nu in sun- prefix is a gamma

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Luke B. Wolford | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Aug 16 2017 9:27 AM

I've noticed recently that in words with a sun- prefix that the nu is a gamma. Nus in other parts of the word appear normally. This happens across resources in commentaries and lexicons.

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Luke B. Wolford | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 11:00 AM

Here is a screenshot if that helps

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 5:37 PM

Luke B. Wolford:
I've noticed recently that in words with a sun- prefix that the nu is a gamma.

I would suggest that this query is better placed in the General forum.

Dave
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Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 71
Luke B. Wolford | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 5:46 PM

WWhile looking at it closer it seems that it should be a gamma but that still doesn't explain why that letter is transliterated as an in the commentary. If a moderator wants to move this to general that is fine by me.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 8:16 PM

Luke B. Wolford:

While looking at it closer it seems that it should be a gamma but that still doesn't explain why that letter is transliterated as an in the commentary.

John Schwandt deals with this in his brand new Interactive Greek Alphabet Course:

Consonant Blends

Now, let’s take a look at consonant blends. In English, the first four letters of my last name (“schw”) make the complex sound \shw\. This is called a “consonant blend”: combining consonants to make complex sounds. Most of the blended consonant sounds in Greek will be intuitive, just like “sp” or σπ will produce the same sound. There are three consonant blends that aren’t as intuitive. They all start with gamma, and they blend together with another guttural consonant, namely, kappa, chi, or another gamma. The initial gamma will produce a nasal sound, like the blended sound the letter n produces in words like “long” or “honk.”

So two gammas will sound like “ng” (\ŋ\) as in ἄγγελος. Gamma followed by kappa will sound like “nk” as in ἀνάγκη. Gamma followed by chi will also have this n sound (\ŋk\), as in σπλάγχνον. Notice that this word has two consonant blends in it. The first three letters (σ, π, and λ) make the blended sound \spl\, and the gamma-chi make the blended sound \ŋk\ (σπλάγχνον). This word means “compassion,” by the way. It’s a great word.

John D. Schwandt, GK092 Interactive Greek Alphabet Course (Erasmian Version), Logos Mobile Education (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).

Mounce covers this in his grammar, as do most beginning grammars:

“Gamma (γ) usually has a hard ‘g’ sound, as in ‘get.’ However, when it is immediately followed [by] γ, κ, χ, or ξ, it is pronounced as a ‘n.’ For example, the word ἄγγελος is pronounced ‘angelos’ (from which we get our word ‘angel’). The gamma pronounced like a ‘n’ is called a gamma nasal.”

William D. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, ed. Verlyn D. Verbrugge, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 9.

Posts 71
Luke B. Wolford | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 8:28 PM

Thanks Phil. It's been several years since I've had a biblical Greek class. Before I looked closer, I thought that Logos had replaced the nu with a gamma for some reason. My mistake.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 16 2017 8:42 PM

Luke B. Wolford:

Thanks Phil. It's been several years since I've had a biblical Greek class. Before I looked closer, I thought that Logos had replaced the nu with a gamma for some reason. My mistake.

No worries. We all need refreshers. This is an easy one to forget!

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