How do you pronounce the first syllable of the title?

My IPA is sketchy. I have seen both on the inter webs and the last time I performed it the majority opinion was accept on the first syllable.

Please forgive me; I am from Texas.

  • 1
    Hi Eric, and welcome to Latin.SE! Did you mean accent on the first syllable?
    – Rafael
    Dec 15, 2022 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


The location of the accent in Latin is (with a small handful of exceptions) perfectly regular: if the penultimate syllable is heavy (that is, its vowel is long or a diphthong, or it ends in a consonant), then that's where the accent goes; otherwise, it goes on the antepenult—the syllable before the penultimate one.

Carmina is syllabified as car-mi-na, and the i is short (it's actually a weakening of the e in the singular carmen, and since long vowels don't weaken like that, you know it has to be short), so the penultimate syllable is light, so the accent falls on the antepenult, which here is the first syllable.

In Burana (Bu-ra-na), the a of the penultimate syllable is long—this is not something you can know from how it's usually written, but the suffix is -ānus, which just has a long a—so the penultimate syllable is heavy, and that's where the accent goes.

/ˈkar.mi.na bu.ˈraː.na/

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