Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014216, Wed, 29 Nov 2006 13:09:31 -0500

Greek C/Sigma
Like Jansy, I'm somewhat troubled by the G to C jump proposed by Carolyn
Kunin. I read the full exposition that Carolyn posted a couple of months
ago, and the briefer version--but I have not been able to turn my full
mental attention to that problem to work through all the ramifications.
Although I have followed the discussion with great interest, I have not
gone back and re-studied the text from any of these perspectives; I have
other priorities just now.

I will say, since no-one else has, that at least in Medieval Greek
writing, the "C" is indeed used to represent "sigma". This occurs
mid-word as well as in word-final position. I can't think of any
word-initial examples. More commonly, ordinary sigma, in word-final,
looks like a blend of an "s" and a "c"--a "c" with a little tail: ς. I
suppose it might also be considered to have some similarity to a
"g"--due to the tail.

I have only personal and superficial, and zero professional or
linguistic, knowledge of these matters, so please don't take my comments
too seriously.

Stephen Blackwell

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