In Finland ae and oe are both typically pronounced as /e:/ when they belong to the same syllable. In (and near) Turku the pronunciations are /ai/ and /oi/. (This excludes, for example, aer and poema; this difference only concerns the diphthong.) Otherwise these pronunciations seem to coincide.

When and how did this difference appear between Turku and the rest of Finland? My understanding is that Finnish pronunciation is fairly close to classical, with Turku using a slightly older version. I am not very well familiar with the details of how Latin came to Finland, but I hope understanding this difference will shed a little more light on it.

(The question in the title also makes sense for the Finnish language, but my interest here is in Latin.)

  • 1
    Could it be a Swedish thing? Lots of Swedish speakers in and around Turku, if I'm not mistaken. How do Swedes pronounce those Latin diphthongs?
    – TKR
    Mar 20, 2016 at 17:24
  • 1
    Pronouncing ae and oe as /e:/ is characteristic of Ecclesiastical pronunciation (at least the kind I am familiar with). Do you think this question could be rephrased to have more general interest? I doubt that there is anything unique about the situation of Turku in adopting this usage over the classical.
    – brianpck
    Mar 20, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    @brianpck, I want to keep this question specific. Understanding this narrow phenomenon is likely to lead to a broader understanding on the side, but I don't want to generalize the question at the risk of missing my initial problem. I have nothing against a more general question, but it should be asked separately from this one.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 21, 2016 at 13:15
  • 2
    Out of curiosity--what exactly do you mean when you say this is localized in Turku? As far as I am aware, there is not a large Latin-speaking community in Finland. Might it just be as simple as asking what professor(s) are teaching in the local university?
    – brianpck
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:09
  • 1
    Since this has gone unanswered for so long, I think it's time to consider sending it to linguistics.SE, which may give an answer based on phonology and dialect.
    – cmw
    Dec 1, 2016 at 23:34


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.