Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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19
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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, ...
1
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1answer
33 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k 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
65 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
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4answers
3k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
71 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 ...
5
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0answers
90 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 ...
5
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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 ...
3
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3answers
138 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
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1answer
92 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 ...
9
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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 ...
5
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1answer
859 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
3
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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 ...
11
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2answers
437 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 ...
7
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
6
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1answer
108 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 ...
8
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1answer
737 views

How do we know the quantity of vowels followed by several consonants?

Judging by dictionaries and grammars, we seem to know the length of almost every vowel in classical Latin. For word-final vowels and those followed by a single consonant, the length can be figured out ...
6
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5answers
688 views

Resources for pronouncing Latin

What resources are out there for learning to pronounce Latin? Latin was pronounced differently in different places and eras, so resources for any part of the spatiotemporal realm of Latin are welcome. ...
4
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1answer
127 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!
4
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1answer
170 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) ...
5
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0answers
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 ...
1
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1answer
115 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 ...
13
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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 ...
2
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1answer
104 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 ...
6
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2answers
289 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 ...
2
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1answer
127 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.
2
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0answers
47 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. ...
7
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4answers
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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 ...
5
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1answer
173 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, ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
6
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1answer
478 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 ...
4
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1answer
146 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....
6
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3answers
235 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 ...
2
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1answer
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 ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
5
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3answers
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
857 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 ...
23
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1answer
3k views

How do we know how gn was pronounced in Classical Latin?

As far as I am aware, the classical pronunciation of -gn- (as in magnus) is not [gn] but [ŋn]. How do we know that this is in fact how -gn- was pronounced?
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0answers
110 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 ...
9
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0answers
410 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., ...
9
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5answers
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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?
5
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2answers
405 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, ...
24
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
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 ...
2
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0answers
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 ...
4
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1answer
345 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. [...
13
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1answer
913 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 ...