D Littera

From Simon Online
Jump to: navigation, search

D Litteram greci sine quadam sui aspiratione non proferunt delta vocant, verumtamen quandocumque .t. litteram .n. sequitur illud .t. in sonum nostri .d. transit, quare scribunt antichristos et proferunt andichristos Arabes autem habent .d. ut nos quod del vocant nichilominus habent aliud velud aspiratum quod dhel vocant per quod dheheb quod est aurum scribunt.


D Litteram ABC | D literam e

delta AC | & dherta B | Et dherta e

.t. litteram .n. C | t. lȓaʒ n. A | t littera n litteram B

scribũt antixpōs & proferũt andixpōs AC | scribit~ antixpōs & proferũt ãdixpōs B | scribunt antixpōs et proferunt ãdixpōs e | scribunt antichristos et proferunt andichristos Thomas W. Smith transcripsit

del uocant & nichilomĩus habent aliud velud aspiratũ quod dhel uocãt B | del vocant dhel quod ? per quod dehel quod est e | deest AC {obviously AC skipped a line triggered by the very similar wording quod del vocant and quod dhel vocant}

deheb AC | dheheb B | dehel e {dheheb mixed up with dhel?}

aurũ (aurum A) scribunt ABC | aurum scribitur e


The Greeks do not pronounce this letter they call delta without a certain aspiration of it. However, when the letter 't' follows 'n', this 't' changes in sound {to a sound} comparable to our 'd'. This is why when they write antichristos they pronounce it andichristos.

The Arabs have 'd' like us, which they call 'del' . Notwithstanding they have another {similar} sound, aspirated as it were, which they call dhel and with which they write the word dheheb, which is in Latin aurum {"gold"}.


The Greek language in Simon's time had already undergone most sound changes that distinguished it from Classic Greek and must have sounded very much like modern Greek. Here Simon comments on a change that had possibly already occurred in Koine Greek (300BC – 300 AD), whereby /d/ became the sound as word-initially in English "though". This is still the pronunciation in Modern Greek. Also when /t/ was preceded by /n/ it was pronounced like /d/; cf. Modern Greek κέντρο spelt /kéntro/ but pronounced /kéndro/.

The prints and the ms. write the Greek word antichristos/ andichristos as antixpōs/ andixpōs. The final element -xpōs is an abbreviated imitation of the Greek –χριστος {"anointed"} > -χρ(ιστ)ος > χρōς > xpōs in the word ἀντίχριστος /antíkhristos/ "the Antichrist".

Wehr (1976): ﺫﻫﺐ /ḏahab/ "gold". Arabic has /d/ similar to English "doe", expressed by the 8th letter in their alphabet named ﺩﺍﻝ dāl, as well as the sound as in English "though", which is their 9th letter, named ﺫﺍﻝ ḏāl. In Simon's Italian the latter sound did not exist and would have been routinely substituted by /d/, just as today many Italian speakers pronounce English "this” as /dis/. It is therefore no surprise that Simon's sample word ﺫﻫﺐ /ḏahab/ "gold", which begins with the sound in "though", i.e. /ḏ/ rather than /d/ is transliterated by most witnesses with the letter 'd'. Simon seems to have intended to distinguish the two sounds by 'dh' for /ḏ/ and 'd' for /d/. However, either through his own phonetic uncertainty or in the course of the transmission the good intention did not come to fruition and thus most entries have this sound written as 'd'. Cf. deheb in the Apparatus above, and also the entry Deheb below.

In fact Simon transliterates three distinctive Arabic sounds with his Latin 'd', ﺩﺍﻝ dāl as in Defle = ﺩﻓﻠﻰ diflā "oleander"; ﺫﺍﻝ ḏāl as in Deheb ﺫﻫﺐ /ḏahab/ "gold"; and ﺿﺎﺩ /ḍād/ as in Dars = ﺿﺮﺱ /ḍirs/ "molar tooth".

Next entry