God's Gift of Language: How Did Ancient Languages Sound?

Video from Yeap!

"Ancient Languages: Ancient Egypt / 3100 BC - 332 BC Achaemenids / 550 BC–330 BC Ancient Greece / c. 800 BC - c. 600 AD Ancient Rome / 753 BC–476 AD Assyria / 1813 BC–612 BC Göktürks / 552 AD-744 AD Hittites / c. 1600 BC–c. 1178 BC Akkadians / c. 2334 BC - c. 2154 BC Aztec / c. 1100 AD - 1533 AD Celts / c. 517 BC - C. 100 AD Mayans / c. 2000 BC - c. 1700 AD Sumerians / 4000 BC - 2000 BC Urartu / 860 BC–590 BC Vikings / 800AD - 1066 AD" from video introduction.

"Students who enroll in their first Latin course – or maybe find themselves placed there quite against their will – begin their studies with a survey of the alphabet. They are often surprised to find that lowercase letters were unknown to the Romans and are even astonished that ancient texts made little use of punctuation and word division. Quickly, however, they move on to more practical matters, and learn that the letter C is always “hard” (like English K) and that the letter V is pronounced not like English V but English W. This process is more involved in an introductory Greek course, but not as daunting as it first seems.

Once those basics are in place, students spend their time acquiring new vocabulary and navigating a labyrinth of inflectional endings in order to improve their written translations. They might wonder why, outside school, their priest seems to violate what they learned about the letter V in Latin class, or why their Greek professor pronounces the letter Φ as a fricative f-sound when the textbook explains otherwise. But few people, even those who go on to become professional Classicists, spend much time thinking about pronunciation..." from the article: WHAT DID ANCIENT LANGUAGES SOUND LIKE?


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