I am a beginner with Latin and am confused about the overlined vowels.
The textbook I have explains these via vowels of English words, but I think that is unsatisfactory, because when learning other languages, each language has its own "sound", and you can’t express this via another language's "sound". You can identify many languages entirely by their sound.
Each language has a different gamut. Different languages are spoken using different zones of the mouth and throat, for example, French is spoken near the lips, and German is spoken nearer the throat. You can only learn the sound of a language by hearing it spoken properly, and some things can only be understood by observing, not by explanation.
Question 1: Is overlining the same as "stress"? Where, say, with the word "traditional", if you almost delete all vowels except the stressed one, it still sounds right, namely tr'd-i-sh'n'l, so that first i is the stress, and English dictionaries often demarcate the stressed vowel with a ' symbol after the vowel, for example, tradi'tional, where they also write it using some phonetic script, for example, something like tredi'shenul, but with funny symbols.
Question 2: Is an overlined vowel a different sound from the non overlined version? Or is it entirely a matter of "stress", that is, time-length.
Question 3: is the overlining done in ancient Latin? For example, the Latin spoken by Caesar, or is it an artefact of later eras? The same way Hebrew scholars add in vowels, as ancient Hebrew didn’t have vowels, which I think leads to ambiguities. So the Hebrew vowels are artefacts of later eras and in some ambiguous cases could be wrong.
Question 4: are there any online audio sources to hear ancient Latin spoken? With maybe some guessing of the pronunciation. In particular, to hear how people think the vowels were said, as expressing them with English vowels is unsatisfactory. The textbook I have says long u is like oo in "food", and short u is like u in "put".
But the first problem with this, is there are many many dialects of English just in England so it is onlooker-relative and thus no use, and the second problem is with the version of English I use, food and put aren’t just different vowel "lengths" but also different sounds. It’s ambiguous whether the author means the sound, or the length, or both, and it could in any case just be how he was taught which with the generations could diverge from the truth. Even begin divergent. For example, at our school, with German we were taught to roll r for German, but in fact in Germany, the r is essentially an h sound.
Standard British English has at least 11 non diphthong vowels, for example, the vowels of the following are all different for me: hat, hut, hot, put, hoot, heat, hit, hem, her, harp, hawk. but with American English, hot and hut are the same.
I have a teach-yourself-Latin book also which has an audio cassette, but that is ecclesiastical Latin, and the book is themed around a monastery, and ecclesiastical Latin apparently is a different sound from classical Latin. To fix things really precisely, I am asking about say the Latin spoken by Caesar, as he kind of personifies classical Latin. Whereas ecclesiastical Latin is essentially outsider Latin. I opted for a different book set in the 1st century BC.
Languages evolve continually, so it’s a moving target, but I think you can distill out a self coherent language from a general era. It will never be as good as having grown up in the society.
When British people speak Latin, I think the pronunciation is probably completely incorrect as they speak it with a British accent, which cannot possibly be correct, but it is probably self consistent. Someone from ancient Rome would probably struggle to understand them.