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Questions tagged [phonetics]

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33 votes
3 answers
4k views

Are there exceptions to the Latin stress rules?

Do the Latin stress rules (antepenultimate if penultimate is light, penultimate if heavy) have any known exceptions? If so, what are the exceptions, and what evidence is there in the grammatical ...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 732
21 votes
4 answers
7k 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, ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
zefciu's user avatar
  • 403
12 votes
2 answers
491 views

When did consonantal "v" start being transcribed as "β"?

Since I learned Latin using ecclesiastical pronunciation, I have a general interest in the shift from the classical pronunciation of "v" as /w/ to /v/. This question is more focused though: I am ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
11 votes
1 answer
582 views

Why do some 2nd decl. "-er" adjectives and nouns drop the "e" in the stem?

Is there any rule explaining why certain second-declension nouns and adjectives with a nominative -er ending drop the e when declined (e.g. ager, liber, pulcher), and why others keep it (e.g. puer, ...
fpsvogel's user avatar
  • 1,233
10 votes
1 answer
636 views

Is the palatalization of "d" between "a", "i" or "o" and "ie" or "iu" only a Medieval Latin phenomenon?

In Italian and the other Romance languages, the palatalization especially concerns "c" and "g" before "e" or "i". But some words in Italian (or early Italian in the case of meriggio) show the same for ...
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
346 views

Did the Romans ever transcribe [ʃ]?

(Note: [ʃ] is the first sound in English "ship".) I've seen the sound [ʃ] represented in a few different ways in Greek writing: σ in Hebrew names in the LXX, σχ in modern Tsakonian, ψ in Sappho's ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
5 votes
1 answer
314 views

Does an ig- prefix mean there's an underlying g in the root?

There seem to be certain words in Latin which start with an underlying /gn/, such as noscō /gnosko:/ [nɔsko:]—this "hidden" /g/ appears when prefixes are added, as in cognoscō /congnosko:/ [cɔŋnɔsko:] ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to pronounce the sequence "ti" when reading Latin

As Latin is a dead language, I imagine, people note pronounce it differently depending on in which county they are learning it. That said, I would like to know what IPA phoneme is commonly used to ...
Jack Maddington's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
511 views

How was "gnosco" pronounced?

I've heard it said before that Classical Latin /gn/ between vowels (as in magnus) was probably realized as [ŋn] (as in "hangnail"). This is supported by Romance descendants and the spelling of certain ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
5 votes
1 answer
725 views

Why is the prefix con- sometimes short, sometimes long?

A friend sent me this image: Her question was simple: Is the Latin any good? The Latin indeed is good, and if one accepts the English to be in LOLcat, the English checks out as well. However … I also ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,339
5 votes
1 answer
228 views

Vowel compensation for intervocalic -ss- > -s-

I was recently reminded (by this question) that intervocalic single -s- turned into -r- by rhotacism, and later new instances of intervocalic -s- were produced from -ss-. If the vowel preceding -ss- ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
194 views

Loss of s before voiced consonants at word boundaries

I learned from the comment to the answer to this old question that Latin has lost the consonant S before voiced consonants. In the linked post this was used to explain the observed pattern that the ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
344 views

Why do I find it hard not to palatalize the /g/ in digitus?

In latin words such as digitus, I found it hard to pronounce correctly the consonants /k/ or /g/ followed by /i/. I think that this happens especially if these sounds are in the same syllabe. Is it ...
SarruKen's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
491 views

Gemination after stressed vowel

Sometimes I hear people geminate consonants after stressed vowels in speech. For example, amāta might be pronounced as amātta. I have not heard enough to tell if this gemination is ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar