Appendix talk:Greek pronunciation

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ε, αι[edit]

There is some uncertainty about the IPA value for the Greek letters ε & αι. I have plumped for [ɛ] but w:Modern_Greek_phonology give [e]. Any comments? —Saltmarsh 10:36, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I just now saw this. See my new topic at Wiktionary talk:About Greek#IPA ε and ο. - Gilgamesh 13:35, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

ε and ο[edit]

I've noticed that, in Modern/Contemporary Greek pronunciation, I tend towards indicating the pronunciation of these vowels [e] and [o], while other editors prefer [ɛ] and [ɔ], and maybe a few use [ɛ] and [o]. But as I have been instructed, these middle vowels are neither strictly close mid ([e] and [o]) nor open mid ([ɛ] and [ɔ]), but just plain mid. Since there are no dedicated IPA vowel symbols for these articulations, [e̞] and [o̞] (lowered from close mid) or [ɛ̝] and [ɔ̝] (raised from open mid) are used. However, since the close mid and open mid are allophones anyway in Modern/Contemporary Greek pronunciation, it seems simpler just to use the archetypal mid vowel symbols, [e] and [o], and mark varying actual articulation to natural allophony. Wikipedia's Modern Greek phonology article does this. (Not to mention that α can be seen indicated anywhere from [a] to [ɐ] to [ɑ]—the articulation seems to be more central at [ɐ], but the archetypal symbol [a] is traditionally used in broad transcription.) - Gilgamesh 13:31, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

When writing the tables under discussion I was uncertain - and found conflicting opinion :). So we should use the plain [i], [e], [a], [o], [u] ? Each of these is the common Roman keyboard character. And we should call them using the template {{IPAchar}}? On a more general point: you seem much more at home with linguistics than I am, should we be putting the IPA symobols in brackets, thus: [i]? —Saltmarsh 14:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, my own approach is to use [i] [e] [a] [o] [u] invalid IPA characters (][][][][), but this is my opinion. I'm willing to find community consensus on this issue. The template {{IPA}} has [before the text], while {{IPAchar}} omits the IPA link. Before I discovered {{IPAchar}}, I added the new template {{IPAchar}} which does the same thing. If {{IPAchar}} is ultimately preferred on Wiktionary, just use that in that circumstance. And yes, IPA is brackets-friendly. /slashes/ are more appropriate for language-specific morphemes, such as representing English /ch/ or /j/ or /wh/. For Greek letters, I tend not to use slashes as there is no confusion with the surrounding English language text in Latin script. - Gilgamesh 14:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Please consult if you wish - although I believe that we can go with your suggestion. —Saltmarsh 14:21, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The symbols [ɛ] and [ɔ] are used in Wiktionary:IPA pronunciation key for the Greek words and this is the table we refer to in el.wiktionary. I suppose that the authors of that pronunciation key should be asked to participate in this discussion before a final decision is made. --Flyax 15:43, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I have been using [ɛ] and [ɔ] not out of any strong feeling that these are the one true representations but so that we can be in sync with what the folks at el.wikt are doing, which is also a consideration. AFAIK there was never a long discussion over there about these vowels however. (Flyax, you beat me to it!  :-) ) ArielGlenn 16:51, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, I used the symbols [ɛ] and [ɔ] (in the words μέλι and πάνω). The e (like in the french word été) is far too different (too "closed"). The [o] (like in the french word beau) is very "closed", too - nothing to do with the greek sound. I like the idea of the "lowered vowels" Gilgamesh talks about... But, for some (practical) reason, in the el.wikt, we have been used to the vowels I said before. Of course, they aren't so "open", but I think they reach the greek sounds - anyway, they are the nearest sounds this table has to propose us. Lou 20:08, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
The typical symbols between close mid and open mid are [e̞] [o̞] invalid IPA characters (][). - Gilgamesh 23:50, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I was going to change all Classical entry IPA pronunciations so that Byzantine/Contemporary ε/αι would be [e̞] and Koine/Byzantine/Contemporary ο/ω would be [o̞] (Koine ω is [o̞(ː)]), and my past few new entries have reflected this. But I'm finding it's actually rather tedious to do in practice, as I keep forgetting to add them at first, then I add some, then I remember that I still forgot to add some of them, and go back and edit them with a headache formed over the previous minute. So, for now, I'll just omit the diacritics underneath [e̞ o̞] (as there is no phonological ambiguity without them), and if it they have to be added later, the marathon task of editing hundreds of entries to add them has to be done anyway. Makes me wonder how to program a Wiki editing bot... On top of that, my cat keeps wanting to cuddle and lay on my keyboard keys irregardless of how striking them will affect my work. XD - Gilgamesh 17:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Are we agreed to update the table for Modern Greek to use [e̞] [o̞], then? ArielGlenn 16:05, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
If these are the right symbols, then these should be used. I wish there were an easy way to write them. It's difficult even to copy and paste them. --Flyax 16:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Indeed... Sometimes I wish we could just use a clever templating system to indicate abstract phoneme part pronunciations, and the template arguments themselves are plugged into different templates. Something like... {{whatever-ipa|e|l|euh|th|e|'|r|o'|s}} For each argument, something like {{whateverperiod-phoneme-e}} then {{whateverperiod-phoneme-l}} then {{whateverperiod-phoneme-euh}}, etc., for each argument provided. The template code to do this may get a bit convoluted, but it can certainly be done up to a fixed limit number of arguments. Codes like euh would be ευ that is pronounced [eʊ] normally in Classical Greek, but [e̞f] in Contemporary/Modern Greek. Likewise, euph could be ευφ that is pronounced fully [eʊpʰ] in Classical Greek, but simply [e̞f] or [e̞(f)f] in Contemporary/Modern. And for the Classical entries, the template with just the necessary arguments will automagically generate multiple different pronunciations. ' would be the post-Classical (and Contemporary/Modern) stress mark, and Classical vowels could be e', e` or e^ to indicate Classical polytonic accent. Or maybe template arguments could be simplified/specified Greek letters, so {{whatever-ipa|ε|λ|ευh|θ|ε|'|ρ|ό|σ}} or something. Oh, and I apologize for discussing so much of Classical Greek here in this Modern Greek talk page. I guess the topics have a lot of overlap. - Gilgamesh 18:06, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Look at my draft, User:Gilgamesh/Greek IPA tokens. What do you think? Any questions? - Gilgamesh 18:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)



So is νει/νη/νι/νοι/νυ/νυι always pronounced [ɲi], even if the vowel is stressed or does not come before another vowel? I get the impression that λει/λη/λι/λοι/λυ/λυι is not necessarily [ʎi] under the same circumstances. - Gilgamesh 01:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

νι (etc) and λι (etc) are "normally" pronounced as /ni/ and /li/, as long as ί is stressed or an other vowel doesn't follow (e.g. νίκη /'nici/, [ενικός]] /e̞ni'ko̞s/, αλυκή /ali'ci/, λύκος /'liko̞s/, ηλίαση /i'liasi/. However, in several dialects n and l become "soft" palatal (if there is such an expression).
In words with νια, νοια, νιε, νοιε, λια, λιε (etc etc) things are more complex and I am afraid that I cannot give a general rule. /ɲa/, /ɲe̞/, /ʎa/, /ʎe̞/ are the most common pronunciations but there are several exceptions. For example, έννοια pronounced as /'e̞.ni.a/ means meaning, while pronounced as /'e̞.ɲa/ means worry. --Flyax 09:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Seems complicated though... - Gilgamesh 09:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The values in the tables represent (I think/hope) accurately the values given in Holton et al. If you think that they are wrong please say. BUT I think that we should be reflecting published data, and not (unless you are a knowledgable phoneticist) what we think they should reflect. —SaltmarshTalk 13:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
So, Flyax, are we certain your example isn't actually [ˈe̞ɲia] vs. [ˈe̞ɲa]? - Gilgamesh 13:59, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I have already said a lot of times that I am NOT an expert in pronunciation. On the other hand I (believe I) am a man of reason ... As I have written it's /'e̞.ni.a/ but a lot of people (in Peloponnisos, Crete and other places) pronounce n,l as "soft" palatal before /i/. If you are looking for a trustworthy source, then have a look here for ελιά, here for λύκος and here for έγνοια, έννοια vs έννοια. Please let me remind you that palatal consonants are indicated in that site by a tilde (~) over the standard symbol. Finally, if you want to be able to judge by your own, then please try to listen to the Greek radio ([1]). --Flyax 15:00, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that we should keep the pronunciation simple, Greek is an anarchic language (where anarchy=good) but if the pronunciations in Wiktionary are to be meaningful, we should start off with the Greek equivalent of "Standard Southern British" or "General American" - perhaps a 30-year-old from Athens. Cypriot, Cretan (and even Maniot) pronunciations can follow.
Question: in the initial stages should the IPA tables be kept simple? —SaltmarshTalk 06:50, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


Why [ŋɟ] instead of [ɲɟ]? [k ɡ ŋ x ɣ ɰ] are velar consonants. [c ɟ ɲ ç ʝ j] are their direct palatal equivilents. If a velar [ɡ] is preceded by velar [ŋ], then why is palatal [ɟ] not preceded by palatal [ɲ]? Velar and palatal articulations are so close to one another (hard palate and soft palate) that they are difficult to distinguish in direct proximity. - [[User:Gilgamesh|ˈɟɪɫɡəˌmɛʃ]] 18:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Would you please have a look at Peter Mackridge's "The modern Greek Language", ch. ? —This unsigned comment was added by Flyax (talkcontribs) at 07:51, 16 September 2007.

I'll put references in against mine in future (and try to catch up with past ones). —SaltmarshTalk 09:34, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


Flyax told me that this is pronounced [mʝ], not [mɲ]. Is this not the case afterall? The current table contents indicate [mɲ]. - Gilgamesh 15:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC) I was mistaken—Flyax didn't tell me this, it was the Mackridge text. - Gilgamesh 07:55, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't remember saying something like that! As a matter of fact, it was I who added the relevant row to the table, (I can't remember when) :) --flyax 16:34, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh, then it must have been the Mackridge text that said it's [mʝ]. Could that part of the text been hyperpedantic and no one speaks that way? (Maybe similar to how the trilled [r] was once considered elite in English of the U.K. and U.S., but so few people ever actually use it today that it sounds ultra-stilted if you use it all the time.) - Gilgamesh 07:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

τσ and τζ[edit]

According to voiceless alveolar affricate, the IPA digraphs ʦ ʣ ʨ ʥ ʧ ʤ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʦʣʨʥʧʤ), invalid IPA characters (ʦʣʨʥʧʤ), replace ʦ with t͡s, ʣ with d͡z, ʨ with t͡ɕ, ʥ with d͡ʑ, ʧ with t͡ʃ, ʤ with d͡ʒ have since been deprecated, and we still have the glyphs for legacy reasons. Now, the proper recommended usage is t͡s d͡z t͡ɕ d͡ʑ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ t͡ɬ d͡ɮ t͡θ d͡ð p͡f b͡v k͡x ɡ͡ɣ etc. for all affricates. Maybe we should switch to this tied usage completely? Also, it may be relevant to note that ντσ is usually [nt͡s], treated as ν-τσ, though I suppose [d.s] , [nd.s] and [nt.s] are conceivable sometimes for ντ-σ compounds. Also, if I recall, γξ is always [ŋks] and μψ is always [mps]—this is significant as I used to logically believe that they were [ŋɡz] and [mbz]. Also, if we sometimes have [mp] for μπ and [nt] for ντ, is there never [ŋk~ŋc] for γκ? - Gilgamesh 10:46, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I don't like t͡s and d͡z. For some reason I don't see them correclty in my browser. The "glyphs" are quite clear and easy to read and they do not create a problem with ντσ (see ίντσα). About γξ, maybe we should add a new row in the table. And, no, I don't think that we have a word with γκ pronounced as [ŋk~ŋc]. For instance, the English word punk is transcribed in Greek as πανκ. --flyax 11:27, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Most of the Microsoft-supplied fonts (such as Arial Unicode MS) have improper glyph formatting of the IPA tie diacritic, making it appear too far left of where it's supposed to be, like this: o͡o. Currently, the IPA templates at Wiktionary call for the Gentium and GentiumAlt fonts. Download and install them from here. Then they should appear correctly. Gentium and GentiumAlt also have excellent polytonic Greek support, though I still personally prefer Palatino Linotype for that. You may also want to look into Code2000, an incredibly detailed font that I use as an alternate IPA font. - Gilgamesh 13:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

OK. I installed Gentium fonts and IPA look twice uglier than before. Could we please return to the old ts, dz symbols? --flyax 13:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, if concensus decides on using the legacy symbols, I will go along with it. And as for Gentium in the templates...I would really prefer the Wikipedia approach, where their IPA template does not specify any fonts, and individual users' style sheets can be customized to use whatever font you please. This issue has already been brought up, see Template talk:IPA. I once tried to edit the template, and it was reverted and put under edit protection. - Gilgamesh 13:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I am not quite sure what you mean when referring to concensus, maybe a voting ? In that case, let me remind you that you didn't wait for a concensus before changing the symbols. Anyway, the average user should be able to see correctly our pages with the standard fonds. I cannot understand your insistence on such matters. I myself would like to spend my free time in a more creative way. --flyax 14:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, you are right...sometimes I think in a rather authoritative fashion. I'll change them back myself. - Gilgamesh 15:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, changed back. I always did like the way the old digraphs looked anyway. I just got into the mode, "Oh, I see they are deprecated, I will look into changing them to the current recommendations immediately." - Gilgamesh 15:03, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


Organisation of tables[edit]

I would like to suggest that "Standard Athenian Greek" (please suggest better terminiology!) values be split simply into 2 tables "Vowels" and "Consonants" and that these be restricted to common and basic values - leaving aside iodiolectic/sociolinguistic variations which together with Cretan, Cypriot values could be separately tabled below? —SaltmarshTalk 07:06, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The terminology I am used to seeing is "Standard Modern Greek". I'm happy to start with "standard" values in the table. ArielGlenn 16:03, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

IPA used elsewhere[edit]

When I added this column to the template, my thought was on symbols that are in use in other web-pages or books. For example, P.Mackridge uses j instead of ʝ. Have you met the symbols ɲç, ɲɟ somewhere else? If no, then these symbols should not appear in the table. --flyax 15:19, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm almost certain I have. But for the life of me, I can't remember anymore. Some Wikipedia articles about Greek phonology and its many translations in different languages are plastered all over Google containing ɲɟ, but there may be a possibility that I wrote that part long ago, but you'd have to check the article history. If you find this insufficient, and you really object to them, I guess you could remove them for now. That said, it is probably a very natural and logical educated guess (when it is a guess) to use ɲɟ ɲç etc., because they are palatal consonants after a palatal nasal, and it is also observed that IPA transcriptions already use labiodental ɱv ɱf instead of mv mf (from μ+β and μ+φ). It would be easy to see why ɲɟ ɲç in context would not be thought at first to be original research, as it is generally linguistically a pretty orthodox assumption. - Gilgamesh 16:17, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

They were my edits, from what seems like a long long time ago. Considering all I've learned here, I just edited Greek alphabet to fix some things... But for now, my concentrations are largely here. Heh. Someone confused Ancient Greek transcription with Vulgar Latin loan adaptation, using æ/ē for αι, œ/ē for οι, etc. I fixed them with ai, oi, etc. - Gilgamesh 16:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

g and ɡ[edit]

So the problem is that g is what's in the IPA pronunciation charts (e.g. Wiktionary:IPA_pronunciation_key) and everybody has been using that for ages in their IPA transcriptions. Not just here but on the other wikts as well, because people borrow the chart (and cut and paste pronunciations too). If we put ɡ at this stage, even though it is technically correct, who is going to go change all of the existing transcriptions everywhere so we don't just have two symbols in use? For this reason I strongly prefer we keep g. ArielGlenn 16:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

We use ɡ because it's correct. We have certain standards here, and g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ is slovenly, like using ' invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ as a stress mark or : invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː to indicate long vowels—they look similar, but ɡ and g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ in particular do not look the same at all in typical serif typefaces, where ɡ is shaped more like a handwritten printed lowercase G, and g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ has the press-style double loops. And other IPA symbols like ɠ intentionally resemble ɡ, not g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ. When I have the opportunity, I frequently replace g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ with ɡ. If we have the proper means to use proper IPA, we use them, and we keep them polished. We aren't using X-SAMPA. I am and have for a long time been extremely painstaking about using ɡ, because it not only is proper, but it also appears proper in IPA display context. I honestly do hope that I don't come across as too condescending, but I take proper IPA very seriously. Properly-formatted IPA is a thing of beauty, and needs to follow proper standards. - Gilgamesh 17:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I went through Wiktionary:IPA pronunciation key, and I found various non-standard IPA notations. I replaced several : invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː with ː, added {{IPAchar}} templates where they were omitted (for consistency of display), replaced the deprecated ʧ ʤ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʧʤ), invalid IPA characters (ʧʤ), replace ʧ with t͡ʃ, ʤ with d͡ʒ digraphs with the now officially recommended t͡ʃ d͡ʒ, and not only replaced non-standard g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ with ɡ, but also non-standard φ invalid IPA characters (φ) with ɸ. It was pretty sloppy—maybe acceptable as a rough draft, but when you have enough extensive experience with IPA, the mismatches can be jarring to the eyes. - Gilgamesh 17:40, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Before we make changes to the main guide for all IPA markup for enwikt, it would be best to have a public discussion about it. It has a number of impacts as described above. At the very least, people will want to figure out how to retroactively fix the existing transcriptions (if these changes are made). This should be taken to the Beer Parlor. Would you care to post something there? ArielGlenn 19:45, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Never been there. And why is that necessary anyway? This is correct as prescribed by the International Phonetic Association, which regulates the International Phonetic Alphabet. We shouldn't have to debate whether to adapt to new standards—they are standards, we should just use them. The authority where debate belongs is the International Phonetic Association. You see, as a reference, we're using "the International Phonetic Alphabet", whose references should be already well documented to anyone who wants to seek them out. We're not using "the International Phonetic Alphabet but with some ideosyncratic alterations at Wiktionary". - Gilgamesh 07:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

There is always the practical side in every issue. Of course we follow the standards, as long as it is possible. Now, let's see. The average user does not have Gentium fonts installed. I installed them and they look awful, so I erased them. With the usual fonts (MS Arial Unicode) the g and ɡ look quite the same. The strangest thing: ɡ (without the IPAChar template) looks quite as a big Greek γ ! It was quite confusing for me! So, please keep under consideration these little things also. Thank you. --flyax 08:55, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The gods must be playing games with me: Now I see something like γ in the "Contents" on the top of the page and something like g in the text I have just written. --flyax 09:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Gods? You are a polytheist? :3 Seriously though, it is technically quite possible, the ugliness of Gentium at low sizes notwithstanding. There is something else you can do—go to User:Flyax/monobook.css and edit your account's stylesheet. Here's mine: User:Gilgamesh/monobook.css. Change your default display font to a serif typeface such as Times New Roman, Palatino Linotype or something else, and the distinction between g and ɡ in display should become clear. And if you don't like how it looks, you can change your stylesheet to whatever you want, or even blank it to default to Wiktionary's default monobook.css stylesheet. I like Wikipedia's IPA and polytonic templates better than the ones here at Wiktionary, because they don't hard-code specific fonts—they instead invoke a stylesheet class, and you could provide styles for the class (see User:Gilgamesh/monobook.css at Wikipedia). The fact that Wiktionary hard-codes the styles instead of just using the style class, makes it harder to customize those templates here. - Gilgamesh 09:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the advice but I am quite happy with the appearance of wiktionary pages. My intention was not so much to talk about my own problem as to indicate the possible problems that an average user should have. Anyway, we make compromises all the time. After all, using e and o instead of e̞ and o̞ is a compromise, isn't it? --flyax 12:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, there's a difference there. The International Phonetic Association has already addressed the issue of ä e̞ o̞ and has stated that a e o are acceptable approximations for the pure-central and pure-mid vowels. When a language distinguishes separate close-mid and open-mid vowels, it only makes sense to use the opposing symbols e ɛ, ø œ, ɤ ʌ and o ɔ. And when a language does not have simultaneous opposing close-mid and open-mid vowels but the vowel is very clearly and unambiguously close-mid or open-mid, then you use the appropriate close-mid or open-mid symbol. But when the single vowel has a pure-mid articulation, then the symbols normally used for close-mid are considered the acceptable approximation. There is also no known language that makes three-way opposing distinctions between close-mid, pure-mid and open-mid, such as e e̞ ɛ. As for a, no known language distinguishes opposing open front and open central at all and it is not considered an inherently viable distinction, so a is routinely used for both, as there has never been any attested ambiguity between them. Therefore, using ä e̞ o̞ is considered inherently hypertechnical in normal IPA notation, and a e o have been accepted as the cardinal compromises in those situations. The allowance is a matter of practical representation of articulation and not about simplifying the appearance of the letter glyphs per se. This is because all the vowel symbols only represent approximate spans of the vowel space and any two languages or dialects may still articulate the same given vowel in a different median positioning of openness, frontness and rounding. See the chart Image:IPA vowel chart 2005.png for the approximate areas the vowel symbols cover, and other charts like this, this, and this/this for ways that exact median vowel articulations for the same symbol can differ considerably inside a symbol's general coverage area. As for ɡ, the International Phonetic Association still recommends ɡ in every case where a voiced velar plosive is needed, and g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ is not recognized as a valid IPA glyph at all, so that is not really an issue of compromise. - Gilgamesh 12:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually the IPA has said that the loop tail g is an acceptable alternative for the IPA open tail ɡ, that both glyphs are to be treated the same. Just to clarify things a bit. ArielGlenn 13:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? I have always been instructed that ɡ is the best usage, and that g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ is at least unpolished. - Gilgamesh 13:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't have the handbook but someone else published history notes from the IPA, and here is the quote: "They will be considered as typographic variants of the same letter". ArielGlenn 17:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay. But still, obviously, ɡ is considered the one actually made for IPA, right? It's the more polished one? - Gilgamesh 04:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I have added a note at Wiktionary:Beer_parlour#recent_changes_to_Wiktionary:IPA_pronunciation_key. The changes made to the pronunciation key impact more than just you and me, so we had better publicize them, as I said above. Other people ought to have the chance to say something one way or another. As you have already noticed we do somewhat idiosyncratic things here from time to time (the use of r or ɹ in English transcriptions depending on the editor, for example). I suppose that is because practical considerations play a huge role in these decisions. ArielGlenn 10:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

That page took forever to load... Anyway, I left some comments and suggestions. - Gilgamesh 11:25, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I've done it[edit]

I've successfully edited my own User:Gilgamesh/monobook.css to override the fonts in the IPA templates. I've set it up to use Code2000, which has by far the best IPA support I've ever seen in a font. But whatever any individual likes is fine. You can examine my monobook.css's code for examples, and the official CSS1 guide for general details on how to create and edit stylesheets. It's as easy as editing User:Flyax/monobook.css for Flyax, User:ArielGlenn/monobook.css for Ariel Glenn, User:Saltmarsh/monobook.css for Saltmarsh, etc. And if you want to return to the Wiktionary default styles, you just blank the style code so it's an empty page again, and it will revert to normal. This is good news. ^_^ - Gilgamesh 15:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Code2000 is "shareware". It's fine to recommend it to others but we shouldn't build in the expectation that this font be used. That would not be in line with our goal of access to open and free content. --flyax 21:34, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

True, but I still said that whatever any individual likes is fine. Besides, if you like, you individually can still install it and keep it forever. It's not like it's going to self-destruct. ^_^ - Gilgamesh 01:57, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

IPA tokens[edit]

I'm a bit dizzy with the various discussions and changes, but, I thought we were using broader transcriptions for the vowels, and now I see that the diacritics are back in use. Can we just stick to the markup in this chart for the moment? If there are changes to be made, maybe we can check in about them first (for Modern Greek at least). ArielGlenn 21:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right. Sometimes I get confused when I hear new criticism, and that drove me to change the tokens. Fortunately, the way they're set up, I edited only three tokens, {{grc-ipatok-a}}, {{grc-ipatok-e}} and {{grc-ipatok-o}}. - Gilgamesh 01:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Geminate ζ[edit]

This of course doesn't apply to the standard Ionian-Peloponnesian-based Modern Greek or to what's spoken in Athens, but I have confirmation—in the southeastern dialects that still geminate doubled consonants, ζ between vowels is routinely pronounced [zz]! Here is an archive of my discussion on Wikipedia:

The article said that doubled consonants are pronounced geminated in Cypriot Greek. What about ζ? Is it pronounced [zz] too? - Gilgamesh 22:02, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes like [zː]. I catch myself doing it all the time :) --Kupirijo (talk) 15:42, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, THANK you. THANK you so much! ^_^ I'll take this to my associated Wiktionary projects immediately. ^_^ - Gilgamesh (talk) 15:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Anyway, I'm going to update {{grc-ipatok-zz}} to reflect this. :3 - Gilgamesh 15:48, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Ι absolutely disagree with your changes. Classical Greek is not the ideal ground to exhibit dialectical differences in Modern Greek. --flyax 18:05, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

You misunderstand. Already, intervocalic ζ was [zd] in Classical and [zz] in Koine—these are already well-documented. I just changed Byzantine from [z] to [zz], and Contemporary from [z] to [(z)z]. That means it's [zz] in the important dialects that preserve gemination, and [z] everywhere else including Athens. It didn't seem appropriate to me to completely ignore the polished speech of the other Greek-speaking capital, Nicosia. Already for quite some time now, I've been indicating modern double consonants like this. Instead of exhibiting dialectual differences, I've been providing a conservative phonetic transcription, based on what is conserved today across the entire Greek speaking region. The significant preservation that southeastern Greek keeps that mainland Greece does not is the gemination, and we cannot pretend that gemination is extinct in Modern Greek. - Gilgamesh 11:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

My fear is that adding more and more information to templates could become confusing. You are dealing with classical words. Do you really consider it necessary to present there all modern pronunciations? Moreover, if you want to deal with the Cypriot pronunciation, are you sure that double consonants and gemination are the only substantial differences from Standard Modern Greek? I am not qualified to answer, but, if you discover another significant point, are you going to include it in the templates as well? And, after all, why should one deal only with Cypriot pronunciation and not with Cretan or that of Thessaloniki? There is no end to that and you know it. That is why I propose to stick to standard Greek. Finally, why don't you add some modern Cypriot words and show there the pronunciation features of Cypriot dialect? --flyax 12:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I learned that Cyprus has diglossia between Standard Modern Greek (based on the same standard as in Greece) and Cypriot Greek, and polished formal speech uses the former. As such, Cypriots speak polished palatal κ as [c] and not their usual [t͡ʃ]. However, geminated consonants are still geminated, e.g. [vv] [ðð] [zz] [θθ] [kkʰ] [ccʰ] [ll] [ʎʎ] [mm] [nn] [ɲɲ] [ppʰ] [rr] [ss] [ttʰ] [ff] [xx] [çç] invalid IPA characters (][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][). Gemination is active and phonemically different from single consonants, unlike in the Greek mainland. In an enunciated environment, it would make no sense to ungeminate doubled consonants to be clear, because in effect it would be that level less clear than not doing so. Also, I would include only features from the other dialects if they are more conservative than the Athenian standard and can aid in the broad transcription of the entire intelligible formal language region. Afterall, even Athens today has the habit of denasalizing γγ γκ μπ ντ, and on level with the entire language, this would not be considered completely enunciated in all places where proper, right? Even in English, I doubt any phonetician in Britain or Australia, when considering the entire formal English language around the world, would treat the rhotic /r/ as if it doesn't exist. That's why the broad phonetic transcription of doctor is [dɒktɚ], not London-only [dɒktə] (except in circumstances specifically where only Received Pronunciation is to be considered). The fact of the matter is, in every Greek linguistic period, there were dialects that were intelligible and considered varieties of one and the same language, but could differ considerably in their articulation. In the Classical period, Attic was spoken in Attica, Euboea, the northern Cyclades, Chalcidice and their respective colonies. In Athens alone, some phonemes had merged early, such as and υι to [yː], but not all dialects did this, and grammatically was treated as a back vowel, so a conservative broad transcription for is [ʉː], whose articulation is close to [yː] but not a front vowel. Similarly, Classical Attic phonology treated ου as elongated ο both phonologically and grammatically, but in Athens this split relatively early, between [o] and [uː]. (The [uː]-leaning Attic dialects further complicated this by sometimes using ου as a short vowel [u], indicated by the token {{grc-ipatok-ow}}, to adapt short back close vowels, and it is suggested that some [oː] dialects treated this short ου as equivilent to ο—this might have especially been the case in dialects where was [ʉ~u] and the space for phonemic distinction was already narrow.) The fact that Athens at the time was extremely influential still did not make it the only place where intelligible literary Attic was in use. In the Koine period, at least two or three influential standards of Attic Koine emerged—that of the Hellenized regions, that of Egypt (and Alexandria in particular being arguably the center of the learned Greek world at the time), and the prescribed learned standard used by Romans who learned Greek as a second language and did most of their educated writings in it at the time. After a while, the eastern varieties became most relevant, and then that of Byzantium especially after Athens decayed and vanished and Alexandria was cut off by Islamic conquest. During the Byzantine period, there were known to have been dialectual (but still intelligible) differences between central Byzantine Greek, Pontic Greek and Old Athenian Greek, and perhaps also of Sicilian-Italiote Greek. None of these fell into complete irrelevance though, as Greece Proper (Hellas, as opposed to Thrace-Bithynia which was the center of the Greek world at the time) had increasingly been depopulated of Greeks (demographically and linguistically shifting to Slavic), and the Byzantine Empire eventually had to largely recolonize Greece with Greeks from Asia and Sicily. (And before the 10th century, approximately halfway through the Byzantine language period, virtually all Byzantine Attic Greek varieties had a separate [y] phoneme, but afterwards all of them shifted to [i] except for Old Athenian which shifted to [u] and [ju], depending on dialect, but a broad transcription of the language region would still have been [y] as this was the conservative central phoneme that united their differences. Tsakonian, which was never Attic and not really part of the same language, was and still is a [u] language.) The Aegean-Helladian, Pontic, Cappadocian and Grecanic varieties congealed into separated languages as all fell into relative educated irrelevance under the Ottoman Empire in the east and Norman rule in the west. And now we have Standard Modern Greek, which is widely studied in both Greek and Cyprus in diglossia with their own local dialects, but even their polished forms have some subtle significant differences, and conservation of features certainly counts in using a broad transcription of the educated language across the entire area where it is used. - Gilgamesh 14:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Is this your way to discuss a subject? I mean, bombarding your interlocutor with a lecture about everything you know, relevant or not? Please, I don't have so much free time to spent. Give me your point in a few words and I will answer to you. --flyax 15:00, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry about that...autistic people can have a significant poverty when it comes to "cutting to the chase", so to say. It's just easier to say everything that seems relevant. It's a communications handicap—easier to ramble and hope that what one says is clear, than to find the exact needed words for the situation. - Gilgamesh 16:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry. --flyax 17:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Naw, it's okay, you probably just don't have a feel for it. I've had friends and associates who have complained that I require a manual to interact with, but inevitably most of them either accept the necessity of having to work with me on it, or they wash their hands of me and wish I didn't exist in their universe. But you're Greek—you know very well what αὐτισμός (autismós) and αὐτιστής (autistḗs) mean. It's an observation of egocentrism or selfabsorption. In reality, it's about being neuroatypical and having a very different theory of mind. And I'll stop here before I ramble as I too often do. - Gilgamesh 17:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I just had an idea. I know they are modern coined words, but are still coined in the literary Greek fashion. Would it be inappropriate to add αὐτισμός (autismós) and αὐτιστής (autistḗs) as neo-classicist entries? Afterall, Μινώα (Minṓa) was in the Ancient Greek dictionary I used, but I found out that it was coined only in the 19th or 20th century by a non-Greek archaeologist who was trained in Classical Greek. - Gilgamesh 17:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so. You can always add Modern Greek entries (αυτισμός and αυτιστικός). --flyax 18:34, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Accurate pronunciation?[edit]

How accurate are the pronunciations indicated at w:Modern Greek#Writing system in its present form at Wikipedia, and how can they apply here? I always suspected the nasals before palatal consonants were also palatal (e.g. [ɲɟ] instead of [ŋɟ], etc.), but what about this about velars before [o] and [u] being uvular, or αϊ being [aj], etc.? This additional detail (including about the [ɲɟ] IPA) are not my edits. - Gilgamesh 03:53, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia must have what is already written in academic sources. So, your question should be addressed to the editor of the Wikipedia article. If something interesting comes up, then we could discuss it here too. --flyax 12:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


Surely /ɲ/ is wrong in the pronunciation of "μια"? I would say it is /j/ (the "y" sound of "you" in English) or something similar, but not /ɲ/. This is the initial sound in Italian gnocchi and the middle sound in Spanish señor, and is similar to the sound of the letters "ni" in "onion". It is a consonant, not a vowel. — Paul G 09:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

This phonetic transcription is well attested in bibliography. Please, listen to the audio file in the entry for μια. --flyax 11:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I asked the same thing once too. It has something to do with the way Greek assimilates [mʝ] to [mɲ] because [m] is nasal. It isn't totally farfetched in linguistics—a similar thing happens in Czech, where /mj/ is pronounced [mɲ], /mi/ is pronounced [mɲi] and /mě/ is pronounced [mɲe]. Greek has other realized assimilations of [ʝ] after consonants, where after θ κ ξ π σ τ φ χ ψ it's pronounced [ç] because those consonants are voiceless. So it's not too surprising that is assimilates after μ as nasal. In fact, some regional Greek dialects have even further assimilations of [ʝ] that the standard dialect does not; for example, in Cyprus, after θ ξ σ φ χ ψ (voiceless fricatives), [ʝ~ʒ] tends to assimilate as [c~ʧ] obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʧ), invalid IPA characters (ʧ), replace ʧ with t͡ʃ, because of the traditional (since the Middle Ages) Demotic Greek prohibition on fricative-fricative and plosive-plosive voiceless consonant clusters that Cypriot Greek takes to a further level. Contrastly, I'm not certain about this, but there may also be other dialects that don't take it even as far as the standard dialect, and leave [mʝ] as it is. Could a knowledgeable native Greek speaker verify that, please? - Gilgamesh 21:31, 1 October 2008 (UTC)