Linked Questions

19
votes
3answers
4k views

Non-typographical evidence of V being pronounced as [w]

According to a consensus of Latin scholars, the letter V in ancient Latin was pronounced as [w]. This seems to make sense, because there was no distinguishing between V and U, so the letter V could ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

When did the consonant U (i.e., V) begin to be pronounced as the fricative [v] instead of [w]?

It's well established that the consonantal u (or v) was pronounced as [w] in Classical Latin (i.e., w as in wine). Of course, Romance languages developed voiced fricatives out of this u-consonant, ...
14
votes
3answers
924 views

How should I pronounce 'ait'?

I'm interested in the proper Classical pronunciation of the word 'ait'. I've been pronouncing it as 'ate', /eɪt/. Should it instead be pronounced as /a.it/ or even /aɪ.it/? What evidence is there ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Was the final “-m” a “full-featured” consonant?

Is there any solid evidence supporting or denying the hypothesis that in Classical Latin the syllable-final vowel -m (especially at the end of the word) was only an orthographic convention, but in ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the classical names of the letters of the Latin alphabet?

When I refer to letters in Latin, I (sadly) use the English names for them. If I knew the Latin names, I could apply Classical Latin pronunciation rules to say them properly. So, how was each ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Were 'th' and 'ch' aspirated in classical Latin?

I have been taught that 'th' and 'ch' were pronounced just like 't' and 'c' in classical Latin, with no aspiration. The answer to this earlier question confirms that 't' and 'c' had indeed little or ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Do we know how 'ng' was pronounced in classical Latin?

How was 'ng' pronounced in classical Latin and how do we know? I believe metric considerations strongly indicate that it was not a short consonant (/ŋ/ or other), but I can still think of two ...
13
votes
1answer
995 views

Were voiceless stops (p, t, c, qu) aspirated in Classical Latin?

In English, the voiceless stops/plosives (p, t, k, "hard" c) are aspirated, particularly when beginning a word. That is, speakers release a burst of air when saying pop, tea, kaluha, or coffee (put ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How did Latin sound?

Does anybody know how normal Latin dialog sounded — not the oratory or ecclesiastical versions? Are there any audio files that you recommend?
9
votes
2answers
432 views

Are vowels long before “gn”?

Allen and Greenough, §10d, provide a general rule: A vowel before ns, nf, gn, is long: as in cōnstāns, īnferō, māgnus [emphasis modified] This seems to agree with Priscian: 'gnus' quoque vel '...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Changing tones (?) in Classical Latin

When I heard Classical Latin for the first time on Horatii carmina quae voce canora Thomas Nudipes pronuntiat, I was surprised to hear what I will describe as changing tones! The reason why I was ...
5
votes
1answer
672 views

How did the Romans pronounce their language?

Ever since I started learning Latin, I had a question: how did the Romans pronounce Latin? Not the word, but the language in general. To make it easier for you to answer, please compare their ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Was there a standard accent in Latin in the Roman era?

I know that the standard language was Classical Latin and that the average person spoke Vulgar Latin, but was there a standard dialect or pronunciation for Latin? Like the way it was spoken in Rome?