd century AD, suggesting a pronunciation of IPA| [i] , but this is probably a regional trait. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=68] Transcriptions into Gothic and, to some extent, Armenian suggest that Polytonic|υ still retained a IPA| [y] pronunciation, and the transition to IPA| [i] in mainstream Greek is thought to have taken place at the end of the 1st millennium. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=68, note 14]

Loss of aspiration

The aspirate breathing (aspiration), which was already lost in the Ionic idioms of Asia Minor and the Aeolic of Lesbos, [Harvcoltxt|Lejeune|1972|p=281-2] later stopped being pronounced in Koine Greek. Spelling errors in Egyptian papyri suggest that this loss was already under way in Egyptian Greek in the late 1st century BC. [Randall Buth, "op. cit.", page 5–6, citing Gignac, "op. cit.", page 137–138.] Transcriptions into foreign languages and consonant changes before aspirate testify that this transition must not have been generalized before the 2nd century AD, but transcriptions into Gothic show that it was at least well under way in the 4th century AD. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=53]

Consonants

Among consonants, only Polytonic|β, Polytonic|γ, Polytonic|φ, Polytonic|θ, and Polytonic|ζ are certain to have changed from Classical Greek. Consonants Polytonic|δ (and, with lesser probability, Polytonic|χ) are likely to have changed, too, but there is no clear evidence of this in the Koine Greek period.

The consonant Polytonic|ζ, which had probably a value of IPA| [zd] in Classical Attic [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=56] [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=58, note 115] (though some scholars have argued in favor of a value of IPA| [dz] , and the value probably varied according to dialects – see Zeta (letter) for further discussion), acquired the sound IPA| [z] that it still has in Modern Greek, seemingly with a geminate pronunciation IPA| [zz] at least between vowels. Attic inscriptions suggest that this pronunciation was already common by the end of the 4th century BC. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=58]

The digraph Polytonic|-σσ- is much more frequent than Attic Polytonic|-ττ- in Koine Greek. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=13–14]

Consonants Polytonic|φ, Polytonic|θ, which were initially pronounced as aspirates IPA| [pʰ] and IPA| [tʰ] , developed into fricatives IPA| [f] [An intermediate stage of IPA| [ɸ] has been proposed by some, but there is no specific evidence to support this (Harvcolnb|Allen|1987|p=25)] and IPA| [θ] . On the other hand, there is no specific evidence of the transition of consonant Polytonic|χ from aspirate IPA| [kʰ] to fricative IPA| [x] /IPA| [ç] in the Koine Greek period. There is evidence for fricative Polytonic|θ in Laconian in the 5th century BC, [e.g. Aristophanes Polytonic|Εἰρήνη, l. 214, Polytonic|σιώ for Polytonic|θεώ (Harvcolnb|Allen|1987|p=26)] but this is unlikely to have influenced Koine Greek which is largely based on Ionic-Attic. The first clear evidence for fricative Polytonic|φ and Polytonic|θ in Koine Greek dates from the 1st century AD in Pompeian inscriptions. [Particularly meaningful is "lasfe" found for Polytonic|λάσθη (Harvcolnb|Allen|1987|p=23)] Yet, evidence suggest an aspirate pronunciation for Polytonic|θ in Palestine in the early 2nd century, [Randall Buth, "op. cit.", page 4] and Jewish catacomb inscriptions of the 2nd–3rd century AD suggest a pronunciation of IPA| [f] for Polytonic|φ, IPA| [tʰ] for Polytonic|θ and IPA| [kʰ] for Polytonic|χ, which would testify that the transition of Polytonic|θ to affricate was not yet general at this time, and suggests that the transition of Polytonic|φ to affricate may have happened before the transition of Polytonic|θ and Polytonic|χ. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=24] Armenian transcriptions transcribe Polytonic|χ as IPA| [kʰ] until the 10th century AD, so it seems that Polytonic|χ was pronounced as aspirate by at least some locutors until then. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=25]

It is not known with accuracy when consonants Polytonic|β, Polytonic|γ and Polytonic|δ, which were originally pronounced as IPA| [b] , IPA| [g] , IPA| [d] , acquired the value of IPA| [v] , [An intermediate stage of IPA| [β] has been proposed by some, cf. Harvcoltxt|Horrocks|1997|p=112] IPA| [ɣ] and IPA| [ð] that they have in Modern Greek. [except when preceded by a nasal consonant (μ, ν, γ); in that case, they retain their ancient sounds (e.g. Polytonic|γαμβρός > Polytonic|γαμπρός IPA| [ɣamˈbros] , Polytonic|ἀνήρ, ἄνδρα > Polytonic|άντρας IPA| [ˈandras] , Polytonic|ἄγγελος > Polytonic|άγγελοςIPA| [ˈaŋɟelos] )] Though some evidence of fricative Polytonic|γ after a front vowel go as far back as the 4th century BC, it does not seem to have been a standard pronunciation. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=31–32] Ancient grammarians describe the plosive nature of these letters, Polytonic|β is transcribed as "b", not "v", in Latin, and Cicero still seems to identify Polytonic|β with Latin b. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=31] Evidence from non-literary papyri suggests a fricative pronunciation in some contexts (mostly intervocalic) from about the 1st century AD; however, this pronunciation was not necessarily generalized yet. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=32, note 46] Increasingly common confusion of Polytonic|αυ and Polytonic|ευ with Polytonic|αβ and Polytonic|εβ in late Roman and early Byzantine times suggests that the fricative pronunciation of Polytonic|β was common if not general by this time. [Randall Buth, "op. cit.", page 4, note 8, citing Harvcoltxt|Horrocks|1997|p=111] Yet, it is not before the 10th century AD that transcriptions of Polytonic|β as fricative "v" or Polytonic|γ as voiced velar "l" are found in Armenian, which suggests that the transition was not general before the end of the 1st millennium; however, previous transcriptions may have been learned transcriptions. [Harvcoltxt|Allen|1987|p=32, note 45]

References

ee also

*Koine Greek
*Ancient Greek phonology
*Modern Greek phonology

Bibliography

*Harvard reference
last=Allen
first=W. Sidney
year=1987
title=Vox Graeca: the pronunciation of Classical Greek
place=Cambridge
publisher=University Press
edition=3rd
ISBN=0-521-33555-8

*Harvard reference
last=Lejeune
first=Michel
year=1972
title=Phonétique historique du mycénien et du grec ancien
place=Paris
publisher=Éditions Klincksieck
edition=2nd

*Harvard reference
last=Buth
first=Randall
title= [http://www.biblicalulpan.org/Sound_files/PRONSYS1_US.pdf polytonic|Ἡ κοινὴ προφορά: Notes on the Pronunciation System of Phonemic Koine Greek]

*Harvard reference
last=Horrocks
first=Geoffrey
year=1997
title=Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers
place=London and New York
publisher=Longmans
ISBN=0-582-30709-0


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