Questions tagged [breathing]

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6
votes
3answers
937 views

Are there any minimal pairs distinguished by breathing?

In Attic Greek, "rough breathing" (/h/ at the start of a word) was apparently phonemic: it couldn't be predicted from context, and had to be memorized as part of the word. Byzantine scribes later ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

Was η called “eta” or “heta”?

Nowadays, the letter Η/η is called "ita" by Greeks and "eta" by physicists. But I'm curious: if I went back in time and talked to Socrates, what name would he have used? Background: historically, Η ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Is rough vs smooth breathing predictable?

Recently, I came across an excerpt from a scholium on Dionysius Thrax: Διὰ τί τὸ "η" πρὸ τοῦ "τ" ψιλοῦται, ἐν δὲ τῷ ἧτα τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ στοιχείου δασύνεται; Ἐπειδὴ παρὰ τοῖς ἀρχαίοις ὁ τύπος τοῦ "Η" ...