Saturday, 27 August 2011

₪ Unreasonable?

   Since my child came to life, I considered it a necessity for him to get to learn basic ancient hellenic. Not because of my greek origin, but because I really believe that knowing ancient hellenic is a cultural and educational must ´ especially when you have someone to be taught from.
                  So, I start taking out my old books (educational and non), collect papers, searched in the internet and generally started getting ready, as in a four years time ´ I am planning on starting him on basic ancient Koine (common) Hellenic. Somewhere lost between nouns and prepositions, a short tutorial about the multi-tonic system came up with some pretty good examples in english, and my new theme on Hellenic Words was more than obvious. There´s exactly where I am gonna stand today.
Basically, this time I am not going to analyze a single word, as I usually do, but the whole logic of how the hellenic language not only influences the expressions and quotations on the english one, but her whole grammar structure.
  Firstly, before getting into the level of difficulty of the hellenic language, we have to inquire the difficulty of the english one. English is perhaps the most difficult western european language in comparison to the other ones, simply because its´ unreasonability. That´s right, unreasonability
The reason for that is simply because almost 60% of the english written speech is being pronounced completely differently than what´s on the paper.
   The most natural upcoming question is why the english language has such absence of syntax grammar rules? Well, the answer to that is simply that there isn´t any absence of it at all.
The english language is a relatively newly constructed result of a Indo-European skeleton where greek, latin, norse, germanic, celtic and gallic languages among others have mixed into what we know today as english. Where the british people did well, was at the part that they didn't changed any of the catchy grammar rules of the basic languages that their´s, is made from, while they failed in a grand scale to... explain those reasons. The first part of this journey discovering hellenic aroma into the english lingua, is the letters on it. In english we see many letters and/or diphthongs that result to the same sound or no clear rule when to use which.
Example purely greek words in the english lang.  on diphthongs: 

Ch, ch - H, h       e.g  Chamaeleon  (chameleon) &  Helicopter 
Ph, ph - F, f         e.g  Philipp  &  Frantic 
Th, th - T, t         e.g   Theory & Teresa
Rh, rh - R, r        e.g   Rhythm & Roof

   So, question is, why do they do that? As you suspected, the secret lays into the hellenic grammar rules. The hellenic language has some rules about toning, but the first and most unbreakable one is that everything takes a diacritic. They are not there for fun, they are not there for decoration. Diacritics stand to show how a word, phthong, or even a letter must be pronounced. 
   I have no desire of overloading you with a massive brainstorming, so cutting to the chase, we have the
Rough and Smooth Breathings or Dasỳ Pneûma (lt. Spiritus Asper) and Psilòn Pneûma respectively. 
The most important of those two, is the Dasia one which is being applied to almost 15% to 25% of the all hellenic words that do take a spirit diacritic. 
Naturally, the next question is what words take a spirit. Answer to this is, all that start with a vowel.
Even more naturally comes the next inquiry of which ones take the Dasỳ Pneûma, and which the Psilòn one. That is indeed a difficult issue. Having to skip the complete answer that would need at least twenty paragraphs for me to explain and you to learn, memorize and remember, I will give a small tip, that helps to almost 80% of the cases, and through that hint you will see why there are these diphthongs and double sound letters in the english language.
   In the majority of the hellenic words that do take a Dasỳ Pneûma there is the possibility to alternate the word by adding a prefix, as in any other word. The difference here is that if the last consonant of the prothem (first word) is one of  Κ, κ ~ Π, π ~ Τ, τ   (eng. K, k  -  P, p  -  T, t) then we have exalipsis (subtraction) of the last vowel of the first word and afterwords the prefix adds up to the first vowel of the main word. What is the headache here though, is that those three consonants Κ, κ ~ Π, π ~ Τ, τ   (eng. K, k  -  P, p  -  T, t) do not remain as they are, but they alternate to Χ,χ ~ Φ,φ ~ Θ,θ (Ch - Ph - Th).
   As we can easily see, all these diphthongs have something in common: the letter H, h. This is happening because in western Peloponnesus, they (Achaeans) were speaking a mixed dialect of the Dorian, Aeolian and late Pelasgian ones, that had as a rule that every word starting with a vowel and took Dasỳ Pneûma had the letters Η,η and Σ,σ in front of the word.


Dorian ΗΕΛΕΝΕ (pron. Ielene) ->
Aeolian ΗΕΛΕΝΗ (pron. Ieleni) ->
first Ionic HἙΛΕΝΗ (pron. I-Eleni) ->
Ionic ΕΛΕΝΗ (pron. Eleni) ->
Mdr. eng. Helen.

(The word kept its´ Doric origin to its´ final modern english form due to the relationships between western Peloponnesus and Magna Grecia (Great Greece / Italy) where the Latins took it and added it up to the latin language)

Since then the letter Η,η and Σ,σ remained to all of the words that were taking Dasỳ Pneûma in north - northwestern Europe, even though both Greeks and Romans canceled their use, with the Greeks using a more accurate and complicated system of multitonisation,  and the Romans by abandoning it completely. 

Examples of Dasỳ Pneûma use:

ἅγιος → hagiography, hagiology, hagiographer
Ἅδης → hadean, hadopelagic
ἁδρός → hadron, hadrosaurus
αἷμα → hemophilia, hemorrhage
ἁλκυών → halcyon, halcyonic, halcyonidae
ἁλάτι → halogen, halo-aromatic, halo-bacteria, halosaur
ἁλύσκειν → hallucinosis, hallucinate
ἅλως → halo
ἅπαξ → hapax legomenon, hapaxes
ἁπλός → haplodiploid, haploid, haploidisation, haplorrhini, Haplotype
ἁρμονία → harmony, harmonium, harmonica, harmonisation, harmonics...
ἁρμός → harmotome, arm
ἕτερος → hetero-
εὑρίσκω → heuristics
ἡγεσία → hegemony
ἥλιος → helion, heliotropic, heliocentric
ἥρωας → heroism
ἕλιξ → helix, helicopter, helicity
ἑπτά → heptarchy, heptagon, heptameter
ἱερός → hierarchy, hieroglyph
ἱστορία → history
ὕδωρ → hydrodynamics, hydrolysis
ὕπνος → hypnotism
ὅλος → holistics
ὅμοιος → homeopathy
ὁρίζοντας → horizon
ὧρα → horoscope

Examples of Psilòn Pneûma use:

 negative, non-→ adiabatic, agnostic, ahistorical, amoral...
ἄβαξ→ abacus, abaculus
ἄβυσσος→ abyss, abyssal, abyssocottidae, abyssopelagic
ἄγαλμα→ agalmatolite, agalmatophilia
ἀγαθή→ agate, agathodaemon
ἀγάπη→ agape, agapanthus, agapanthaceae
ἀγγαρεία→ angary, angaria, angariate
ἀγγεῖον→ angiosperm, angiocardiography, angiodysplasia...
ἄγγελος→ archangel, evangelist
ἄγκιστρον→ ancistrocladus, ancistrocactus, ancistrocheirus
ἀγκύλος→ angle
ἄγκυρα→ anchoring, anchorage
ἀγκώνας→ ancona, ancon, anconal
ἀγορά→ agoraphobia, agoranomos, agora
ἀγρός→ agrobiology, agronomics, agrology
ἆγχος→ αngina, anxious
ἀγωνία→ agonize, antagonistic, agony
ἀδάμας→ adamant, adamantine
ἀδελφός→ adelphopoiesis, adelphous
ἀέρας→ aerodynamics, aerofoil, aeronautics, aerobic, airplane, airship
ἀθλητής→ athlete, athletics
αἰθάλη→ aethalops, ethallobarbital
αἰθέρας→ ether, ethereal
αἴγαγρος→ aegagrus, aegagropila
αἰγιαλός→ aegialornis, aigialosaur, aegialornithidae
αἰγίς→ aegis
Aἴγυπτος→ egyptology, egyptologist
αἴλουρος→ ailurophobia, aelurodon, aeluroscalabotinae
Aἴολος→ Aeolic, Aeolian, Aeolotropy
αἴσθηση→ aesthetic, aesthetician, aestheticism, aesthete, aesthetics
αἰσχύνω→ aeschynanthus, aeschynite
αἰτία→ etiology, aetiology
αἰχμή→ aechmophorus, aechmea
αἰώνας→ eon
Ἀκαδημία→ academy, academic
ἄκανθος→ acantharea, acanthite, acanthocephala, acanthocercus...
ἀκάρι→ acarid, acariasis, acarology
ἀκμή→ acne, acnestis
ἀκόλουθος→ anacoluthon, acolyte
ἀκόνη→ aconitum, paragon
ἀκούω→ acoustic guitar, acoustic nerve, acoustic theory, acoustics
ἄκρον→ acrobat, acrocephalus, acrochordidae, acrochordon, acromantula, acronym, acrotomophilia
ἀκτίνα→ actinium, actinobacteria, actinodine, actinolite...
ἂκτωρ→ actor
ἀλάβαστρος→ alabaster
ἀλλαντοειδής→ allantois, allantoin
Ἀλέξανδρος→ Alexander, alexipharmic, alexithymia, alexiteric
ἀλεποῦ→ alopecia
ἀλεύρι→ aleurone, aleuromancy
ἄλγος→ -algia, arthralgia, cardialgia, cephalalgia...
ἀλοιφή→ aliphatic, Aliphatic hydrocarbon
ἄλκιμος→ analcite
ἀλληγορία→ allegory
ἄλληλος→ allelomorph, parallelogram
ἄλλος→ allochthon, allodium, allodontidae, allogenes...
ἀλλότροπος→ allotropy, allotropes, allotropism,
ἄλυσσος→ alyssum, Alyssa
ἄλφα→ alphabet, alphabetize, alphagram, alphanumeric...
Ἀμαζών→ Amazon, Amazonomachy, Amazonite, Amazonia
Ἀμάλθεια→ Amalthea
ἀμάρανθος→ amaranth, amaranthaceae, amaranthoideae
Ἀμαρυλλίς→ amaryllis, amaryllidaceae
ἀμαύρωσις→ amaurosis, amaurophilia, amaurobiidae
ἀμβλύς→ amblygonite, amblyopia, amblypoda
ἄμβροτος→ ambrosia, ambrotype
ἄμβυξ→ alembic, alembication, alembicated
ἄμβων→ ambo
ἄμμος→ ammoperdix, ammophila, ammotrechidae
ἀμμωνία→ ammonia, ammoniacal
ἀμνός→ amnion, amniotic, amniocentesis, amnioscope,
ἀμοιβή→ amoeba, amoebic
ἄμυλον→ amylin, amyloid, amylose, amylopectin, amylase, amyls, amylophagia, amyl
ἀμυγδαλή→ almond
ἀμφί→ amphipoda, amphioxus, amphiglossus
ἀμφορέας→ amphora, ampulla
ἀμφότερος→ amphoteric
ἀνά→ anabolism, anachronism, anaplasia
ἄναξ→ anax
Ἀνδρομέδα→ Andromeda, Andromeda polifolia
ἄνεμος→ anemometer, anemoscopy, anemoscope, anemophilous
ἀνεμώνη→ anemone, sea-anemone
ἀνεύρισμα→ aneurysm, microaneurysm
ἄνδρας→ androcentrism, androgen, android, andrologist, andrology, androstephium, androsterone
ἄνθος→ anthology, anthophyta, anthostema, anthogonium...
ἄνθρακας→ anthrax, anthracotherium, anthracosauria, anthracosis
ἄνθρωπος→ anthropology, anthropomorphism, anthropopathy...
ἀντί→ antibiotic, anticyclone, antidiabetic, antihero...
ἄντρον→ antrum
ἄξιος→ axiological, axiology, axiology, axiom...
ἄξων→ axis, axoneme, axoplasm, axisymmetric
ἀόριστος→ aoristic, aorist
ἀορτή→ aortic, aorta
ἀπάτη→ apatite, apatosaurus
ἀπό→ apology, apostrophe, apocrypha
ἀράχνη→ arachnid
ἄργιλλος→ argillite, argillaceous
Ἄρης→ areo-, areocentric, areology, areography
ἀρκῶ→ arc, arcade
ἀρθρῖτις→ arthritis, osteoarthritis
ἄρθρον→ arthropod, arthroscopy, arthropathy
ἀριθμός→ arithmetic, logarithm
ἄριστος→ aristocracy
ἄρκτος→ arctic
ἀρκτοῦρος→ arcturus, arcturis, arcturian
ἄρτιος→ artiodactyl
ἀρχαῖος→ archaeology, archetype
ἀρχή→ archbishop, anarchy, archidiptera, archigram, archipelago...
ἀρχιτέκτων→ architecture, architect
ἄρχων→ archon, archosaur, archostemata
ἄρωμα→ aroma, aromatic compounds
ἀσθένεια→ asthenia, asthenopia
ἄσθμα→ asthmatic
Ἀσία→ Asia Minor, Asian, Asianisation, asiaphile
ἀσπάραγος→ asparagine acid, aspartame, aspartate
ἀσπίδα→ asp
ἀστέρι→ asteroid, asterisk
ἀστράγαλος→ astragalus, astragal
ἄστρον→ astronomy, astrology, astrophysics, astronaut, astrolabe...
ἄσυλον→ asylum
ἀσφυξία→ asphyxiant
ἀτμόσφαιρα→ atmosphere, atmospheric
Ἄτλας→ atlas, Atlantic
ἄτομο→ atomic, atomizer
Ἀττική→ attic, atticism
αὐθεντικός→ authentication, authentic
αὐστηρός→ austerity
αὐξάνω→ auxin, auxesis,
αὐτός→ autonomy, automatic
Ἀφροδίτη→ aphrodisiac, aphrodisia,
ἀψίδα→ apse, apsis, apsidal, hassium, Diapsida
ἐγκυκλοπαίδεια→ encyclopedia
εἰκόνα→ icon, iconicity, iconoclast
ἔτυμον→ etymology
εὖ→ eulogy, euphoria
ἠώς→ eocene
ἴδιος→ idiolect, idiom, idiot, individual
ἰχθύς→ ikhthus, ichthyology
οἶνος→ oenomel
ὀλίγος→ oligarchy
ὀξύς→ oxygen
ὄργανον→ organ, organism
ὀρθός→ orthography, orthogonal

Tip:     That is the reason why we use today the diphthongs Ch - Ph - Th in the english language, for hellenic originated words with the use of Dasỳ Pneûma while for words that they were taking the Psilòn Pneûma we have simply phonetic / letter matches. ( H - F - T ).

PS. A very big amount of the material on today´s topic was taken from the

 to whom I am grateful to.