So I've come across this word βῡκάνη, ostensibly borrowed from Latin būcina ('an ox-horn trumpet'), from bou- ('ox') + canere ('to sing'). The lack of vowel reduction is immediately striking; additionally, Lat. V /ū/ corresponds to Gr. Υ /ʉ̄/. Three possibilities come to mind:
- it was borrowed from Oscan or another more southern Italic language where the reduction was absent (and /ū/ might have been at least allophonically centralised like in Greek). Note that bōs itself is often suspected to be of Osco-Umbrian origin, but I think it's predictably irregular to avoid an obvious homonymy with vōs ('you');
- it was borrowed before vowel reduction was operative in Latin - usually said to have been complete by the 3d century at the latest;
- it was actively undone during borrowing.
I'm wondering if there are further indications to help decide between these possibilities; and specifically I'm curious whether further examples can be found where A. Greek (or any other language, for that matter) shows lack of vowel reduction in loanwords from Latin.