Pronunciation of Ancient Greek in Teaching - Italy


Ancient Greek in Italy is taught in the Erasmian pronunciation without exception. However, Italian speakers find it hard to reproduce the pitch-based ancient Greek accent accurately, so circumflex and acute accents are not distinguished. Poetry is read using metric conventions stressing the long syllables. The distinctions between single and doubled consonants that are present in Italian are recognized.


  • β is a voiced bilabial plosive as in Italian biliardo or English Bill
  • γ is a voiced velar plosive as in Italian gatto or English got. When γ precedes κ γ χ ξ is nasalized in
  • κ is the voiceless velar plosive
  • ζ is pronounced as voiced alveolar affricate as in Italian zolla
  • τ is pronounced as the voiceless dental plosive
  • θ is taught as the voiceless dental fricative as in English thing, but since Italian does not have a corresponding sound it is often pronounced using the voiceless alveolar affricate as in Italian zio, or even like τ (voiceless dental plosive ).
  • φ is pronounced as a voiceless labiodental fricative (not as an aspirate), like Italian futuro or English fall
  • χ is taught as a voiceless velar fricative as in German ach, but since Italian does not have a corresponding sound it's often pronounced like κ (voiceless velar plosive )
  • υ is pronounced as a close front rounded vowel like in French u,
  • the diphthong ου is pronounced as a close back rounded vowel as in Italian uno

The following diphthongs are pronounced like the similarly-written Italian diphthongs:

  • αυ =
  • οι =
  • ει =
  • αι =

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Famous quotes containing the word italy:

    I think sometimes that it is almost a pity to enjoy Italy as much as I do, because the acuteness of my sensations makes them rather exhausting; but when I see the stupid Italians I have met here, completely insensitive to their surroundings, and ignorant of the treasures of art and history among which they have grown up, I begin to think it is better to be an American, and bring to it all a mind and eye unblunted by custom.
    Edith Wharton (1862–1937)

    Everything in Italy that is particularly elegant and grand ... borders upon insanity and absurdity—or at least is reminiscent of childhood.
    Alexander Herzen (1812–1870)

    Uncle Matthew’s four years in France and Italy between 1914 and 1918 had given him no great opinion of foreigners. “Frogs,” he would say, “are slightly better than Huns or Wops, but abroad is unutterably bloody and foreigners are fiends.”
    Nancy Mitford (1904–1973)