on 30.7.2005 12:51, Louis A. Talman at email@example.com wrote:
> > On Jul 30, 2005, at 1:03 PM, Pam wrote: > >> Perhaps even "fee" isn't quite the correct ancient pronunciation for >> phi. > > It is more than likely that the ancient pronunciation (even if known) > is inaccessible to the average English-speaking tongue (if not > ear)--just as both of our "th" sounds are inaccessible to the average > French-speaking tongue, while their "u" sound is inaccessible to the > average English-speaking tongue. In these circumstances, I'm very much > in favor of using the nearest approximation that English provides, and > letting it go at that. I'm even willing to extend this convention to > moving accented syllables around: Thus, to an English speaker, > "Cauchy" becomes "KO-she" in place of the French "ko-SHEE" (and even > that's an approximation--the French sounds are subtly different from > the English sounds). > Sounds more like "kô" , "Cau" is "longer" than "Co" (as in co-chon, co-lorer, co-efficient).
The Greek letter "phi" was pronounced as a p aspirated in Ancient Greece and is now pronounced as an "f" in modern Greek (think how you pronounce "Philosophy").
The pronunciation of the "i" in English remains one of numerous mysteries for people whose first language is not English!