Greek words for talking about the alphabet

Hi friend,

I’ve been prepping for teaching Greek class, and after some basic TPR I want to teach the alphabet.

So, I’ve been check Thrax’s grammar and poking around here and there to find the right words to use.

These seem to be a pretty good set to start with

  • τὸ γράμμα ’letter'
  • τὸ συμφώνον ‘consonant’

Vowels was the most difficult to pin down because the term is a 3rd declension adjective. It took some work to confirm that and then get the right forms for ‘short’ and ’long’ in the singular. Thrax has them as plurals in his grammar.

  • τὸ φωνῆεν ‘vowel’ - τὸ βραχύ ‘short’ - τὸ μακρά ’long’

I’ll also want μαρκότερον so I can compare vowel lengths (τὸ η μαρκότερόν ἐστιν τοῦ ε, τὸ ω μακρότερόν ἐστιν ἢ τὸ ο.).

I also wanted the words for the accents. But that was fairly simple.

  • ὁ τόνος ’tone/accent' - ἡ ὀξεῖα ‘accute’ - ἡ βαρεία ‘grave’ - ἡ περισπωμένα ‘circumflex’

I’m planning on use these words to describe how to pronounce things.

  • προφέρω ‘I pronounce’ - προφέρεται ‘is pronounced’

  • ἡ προφορά ‘pronunciaiton’

  • λέγω ‘I say’ - λέγεται ‘is said’

That’s the rought plan for now.

Hopefully this collection of terms might help you too.

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