The following site has a pronunciation of “Rho” in which I think I hear a slightly forced sound at the start of the word. Is that the rough breathing we are talking about?
I can’t seem to get the file to play, but I presume it’s an attempt (by a Modern Greek speaker) to represent the aspirated ("rough") r of the ancient sound. It has, of course, zero evidentiary value, but I suppose it will give you an idea of what might be involved.
Yes it does, LH. It really helped me to understand the sound of “Rho” better. I also was surprised that the Greek and Italian pronunciations were so different. I thought they would be closer than they are since the countries are not located that far from each other.
Just a couple of months ago, I read “Empires in the Dust” by Robert Silverberg. The chapters were about the Egyptians, Hittites, Indus Civilization, Phoenicians, Etruscans, and Incas. What I enjoyed most about the book were the stories about the attempts to decipher each empires language. In all cases, it was very difficult. Some took decades to understand. And some are still not completely known. It is a fascinating book, and I’m glad I got to read it (a friend loaned it to me).
In my opinion, language is one of the most precious assets we past on to future generations. I hope we can continue to steer it in the right direction. I don’t want to see the world end up like the folks did in the movie “Idiocracy”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/