I imagine that it might be pronounced

1) kye EE suh

2) kah EE suh

3) KAY suh

4) KYE suh.

Which is it? Or perhaps there is no established way and one shouldn't care too much.

  • 3
    Like this question, this is probably off-topic because it is about (the English) language.
    – Glorfindel
    Jun 12 '16 at 17:06
  • 2
    It is not off topic because it should be answered by chess players rather than by linguists. Jun 12 '16 at 17:14
  • 2
    I have wondered this myself. If we can talk about how to say en passant we ought to be able to talk about this,
    – Tony Ennis
    Jun 12 '16 at 17:33
  • 5
    You are presumably asking about Caïssa (note the tréma which rules out 3) and 4)). Again better asked on english.stackexchange.com (and you should improve your question to explain who Caïssa is.
    – hkBst
    Jun 13 '16 at 6:23
  • 2
    I don't think it is off topic if you take it as a "chess culture" question. On the other side, I agree the question could be improved (e.g. by giving some background on who Caïssa is as suggested by @hkBst).
    – lodebari
    Jun 29 '16 at 19:15

Short version:

I think that your best bet is probably option 2: "kah EE suh" (similar to the pronunciation of "naïve"). The phonemes match the spelling correctly (particularly the umlauted ï in "Caïssa" [ref. 1]), and it fits with the tonal stressing of multiple Thracian-related [ref. 2] languages.

Long version:

Historically, both Greek and and Turkish (largely Hittite and Assyrian influences, in Thracian times [ref.s 3 & 4]) would appear to have likely had the strongest early influences.

Satemization of the Thracian language [ref. 5] would indicate the initial “C” to typically be an “s” sound, though it seems that in the case of “Caïssa” it was more likely a “k” sound.

Given the remnants of the Thracian language available to us [ref. 6], there seem to be insufficient data to ensure “correct” pronunciation. Thracian words seem [to me] to be equally likely to be most closely related to Latin, Greek, and several Balto-Slavic languages.

If Gottfried Schramm's derivation [ref. 7] is correct, then his Bessian-Albanian link would indicate that the “i” is indeed a “long e” (ï) sound [ref. 8].


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8F
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ca%C3%AFssa
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thracians
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey#Prehistory_of_Anatolia_and_Eastern_Thrace
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum_and_satem_languages
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thracian_language#Remnants_of_the_Thracian_language
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thracian_language#cite_note-3
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_language#Vowels
  • 1
    Since the name Caïssa came long after Thrace, and "satemization" was surely unknown to the Renaissance Italian poet who introduced the name, the question of how the word might have been pronounced in ancient times seems irrelevant. Happily the conclusion («option 2: "kah EE suh" (similar to the pronunciation of "naïve")» should still be right. Jun 24 '16 at 14:26

How To Pronounce Caissa Please listen to all the options to get a sense on how to pronounce casissa.

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