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How should hypokeimenon be pronounced?

P.S. For the curious, a sci-fi book I'm reading used several words I did not know. When I looked them up, I also ran across hypokeimenon and wondered about it.

  • supernal
  • dolose
  • haecceity
  • morological
  • accipitrine
  • limbus
  • Odobenus rosmarus

These last six were within two pages. I only knew anything about one of them.

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Is it a new pokemon? –  stacker Oct 1 '10 at 23:06
@stacker: It's one with hyper powers, apparently. –  oosterwal Feb 19 '11 at 1:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The word is Greek in origin, used by Aristotle to describe "something which can be predicated by other things, but cannot be a predicate of others". To be certain of the correct pronunciation, we would have to consult someone who speaks native ancient Greek, which may be difficult.

The best reference that I could find was this video of a Greek speaker discussing metaphysics.

The gentleman at this link (a male from Netherlands) pronounces it something like HAY-PO-KAAAY-MEN-ON, drawing out the AA sound between hypok and menon.

As a native English speaker, my first instinct is to pronounce it HIGH-PO-KAY-MEN-ON. I would treat the hypo prefix as identical in sound to its use in "hypodermic" or "hypoallergenic". I am less certain about the kei portion, but KAY sounds more correct than KEE. To my eye, the final menon could only be pronounced MEN-ON. Again, this is only my interpretation.

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In other words: [ˌhɑɪ poʊ ˈkeɪ mən ɒn] (where the main stress is on [keɪ], which would also give it the "drawn out" length you describe). –  Kosmonaut Oct 2 '10 at 3:37
Thank you! For some reason it didn't occur to me to do searches on the greek word rather than the English one. Also, to my ear, the male from the Netherlenads says "HOO" rather than "HAY", though the OO is inflected in some way I don't know how to describe, almost like a German umlaut U. –  ErikE Oct 3 '10 at 16:48
@eja youtube.com/watch?v=NskAaSocM_c&t=01m23s would start the video at 1 minute 23 seconds –  mplungjan Feb 1 '11 at 12:07

In case anyone bumps into this question:

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English pronunciation is generally closer to Ancient Greek than modern, and not very close to either. –  TimLymington Jun 11 '12 at 17:53

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