Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions regarding the pronunciation of Latin words or syllables, or the history of Latin pronunciation. The desired time period for the pronunciation in question should be added.

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8
votes
1answer
676 views

What can we say about the pronunciation of Z?

The letter Z was borrowed into the Latin alphabet in order to transcribe Greek loanwords, along with Y. Presumably, educated Latin-speakers pronounced it like its source, Greek zeta. However, Greek ...
11
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3answers
4k 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 syllable ...
4
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1answer
268 views

“Nequidquam seros exercet noctua cantus”: what is the Latin onomatopoeia for the owl's hoot?

In the 16th century, Robert et Antoine Lechevallier d'Aigneaux made a famous translation of Virgil's Aeneid which was seemingly praised in the French world; they also translated the Georgics including ...
7
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1answer
407 views

Does CUM EŌ EO mean I go with them?

If so, the pronunciation of the long vowel Ō is really important?
5
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0answers
53 views

Can a same poet use both U/V (vowel/consonant) variants of the same stem?

There are some words that poets use in more than one way. For example the word deorsum, usually 3 syllables (dĕ-or-sum), but sometimes the poets allowed themselves some freedom, and had it as 2 ...
8
votes
2answers
902 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 ...
15
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1answer
813 views

Was avē truly pronounced with an “unspelled /h/”?

According to the etymology at Wiktionary, avē derived from a Punic word with an initial /h/, and was pronounced as such in the Classical period even though the word was spelt without. Is this claim, ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Pronunciation of intervocalic EV in Greek words in Roman Ecclesiastical

For example evangelium, which in Greek, and hence in Classical, has an ambisyllabic1 [w:], giving [ɛw:a]. How are this and similar words pronounced in (preferrably sung) Roman Ecclesiastical? Is it as ...
5
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2answers
905 views

Evidence about pronunciation of ευ and αυ in Homeric Greek?

In modern Greek, a word like ευχαριστώ is pronounced like "ef-." The combinations ευ and αυ sometimes have the upsilon pronounced like β and sometimes like φ. (I'm not sure how variable it ...
8
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3answers
3k 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 ...
10
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1answer
763 views

How to pronounce “Roterodamus”?

The adjective roterodamus means “of Rotterdam” (the city in Holland). To lovers of Latin, unless they entertain an unusual interest in Dutch geography, the word is familiar probably primarily because ...
6
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4answers
523 views

How close is modern Italian pronunciation of sounds to Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation?

I know that Ecclesiastical Latin uses Italianate pronunciation. My question is if there are any significant differences between pronunciation of modern Italian sounds vs. pronunciation of ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

What is the earliest example of the monophthongisation of 'oe'?

Salvete amicae amicique, I have read lots of sources that state that in the 3rd Century AD. people started pronouncing the diphthong 'oe' as /e:/. However, I can't find any evidence - what I am ...
10
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2answers
2k views

How is Latium pronounced?

The Merriam Webster definition gives the following pronunciation: \ˈlā-sh(ē-)əm\. But this doesn't sound right to me. I have never heard the consonant 't' pronounced this way in Latin. Which leads me ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did an internal m nasalize the preceding vowel?

We know that the final m was not a full consonant in classical Latin, but denoted nasalization and elongation of the preceding vowel. See this or this old question for more details. Was this effect ...
8
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3answers
9k views

How did the Romans pronounce roman numerals?

As I understand it, their notation (subtractive notation?) is quite hard and tedious to work with even for its natives. In fact, many numbers are themselves math problems. How did they speak of their ...
9
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2answers
755 views

Is the 'i' in 'videt' long or short?

I am currently reading Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, where he thankfully makes use of the macron to distinguish long vowels form short ones. However, and I have seen this elsewhere as well,...
4
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1answer
136 views

Pronunciation of “Bethlehem” in “Adeste Fideles”

Pavarotti Fischer Adeste fideles laeti triumphantes Venite, venite in Bethlehem Natum videte regem angelorum Venite, adoremus, Venite, adoremus, Venite, adoremus, dominum! In the first link above ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
5
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1answer
214 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
374 views

Pronunciation of “quoniam”

Is the "i" in "quoniam" a vowel or a consonant? Just based on the spelling it makes sense as a vowel (quo.ni.am), but at the same time etymologically as "quom + iam" it ...
5
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0answers
91 views

How did Jerome pronounce the Latin language?

Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) lived between the 4th and 5th centuries. He translated the Bible into Latin as the Vulgate (Biblia Vulgata). How would he have pronounced the Latin language? In ...
3
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1answer
336 views

Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation of “excelsis”: /e/ or /ɛ/?

My question is about pronunciation of both e's in the word excelsis in Ecclesiastical Latin. Here is an excerpt of a previous question in this site: A final postscript: although what I've heard is ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Ut syllabās gravēs verbōrum didicimus?

Hanc rēgulam didicī dē verbīs: Sī syllaba paenultima brevis est, syllaba antepaenultima gravis fit. Sī autem longa est, ipsa gravis fit. Ut hanc rēgulam didicimus? Ex grammaticīs? Quō tempore haec ...
6
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2answers
1k views

The pronunciation of Eta (η)

I have visited some sources and I can't finally understand that Eta (η) in Ancient Greek pronounced like 'eɪ' (delay), or like 'eə' (hair). In fact, should we say an 'ɪ' at the end of pronouncing η, ...
10
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1answer
564 views

Verbum Hispānicum “mientras” significat “-m” fīnāle prōnūntiātum esse?

In Was the final “-m” a “full-featured” consonant?, cēnsēbant "-m" fīnāle prōnūntiātum nōn esse, sed faciēbat nāsāle vōcālem praecēdēns. Sed invēnī verbum Hispānicum "mientras" ex ...
14
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2answers
659 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
355 views

Is U between NG and a vowel always a consonant?

Is the letter U (whether spelled as U or V) between NG and a vowel always a consonant? It is at the very least a useful rule of thumb, but I wonder if there are counterexamples to this rule (or ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

Allen's Vox Latina, 2nd edition (1988) metions that there is occasional "poetic interchange" in Latin of syllabic [u] and non-syllabic [w], mentioning trisyllabic silua and disyllabic genva ...
6
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1answer
166 views

What is the etymology of 'cuius' and is it different from 'quis'?

'cuius' (and 'cui') is an interesting word in that it stands out as different from the other terms in the declension of 'quis'. It seems to be pronounced differently. 'quis' is /kwis/ but 'cuius' is /...
24
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1answer
5k views

Why is 'r' often rolled in modern classical Latin?

During my Latin education (using classical pronunciation), I was taught that 'r' should be 'rolled', making a sort of growling sound. For example, the r's (more the second than the first set) in ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Stress of presbyterum, presbytero

Salvete, Where is the stress in the various forms of presbyter? Would I be correct with the following? (I have placed the apostrophe before the stressed syllable.) Gratias vobis ago Paulus nom. '...
9
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3answers
419 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Does G ever visibly assimilate in voice?

According to Allen's Vox Latina, /b/ regularly becomes voiceless before a voiceless consonant. This shows up sometimes in writing: for example, we see forms of ob-sideō written occasionally as opsideō....
9
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2answers
1k views

Why is Antirrhinum written with two 'r'?

According to Wikipedia Antirrhinum (Dragon flower) is derived from ἀντί anti "against, like", and ῥίς rhis "nose". Therefore, I would expect it to be pronounced Anti-rrhinum (with ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

Correct pronunciation of full Latin dates

What is the correct Latin pronunciation of modern full dates, where the word 'anno' is omitted e.g. 'die 24 Augusti 1954 nata'? In which case stands the numeral of the year? Is the word 'anno' ...
10
votes
1answer
699 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., ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

When did genuine and spurious diphthongs merge?

In Ancient Greek, the diphthongs ει and ου were sometimes considered "genuine" (they descended from ε+ι or ο+υ or the like), and sometimes "spurious" (they descended from ...
1
vote
2answers
82 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 ...
7
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2answers
442 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, ...
30
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4answers
1k views

When is an I not an I?

For whatever daft reason, the current trend in modern Latin orthography is to write consonantal 'i' (IPA /j/) as 'i' rather than as 'j'. How can we then tell whether a given 'i' is a vowel or a /j/, ...
19
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3answers
4k 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, ...
8
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3answers
3k 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".
1
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2answers
107 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 (...
33
votes
4answers
4k views

What effect should a macron have on the sound of a letter and its word?

Latin makes use of macrons (small lines above letters) to indicate a different pronunciation for that letter. Exactly what should the macron indicate about the pronunciation of the letter? Does the ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
240 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 ...
6
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5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
226 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
180 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 ...