Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why ORAL aspect in Greek is important?

I posted the following contribution to G-Greek and I will get back to that.


From the time that the Church was establish in Jerusalem, to the current day, when they read the Gospel (aloud) ἀνάγνωσμα – in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection, what is the language they use, is it Greek? In the last two millennia do we have any interruption of this practice?

In Thessaloniki, Corinth and other places in Greece, from the time we received the letters from St. Paul, we never stopped reading these letters and the rest of the Gospels in our Churches. Not even under Latin or Ottoman occupation. We never stopped reading aloud the New Testament. The same aloud reading is the non-interruptive practice in Alexandria Egypt, and mount Sinai, at the oldest monastery of St. Catharine.

Now it may be time to expand this practice to all, and not just to Greek Orthodox.

One more point, when Erasmus was in Italy, the Italians were reading and talking with Greeks together. In the previous century, Prof. John Stuart Blakie, Prof Edmund Martin Geldar, Prof. Telemachus Thomas Timayenis continued this practice. What is the obstacle of doing the same today? Are any benefits that we should be separate and in no communication?

Do accents, breathing sings, punctuation sings, diaeresis notation, the rule that one syllable has one voice, voice fluctuation and intonation have any purpose, or not?
Why Greek grammarians put the matter of ἀνάγνωσις in their grammars first of all? What is the meaning of ἑλληνισμὸς, σολοικισμὸς and βαρβαρισμός in the aloud reading?
Do we benefit if we practice what it is written:

Γραμματικὴ ἐστιν ἐμπειρία τῶν παρὰ ποηταῖς τε καὶ συγγραφεῦσιν ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων. Μέρη δὲ αὐτῆς εἰσὶν ἕξ. πρῶτον ἀνάγνωσις ἐντριβὴς κατὰ προσῳδίαν, δεύτερον ἐξήγησις, μετὰ τοὺς ἐνυπάρχοντας ποιητικοὺς τρόπους, τρίτον γλωσσῶν τὲ καὶ ἱστοριῶν πρόχειρος ἀπόδοσις, τέταρτον ἐτυμολογίας εὕρεσις, πέμπτον ἀναλογίας ἐκλογισμὸς, ἕκτον κρίσις ποιημάτων, ὅ δη κάλλιστόν ἐστι πάντων ἐν τῇ τέχνῃ.

Grammar is empirical (knowledge) (of the general usage) of poets and prose writers (ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων). It has six divisions, first expert (reading) with due regard to prosodic features; second explanation of the literary expressions found in the text; third, the provision of notes on particular words and on the subject matter; fourth, the discovery of etymologies’ fifth, the working out of grammatical regularities; sixth, the critical appreciation of literature, which is the finest part of all that the (science τέχνῃ) embraces.

As I take the translation from the Byzantine Grammarians, by Robert Henry Robins, page 44, I do have problems with the translation, and definitely ἀνάγνωσις is not just reading but aloud reading.

Randall has a point! 

The language not only has a voice, but φωνὴ εὔηχον.