Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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1answer
29 views

Pronunciation of genitive proper-name epithets, e.g. Euonymus fortunei

What customs do the various Latin pronunciations have for pronouncing species epithets that are the genitive form of someone's name, e.g. Euonymus fortunei, named for Robert Fortune? In the English ...
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2answers
63 views

Does trisyllabic laxing occur in Latin words like 'decision' before entering English?

There's a phenomenon called Trisyllabic laxing where the vowel in a stressed syllable is shortened if two (or more) syllables follow. If the stressed vowel is in at least* the penultimate syllable (...
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1answer
70 views

Vowel hiatus and non-diphthong vowel pairs (compared to Romance languages)

Classical Latin's 6 major diphthongs are clear-cut, phonologically speaking. We know ae is pronounced as one phoneme, such as in [ˈsae̯.pɛ], "saepe." However, we often come across words that have 2 ...
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86 views

How old is Ecclesiastical Latin Pronunciation?

Salvete, I have trying to research how old the Ecclesiastical Pronunciation of Latin is. To be more precise, I mean the Italianate pronunciation, called 'La Pronuncia Scolastica' in Italian. Many ...
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1answer
91 views

Why does Ecclesiastical Latin pronounce “au” as written?

Salvete, Ecclesiastical Latin, by which I mean here the Italian Traditional Pronunciation seems to have preserved some characteristics of rustic Roman pronunciation despite the spelling remaining ...
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1answer
340 views

Latin pronunciations in a choir's rendition of the anthem of the European Union

I've never studied Latin, but I have this understanding of its pronunciation: In classical Latin the "soft c" and the "soft g" do not exist. In modern Vatican Latin, words are pronounced the way they ...
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1answer
128 views

More details on the Appendix Probi

Does the Appendix Probi specifically talk about what correct "pronunciation" should be (of the day), or correct "spelling"? Does "Idem non ide" mean that you shouldn't say "ide" or write it? An ...
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1answer
75 views

Can I conclude something about pronunciation from I/J and U/V variation?

I reread the inscription in this question about the abbreviation D. O. M. dated to 1749: The variation between I and J caught my eye. It seems to me that: J is used in all consonantal positions. J ...
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1answer
56 views

Pronunciation of ngi in Italianate Pronunciation

Salvete, Does anyone know how people schooled in the Italian style of pronunciation would pronounce diphthongi, the plural of diphthongus? I have seen some examples of books printed circa 1700 where ...
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2answers
267 views

An example sentence for Latin pronunciation

Latin pronunciation varies between times and locations, and to some extent individuals. If I want learn a new kind of pronunciation, make sure I have properly switched to a new pronunciation, or want ...
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106 views

Ecclesiastical Pronunciation of the word Monachus, Monachi etc

Salvete, Does anyone know of a good dictionary that shows the ecclesiastical pronunciation of Latin words? I am confused by this example: a monk = monachus, pl. monachi, which I have seen written ...
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1answer
126 views

Pronunciation of Jehovæ

The Tremellius and Junio's Bible in Is. 60:1-2 renders the Hebrew name of God (יהוה) as Jehovæ. how is this word properly pronounced in Latin? Thanks!
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168 views

Does /l̥/ in reconstructed Latin represent a voiceless (alveolar) lateral approximate or something else?

Latin facultās presumably developed from an original *faklitāts (via *fakl̥tāts > *fakiltāts > facultās) . . . —Merriam-Webster Does the /l̥/ in *fakl̥tāts represent a voiceless (alveolar) ...
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3answers
137 views

A good source for macrons et apices?

I try to learn Latin vocabulary with macrons. But online dictionaries, either don't give the diacritic, or give them only for the nominative, have some errors, or give only macrons, and no apices. ...
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125 views

Why does “urgueo” exist as a variant of “urgeo”?

The rule I learned for the pronunciation of the digram "gu" before a vowel in Latin was /gw/ after "n", vs. g + vocalic u anywhere else. But I just discovered the exception urgueo /urgweoː/. This is a ...
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1answer
114 views

How were vowels u and i discerned from consonants v and j?

If in original texts there were no means of distinguishing whether u and i were consonants or vowels, how then do we now know which ones were which? The easy ruleset I learned in high school is that ...
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1answer
101 views

On vowel lengths in Latin

This question originates from this thread upon suggestion of Joonas Ilmavirta. Q. How do we know all the vowel lengths in Latin? It would be of interest to me if we manage to collect a list with ...
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288 views

Doubt on pronunciation of verbs (stressing)

I have recently heard somebody (quoting Virgil) saying "Timèo Danaos...". This sounds awkward to me, but I confess I have not studied Latin for ages. I remember that timeo is a verb like moneo, II ...
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1answer
126 views

Pronunciation of “Formulæ”

What is the pronunciation of Formulæ in Latin ? Is there any difference (in pronunciation) between classical and vulgar Latin ? The answer can be in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) format.
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46 views

What evidence is there of a short vowel in the first syllable of “vallum”?

Two sources that I've come across indicate a long vowel /aː/ in the first syllable of the word vallum 'palisade wall' (that is, vāllum). This form is given in The Latin Language, by Charles E. ...
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171 views

Thematic, genred concepts in Ancient Greek?

Trying to come up with magical 'schools' for a game, and my goal is to: Use Ancient Greek, Koine if absolutely necessary Have words of generally the same length and number of syllables (not like, ...
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1answer
473 views

Pronunciation style used in Hans Ørberg's Lingua Latina

In his book, Hans Ørberg uses macrons to show longer vowel sounds, but it's not clear to me if this is reconstructed, ecclesiastical, something else, or if there are even differences between those ...
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1answer
145 views

What is the evidence for a long vowel in χριστός “anointed” and Latin Christus?

The Greek word χριστός, used as a translation of Hebrew משיח "messiah", and meaning something like "anointed" (Liddell and Scott), apparently has a long vowel in the first syllable....
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74 views

How is the word “Eboracum” stressed in Latin?

John Walker in his work A Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper Names suggests pronouncing it as "Ebóracum": Are there any other sources of this word's ...
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371 views

What evidence points to a long ō in the first syllable of nōscō's present-tense form?

I've read in various sources that the verb nosco 'know' had a long vowel in the first syllable in Classical Latin pronunciation: nōscō [noːskoː]. I'm wondering what the linguistic evidence is for the ...
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2answers
856 views

Was there ever a difference between 'volo' and 'volo'?

The words "I want" and "I fly" are both volō. Was there ever any difference in pronunciation in the classical era or later? I expect such differences to be more likely in vulgar Latin. The rest ...
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3answers
232 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 ...
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109 views

What do we know about Homer's pronunciation?

Nowadays, most classicists seem to teach a reconstructed Ancient Greek pronunciation, imitating how an Athenian would have spoken in the fifth century BCE. On top of that, there's solid evidence for ...
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131 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 ...
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404 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, ...
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401 views

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., ...
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135 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 ...
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86 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 ...
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435 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 ...
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1answer
266 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 ...
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2answers
83 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 ...
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3answers
636 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 ...
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1answer
342 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. [...
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78 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 ...
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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 ...
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438 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 ...
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311 views

How do you pronounce “Aeclepiadae”?

Just as the title says. Or should it really be "Asclepiadae", since it comes from "Asclepius"?
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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 ...
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1answer
853 views

“Ae” pronunciation

In accordance to Wikipedia ae diphtong should be pronounced like /ae̯/. So should I pronounce Graecae (Greek, f., pl.) as /ˈgrae̯kae̯/? EDIT: In accordance to Rafael's comment please see the ...
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167 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 "...
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119 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, ...
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3answers
1k 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]. ...
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252 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, ...
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1answer
205 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 ...
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799 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 ...