Why is the Greek letter phi translated into English as “ph” and not “f”?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, English, Linguistics, Writing Systems

Because when Latin started transliterating Greek, φ was still pronounced as /pʰ/: a p followed by an h. The shift of /pʰ/ to /ɸ/ to /f/ occurred later (the first evidence for it, Koine Greek phonology notes, is from Pompeii.)

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