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3416AW: [norse_course] Re: Sleepless in .se

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  • Daniel Ryan Prohaska
    Aug 1, 2003
      Hi Sjur,

      You wrote:

      <Since Latin has been a spoken language in
      <the church and in the academical world anyway, there is no problem to
      <make such a learning tape.

      Precisely, but this has little to do with reconstructive phonology. As
      you pointed out Latin was used as an academic, administrative and sacred
      language to this day, but in its various national pronunciations.
      Nowadays many Latin teachers follow more closely the reconstructed and
      attested pronunciation of the classical or "golden" Latin period. This I
      find preferable. Of course it always comes down to the reader being able
      to emulate these sounds and give a rough approximation of what it "could
      have sounded like". This can also be done for Old Norse, as no single
      variety of modern Scandinavian is phonologically so conservative to have
      retained a general character of Old Norse. Even Icelandic, which has
      undergone tremendous changes since the Old Norse period, not to mention
      the scarcely attested Viking period.

      <I don't know Ancient Greek to well to say anything about it, but I
      <assume that it has no natural offspring.

      I suppose one could call the "Katheravousa" variety of Greek an academic
      a offspring of Old Greek. In the past 30 years this variety has been
      largely replaced by the "Dimotiki" "the people's language" (i.e.
      Standard Modern Greek). Katheravousa is used only in the judicial
      language, in universities and a few newspapers. Most of the Greek
      emigrants throughout the world still feel that "Katheravousa" ought to
      be standard Greek and deplore the switch to Dimotiki. Off course the
      pronunciation, like modern Latin is not like Old Greek, but it uses
      forms and lexical items found in the ancient language.

      <So, the reason that Old Norse is special is that
      <(1) It has a close offspring which can be "taped" instead,
      <(2) the amount of potential users is rather small since it is the
      <language of the Icelandic Sagas, not the root language of western

      <(1) and (2) points in the direction that Old Norse learning tapes are
      <quite uninteresting (just take a Modern Icelandic one instead). But,
      <I should point out that, personally, I like to reconstruct Old Norse

      <A question: If such an Old Norse learning tape would be recorded,
      <which nationality or region should the reader be from (i.e. what
      <accent should he have)? If we identify Old Norse with Old Icelandic
      <it is obvious. I wouldn't make that identification. I would prefer a
      <reader from my own region. A Scanian would prefer a Scanian reader. A
      <Gutlander would prefer a Gutlandic reader. A Finland-swede would
      <prefer a Finland-Swedish reader. Etc.

      As a reconstructed Old Norse phonology would be unlike Finland-Swedish,
      Gulandish or Scanian, it wouldn't matter where the speaker came from.
      S/he wouldn't even have to be Scandinavian.

      I'm sure it would be helpful to record Old Icelandic/Norse literary
      works and give a carefully reconstructed sound-guide to the
      reconstructed phonemes as well as the metre intended in recital. I
      disagree with you on your latter point.

      I can recommend the CD "Edda - Myths from Medieval Iceland" by
      Sequentia, sung recordings of part of the Edda using a reconstructed
      Norse phonemic system.


      --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Lewis, Raymond J."
      <lewisrj@a...> wrote:
      > Why - yes! I do believe that you should be in bed!
      > I've seen other posts by you - so I know that you're not daft or
      > Did you know, my good man, that one can, at this very moment,
      purchase audio
      > tapes on Classical Latin and Ancient Greek pronunciation? Now -
      I've been
      > told
      > that neither the Romans or the Old Greeks had recording equipment
      and, since
      > I
      > am a rather smug modern, I'm inclined to believe it.  However,
      since I'm
      > also a
      > really smart hick - I have an idea that the pronunciation of now
      > languages
      > can be grasped at (i.e., reconstructed) by various means. Since you
      > clearly
      > a slick fellow, who knows many things, please let me know if I
      > perhaps,
      > be, somewhat, on the right track here.  If you find that the
      > path be followed, or nearly so, please indicate why it is that Old
      Norse is
      > so
      > incredibly special that others could not have gone about the task
      of the
      > reconstruction
      > of the pronunciation thereof.  Since I, in fact, do not know that
      there are
      > no such
      > tapes, your explanation will be most welcome.
      > Raymond
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: sjuler
      > To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: 7/29/2003 8:02 PM
      > Subject: [norse_course] Sv: Re: Sv: thanks
      > Heill,
      > I write this message 2 a.m., I should be in my bed now :)
      > The reason that I wrote "Are you really sure that there are Old
      > learning tapes on the market out there!?" is that Dorilys was
      > for "Old Norse [...]learning tapes". As you know, there are no such
      > tapes since Old Norse is not a spoken language (any more). This
      > should have been realized by Dorilys (or be realized _now_).
      > Sjul
      > --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Lewis, Raymond J."
      > <lewisrj@a...> wrote:
      > > Say - weren't you the fellow that wrote:
      > > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > ---
      > > I usually write my posts around midnight. Maybe I should be in
      > > then :D
      > > Sjul
      > > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > ---
      > >
      > > After reading this I'd have to say ----------------------->>>
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: sjuler
      > > To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: 7/26/2003 4:16 PM
      > > Subject: [norse_course] Andsvar: thanks
      > >
      > > Are you really sure that there are Old Norse learning tapes on
      > > market out there!? I knew that the Norse culture was amongst the
      > most
      > > advanced ones in the medieval, but I didn't know they invented a
      > > sound recording system...
      > >
      > > /Sjuler
      > >
      > > ----------------------->>>
      > >
      > > that it looks like you've stayed up too late again - eh?
      > >
      > > Raymond
      > > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > >
      > > --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, Dorilys Turner
      > > wrote:
      > > > Thanks for the wonderful pages you've sent so far. Do you know
      > > where to get Old Norse or Icelandic language learning tapes, & @
      > what
      > > price?   Sunshine & Rain!
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > blessings, dorilys
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ---------------------------------

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