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Headword: *bh/
Adler number: beta,250
Translated headword: baa
Vetting Status: high
["Baa" is] what imitates the bleating of sheep; Attic-speakers do not say bai/.[1] Cratinus in Dionysalexandros: "of course the last one goes along saying 'beh beh' like a sheep."[2]
Greek Original:
*bh/ to\ mimhtiko\n th=s tw=n proba/twn fwnh=s, ou)xi\ bai\ le/gousin *)attikoi/. *krati=nos *dionusaleca/ndrw|: o( dh\ loi/sqios w(/sper pro/baton bh\ bh\ le/gwn badi/zei.
Olson B20: 'important evidence for ancient Greek pronunciation, since although the sound the letter beta represents may have changed, sheep still make the same noise they did two and [a] half thousand years ago.'
[1] Or rather, the Attic speakers did not spell it bai/. In classical Attic eta was pronounced roughly like the "a" in English "bat"; later it came to be pronounced more like the "e" in "bet." By the time of the Suda, as in modern Greek, eta would have been pronounced like iota, and the spelling bai/ would have better represented the voice of a sheep.
[2] Cratinus fr. 43 Kock, now 45 K.-A.; cf. Aristophanes fr.642 Kock, now 648 K.-A; Varro, De re rustica 2.1.
S.D. Olson, Broken Laughter (OUP 2007)
Keywords: agriculture; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 7 August 2000@00:33:08.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 30 August 2002@07:44:29.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 28 May 2012@05:50:16.
David Whitehead (updated 2 refs) on 23 December 2014@03:57:06.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 23 December 2014@10:57:21.
David Whitehead (another note) on 30 December 2014@03:47:59.


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