Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions regarding the pronunciation of Latin words or syllables, or the history of Latin pronunciation.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
1answer
68 views

Are there minimal pairs between the acute and circumflex accent?

Ancient Greek had two (*) different types of accent on long vowels: the "circumflex" accent indicates high tone on the first mora, and the "acute" accent indicates high tone on the second. (Short ...
5
votes
2answers
367 views

Were initial voiced stops voiceless in early Latin?

The pronunciation of the stops b, d, g / p, t, k is—it seems—unstable. In German, the voiced stops are unvoiced at the end of words, such as in lieb mir, das Lied, Guten Tag (/liːp mi:r, das liːt, ...
8
votes
0answers
126 views
+50

How would Marcus Aurelius have pronounced his Latin?

It is my understanding that Julius Caesar, Cicero, Octavian (Augustus) would have pronounced Latin in a manner that is decidedly Classical, characterised by: "v" as /w/ "c" and "g" always hard (i.e., ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

In ancient Attic Greek, how (un)stable were “ΝΣ”/“ΝΖ” and preceding vowels?

In Latin, it is thought (as far as I know) that within a single word, /ns/ and /nf/ were always preceded by a long vowel. This is a somewhat complicated result of a hypothesized sound change in words ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Are there specific exceptions to the rule of lengthening a vowel before “ns” or “nf”?

A while ago, I wrote an answer summarizing my understanding of the rule that a vowel is long in Classical Latin before ns or nf. As far as I know, this rule applied very regularly. But I'm not sure ...
8
votes
1answer
396 views

What is Plautus’s pun about frustum and frustrum?

The word frustum is often mispronounced as frustrum. Wikipedia states that this mispronunciation goes back a long time and a pun about them is included in the works of Plautus. Can anyone direct me ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Pronunciation of numbers with respect to years

I understand that when dates are written, the years are expressed in Roman numerals (e.g.: 2019 is written MMXIX), but it has been years since I heard the numbers actually pronounced. How were the ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Is long vowel feature completely lost in deviated languages?

In Latin, some vowels are marked by a macron, they are long vowels. However, I found that in French and Spanish there's no macron in their writing. Is the long vowel feature completely lost in the ...
6
votes
3answers
617 views

How to read αἱμύλιος or when to aspirate

I've tought myself to read the Greek alphabet, and it is still confusing to read and identify "h" sound in the ancient Greek. For example, Athena talks about Calypso that she has "αἱμύλιοι λόγοι" in ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Quality of final ĕ ĭ ŏ

Evidence from the Romance languages provides fairly good evidence for distinct qualities, [ɛ] vs. [eː], for ĕ and ē in stressed syllables when followed by a consonant. Likewise for ŏ and ō as [ɔ] vs. [...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

How do we know how -iī and -iit perfects were stressed?

The question Are there exceptions to the Latin stress rules? has an answer by Joel Derfner saying that the first-person singular perfect forms dormiī, audiī, veniī (for dormīvī, audīvī, venīvī) have ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

When is “ei” a diphthong?

Many introductory Latin books will explain that Classical Latin has four diphthongs: ae and au are common, while oe and ei are rarer. (Eu and ui also show up, but if I understand right that's a Greek ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

What do we know about Vulgar Latin pronunciation?

Nowadays, most Latinists learn the "reconstructed classical" pronunciation: an attempt at reconstructing the way Cicero, Caesar, or Vergil might have spoken in formal settings. However, it seems ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

How do you pronounce “Aeclepiadae”?

Just as the title says. Or should it really be "Asclepiadae", since it comes from "Asclepius"?
5
votes
4answers
598 views

How to pronounce 'que' and 'angeli'?

I came along these in a Latin song our choir is singing. How to pronounce them? I guess I can absorb an international phonetic alphabet transcription. Update after reading some answers: I should ...
5
votes
1answer
618 views

“Ae” pronounciation

In accordance to Wikipedia ae diphtong should be pronounce like /ae̯/. So should I pronounce Graecae (Greek, f., pl.) as /ˈgrae̯kae̯/? EDIT: In accordance to Rafael's comment please see the ...
8
votes
1answer
109 views

Were enclitics considered part of a word for stress purposes?

One rule of Latin stress is that it can never go farther back than the antepenult: the third syllable from the end. For example, we have cár-men "song", cár-mi-ne "with a song", and car-mí-ni-bus "...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Why is it thought that T resisted assibilation after another T?

It's well known that past a certain point, Latin "t" developed an assibilated pronunciation when followed by "i" and then a vowel, as in the word grātia. Sources agree that there are some exceptions, ...
5
votes
3answers
937 views

the pronunciation of _excelsis_ in Ecclesiastical Latin

In another post about the de-facto standard use of Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation in singing, I included a postscript querying whether excelsis should be pronounced [ɛksʧɛlsis] or [ɛkʃɛlsis]. ...
7
votes
0answers
191 views

what is the rationale for modern pronunciation of Latin in music

Fellow followers of Latin stackexchange! I hope you have all had a happy Christmas (or, if you do not celebrate Christmas, a happy holiday time). I'm not particularly versed in musical tradition, ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Issues with the lyrics of the UEFA Nations League anthem

Recently, a new international football competition was inaugurated, namely the UEFA Nations League. Being this a European-wide cup, the organisers decided to have the anthem in ... Latin! Certainly a ...
4
votes
1answer
689 views

How to better distinguish words in Gregorian Chant?

When listening to Gregorian Chant (in Latin), I find very hard to distinguish the words being sung, beyond some trivial regular words or phrases. It might well be said that Gregorian Chant is ...
9
votes
1answer
185 views

What would a 5th-6th century learned Latin pronunciation have sounded like?

Is there any information on the status of learned pronunciations from the late imperial period up to 1000 CE? I am wondering because the Classical Latin reconstruction seems to make clear that by the ...
10
votes
2answers
490 views

What was the sibilant in θάλασσα?

The word θάλασσα thálassa "sea" is spelled in various different ways, with different letters replacing the sigmas: some dialects had a tau, for example, while others had a theta. Do we know (through ...
9
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

Is there support for claiming -gn- was pronounced as /ŋ/ in classical Latin?

According to what I have learned, -gn- was commonly pronounced /ŋn/, e.g. [ˈmaŋ.nʊs] (magnus). However, this excerpt from Encyclopædia Britannica had me wondering: The sound represented by ng (...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What makes a syllable “heavy” or “light”?

The rules for positioning of syllable stress in Latin are relatively simple; they are as follows: In two-syllable words, the stress always falls on the first syllable. In three or more ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

How was iī pronounced?

Most of the time, Latin doesn't allow two instances of the same vowel next to each other: forms like *mee (from meus) are replaced with alternatives like mī. However, in I-stem second nouns, the ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

Is there a difference between prose stress and metric stress?

According to an earlier question, we do not know how stress was realized on classical Latin. It may have been dynamic (stressed syllables are louder), tonal (stress changes pitch), or a combination, ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Is 'hoc' ever pronounced short?

I have learned that the neuter nominative and accusative hoc is actually pronounced as if it were hocc. But was it exclusively hocc? Was it ever pronounced as the hoc that it looks like in the ...
6
votes
3answers
217 views

How many syllables are there in 'mortuus'?

I asked yesterday why the participle mortuus has two us. When Rafael asked whether one of the us were consonantal, I had no other evidence than being taught that they are both vocalic. Arguing by ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Why were the pronunciation of ae and oe special cases in Classical Latin?

In Classical Latin, the diphthongs ae and oe were pronounced as /ai̯/ and /oi̯/, respectively. Why was the letter e in these cases pronounced as /i/ instead of with an /e/ or /ɛ/?
7
votes
2answers
129 views

Accents in compound words and words with enclitics

I've been learning Latin on my own for the last 4 months or so using Wheelock and Moreland & Fleischer. I've not been able to find answers to the following accentuation questions in either of ...
9
votes
1answer
119 views

How is stress realized in Latin phonetically?

I have heard that Latin does not lengthen stressed syllables. If so, are they pronounced louder or with altered articulation, maybe a higher pitch?
6
votes
1answer
117 views

Origin of the reconstructed pronunciation

I know that a common source for the reconstructed pronunciation of latin is Vox Latina by William Sidney Allen, but I've read somewhere that a critical analysis of latin texts and the pronunciation ...
4
votes
0answers
100 views

GalliJa? Was “i” between consonant and vowel pronounced “ij”?

How was consonant + i + vowel pronounced in Classical Latin - for example, in the words Gallia and diurnus? I googled a bit and found videos sounding for me like [gallija], [gallia] and even [gallja],...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Latin exclamations ending in “h”

I was writing in Latin recently and was remarking to myself how strange "proh dolor" looks. It seems odd to see a Latin word ending in "h," and a Perseus search for such words reveals (beside Semitic ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Why isn't accentuation recessive in ταμίαι? (Greek)

I have marked in green accentuation below which is not recessive, namely, in ταμίαι, πολῖτα, πολῖται, παρθένος, παρθένε, and παρθένοι. Question: Is there some general principle to explain the lack ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Understanding Lewis and Short: Why sūbĭcĭo and not subjĭcĭo?

I just searched for Christmas questions on our site, and ended up reading this question and its answer. There was a mention of the Lewis and Short entry on the verb subicere, and I was puzzled by the ...
6
votes
3answers
975 views

Latin phonetic dictionary

I'm starting to learn Latin on my own and I have trouble with pronouncing words correctly very often. Does anyone know of a Latin dictionary with the IPA transcriptions of Latin words, preferably with ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

Pronunciation when adding -que [duplicate]

Wheelock's Latin says: In a word of two syllables the accent always falls on the first syllable: sér-vō, sáe-pe, ní-hil. In a word of three or more syllables, the accent falls on the next to ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How to know long and short vowels if it is not marked? [duplicate]

Latin has vowels which are long and short. The long ones are marked by a dash on the top of the letter. How do I know how to pronounce the letters if the long and short vowels are not marked in a text?...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Stressed syllables in certain prefixed verb forms

I've managed to confuse myself about which syllables to stress in prefixed verbs of two syllables, the first one being short (e.g. circumdare or alloquor). Do I stress the penultimate syllable in each ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Is the B voiced in “abs”?

I recently came across the Wiktionary page for abstemius and I was genuinely surprised by the pronunciation guide. It says that in classical Latin the B is the unvoiced /p/ instead of /b/. Is this ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

How does one pronounce 'Servilia'?

I am giving a presentation on women in Rome, and one of my chosen women is named Servilia, the mother of Brutus. I was curious how to pronounce her name, as I know Romans used the letter 'v' to ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

When did equus regain its first U?

I learned from this question about sequundus > secundus that -quus was in fact pronounced as if it was -cus. However, words like equus were not spelled as ecus, since most oblique cases would still ...
7
votes
2answers
390 views

How was “VV” pronounced?

Most instances of vv in Latin seem to fall into three categories: It's in the combination qvu or ngvu, as in eqvus, pronounced /u/ It's actually vu, a consonant followed by a vowel, as in parvus It's ...
5
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How is “Et” pronounced?

How is "Et" prounouced. As in "Et tu Brute?" I've heard it pronounced "et to brutay?" and "ay to brutay".
6
votes
0answers
132 views

Reviewing the evidence of the spirantization of β (betacism) in Greek

I originally submitted this question to the Linguistics beta site, and those users recommended that I ask anything related to Greek here. Although I understand that it is impossible to assign a ...