What did short monophthongal epsilon and omicron sound like in 5th Century BC Attic Greek?

One extrapolation is Modern Greek, which (as Rich Alderson’s answer says) has them as short mid-high tense: [e̞ o̞].

Sidney Allen’s Vox Graeca is the authoritative work in English on Ancient Greek pronunciation and the evidence we have for it, and it treats short mid-high tense as the default assumption. It rejects the notion that they were close mid [e o], because that would have likely clashed with the newly monophthongised <ei> <ou>, which were pronounced [eː oː]. He concedes that <ei> [eː], which historically reflected Homeric <ee>, was the long version of /e/;

But phonetically Attic ε probably lies midway between classical η [ɛː] and ει [eː], and there seems nothing to be gained by setting it in a special relationship with either.

I must say that I don’t find this argument convincing, but I do agree that mid-high is the null hypothesis.

Allen thinks the fact that Latin ĭ was often transliterated as Greek ε indicates not that Greek ε sounded like an “i”, but that Latin ĭ sounded like an “e” (“peculiarly open”—which I’ll translate into IPA as [ɪ]—”and so as near to Greek ε as to ι”. Ditto Greek ο used for Latin ŭ (presumably closer to [ʊ]).

The fact that Greek o transliterated the ŭ of other languages, e.g. Persian and Sanskrit (Mardonius, Greek <Mardonios>, was Old Persian Marduniya), indicates to him that the alternative υ was not by then [u] at all but [y]. Greeks at this point are likely asking “then why didn’t they use ου?! <Mardounios>” Because ου was a long vowel (Mardūnios); and back in Classical times, the difference between short and long vowels was extremely important.

What are some English/British given names that can survive intact against (cypriot-) Greek vernacular?

Approach 1. You need a name that can straightforwardly inflect in Greek, or that looks like something that straightforwardly inflects. That means a male name ending in -os, -is, -as, or a female name ending in -a, -i, -o.

Not a lot of English names do, but you’d be surprised. My uncle Andreas (Andrew) is rendered by my aunt in Greek as Andros. I believe Andros is a Cypriot variant of Andreas already, but it’s also how such grammatical assimilation can happen.

If an English male name ends in -a, -i, -o, stick an s on and you’re done. As in fact occurs for English names bused by Greeks already. Jimmy > Dzimis.

If an English female name ends in -a, -i, -o, you’re already done. Jenny > Dzeni.

If you’re not in that category, you can get creative, as Andros shows.

Approach 2. A name that can be translated into a Greek equivalent straightforwardly, because they’re cognate. There’s no shortage of names that show up in both English and Greek, because they are either Greek or Latin in origin (Philip, Nick, George, Luke, Mark, Lucy: Filipos, Nikos, Yorgos, Loukas, Markos, Loukia), or because they are common Christian patrimony as originally Jewish names (John, Elizabeth, James, Mary: Yannis, Elisavet, Iakovos, Maria).

Approach 3. A sound-alike name, which I don’t think really counts. The Greek diaspora is full of Athanasios that have renamed themselves Arthur, and Dimitrios that have renamed themselves Jim, and Kostas that have renamed themselves Gus (that was always a US thing, and didn’t happen in Australia: they stuck to Constantine > Con there). You could flip that, and turn Arthur into Thanasis, and James into Dimitris.

How much of casually spoken Cypriot Greek conversations can a Greek from Greece understand?

Mutual intelligibility is very, very hard to quantify.

There is an exceedingly crude measure, Lexicostatistics, that gets used in underdocumented languages, and that noone would dare used among familiar European languages. For what it’s worth (and it’s not that much), if two lects (= dialect or language, being agnostic about it) diverge in 20 out of the 100 words in the Swadesh 100 list of core vocabulary, they are considered different languages. It’s what you get for Ukrainian vs Russian.

Either Swadesh or myself (I honestly don’t remember!) ran the Swadesh list for Cretan and Cypriot against Standard Greek once. The result was 81% similarity for both. I did do Tsakonian vs Standard Greek, and came up with 70%.

Again: that number isn’t worth much. Cretan may have been subject to more assimilatory pressure than Cypriot, but I do think the combination of more phonetic change and intonation make Cypriot harder to understand than Cretan. Then again, I identify as Cretan rather than Cypriot, so I would say that.

I know I have been genuine difficulty in understanding heavier forms of the dialect, such as that spoken by my grandmother or my cousin’s husband Fotis. Be aware that there is a diglossic continuum in Cypriot, with people speaking on a spectrum between Standard Greek with a Cypriot accent, and what the locals call horkatika.

Are there any Standard Greek speakers who don’t understand what horkatika means? Good. Cypriot fortitions [j] to [k] after /r, ð, p/. In Standard Greek, that’s horjatika: “villager-talk”.

How can one contact the Quora Content Review? As in something like private messages or something?

Originally Answered:

How does one contact Quora Content Review?

Not by reverting it, reporting it for vandalism, thanking it, or commenting at it. As Jack Munzel’s answer says, it’s a bot, and it’s a very stubborn bot at that.

Christopher VanLang has indicated the only way to stop QCR edit warring you is to report its action as a bug. That, at least, will actually get looked at by a human. I can report that it’s stopped a couple of my edit wars with QCR.

Are the Trojans in the Homeric Epics portrayed to speak Greek differently than the Achaeans?

There’s no dialectal difference, although I wouldn’t expect one from an epic poem: Homer is not Aristophanes. Of course, the Iliad is not a documentary, and while the poem concedes that the Trojans’ allies did not speak Greek, it’s doubtful that the actual Trojans of 1200 BC spoke Greek either.

Trojan language – Wikipedia mentions that Hilary Mackie has observed in her monograph Talking Trojan Speech and Community in the Iliad that the style of the Trojans’ speech in the Iliad is different from the Achaeans’:

in simplest terms, Trojans speak poetically, with the aim of avoiding conflict, whereas Achaeans repeatedly engage in public, ritualized abuse that linguists term (from another source) flyting: “Achaeans are proficient at blame, while Trojans perform praise poetry”

So no “Khello Komrade Priamsky, please to drink kykeon wit me” or “Zis is Troy! Ve do not drag ze korpses behint uns!” But something subtler, yes.