Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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7
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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".
6
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0answers
217 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 ...
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5answers
784 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. ...
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2answers
309 views

What would be the etymologically Greek spelling of 'misogynoir'?

I asked this at another language Stack Exchange but was directed to here instead. I wasn't too sure how best to phrase the title of this question, so hope I can better explain it in this body. For ...
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2answers
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The pronunciation of Greek “γ”

How is the γ in verbs like γιγνώσκω and γίνομαι pronounced in ancient Greek? Is it pronounced like g in get or like g in gem?
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3answers
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Why does “ῤάρος” have a smooth breathing?

I recently discovered that LSJ lists exactly two words beginning with ῤ (rho with a smooth breathing mark): ῤάρος and its diminutive ῤάριον. Most beginning Greek students are taught, of course, that ...
14
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1answer
269 views

Greek pronunciation, invisible aspirations

Is there any evidence that aspirations that are as a result of composition no longer orthographically marked were still pronounced? Or to the contrary? I mean was προαίρησις pronounced proairesis or ...
3
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2answers
120 views

Pronouncing “Superfluus”

From fluere, su(short)perfluere means to overflow. However, I'm not sure how the adjective superflu(first u short)us is pronounced. My guess would be that both final Us are short, but why are they not ...
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2answers
746 views

Stress and vowel length

When pronouncing a word in classical Latin, should the heavy syllable and all other long vowels be lengthened, or just the heavy syllable? For example: fació, is it pronounced [fa:kio:] or [fa:kio] ? ...
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Is pronouncing 'th' as 's' in 'Boethius' typical in any common Latin pronunciation scheme?

I'm listening to lectures by theologian Douglas Kelly (Medieval Theology, lectures 7 and 8), in which he repeatedly pronounces the name Boethius as: boh-EE-see-us (how it sounds to me) /boʊˈiːsiəs/ (...
11
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3answers
262 views

How to transliterate 中文 in Mandarin pronunciation to Latin?

I am working on an art project that I would like to collect the hundreds of different transliterations of 「中文」 zhōng wén in Mandarin Chinese. (Pronunciation available here: https://translate.google....
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1answer
160 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- ...
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4answers
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Is “s” between two vowels voiced or unvoiced?

I am phrasing the question as an absolute though I am well aware that the answer could be "we don't know" or "depends on your pronunciation." I often hear church choirs pronounce miserere with a ...
4
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1answer
167 views

Different ways to accent active aorist infinitives ending in 'αι' (Greek)

I have noticed that active aorist infinitives ending in 'αι' may be accented in three different ways in Attic Greek, as follows (all from wiktionary.org): As if the final 'αι' were short: ...
7
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1answer
157 views

How to place a second stress on a long word

In terms of stress, what should I do with a long segment anterior to the stressed syllable of a long word? An example would be: comperiēbātur --where I have emboldened the stressed syllable as I ...
8
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1answer
226 views

Which mora of a stressed long vowel or diphthong bears the emphasis?

When a stress falls on a long vowel or a diphthong as in, for example: dīcō (IPA /ˈdiː.koː/) coepiō (IPA: /ˈkoe̯.pi.oː/) should I think that the emphasis: falls on the first mora, falls on the ...
6
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1answer
207 views

Why do some words from Latin have an English V and others not?

How did English words like vocal, vision, and victory come to be pronounced with a modern v unlike wine, wall, and worm?
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1answer
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How to pronounce “mihi” in a Magnificat?

This question came up recently in my choir: how should we pronounce “mihi”? The sentence is from a psalm: Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est. We’ve encountered it in two Magnificats, the first ...
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1answer
67 views

Pronunciation of “Priapus”

How is the name Priapus pronounced in Classical Latin? I don't know if the primary stress is on the first syllable (Pri) or the penultimate (ap).
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1answer
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Why “ex nihilo” instead of “e nihilo”?

I was helping a friend earlier with an English-to-Latin translation and we started talking about the prepositions "a(b)" and "e(x)", which lose their consonant if the following word begins with one [...
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Rules of syllabification [duplicate]

In Latin Grammar, Robert J. Henle wrote (p. 2), Accent. a. In words of two syllables the accent is on the first. vía; béllum b. In words of more than two syllables, if the second last ...
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2answers
392 views

Did the Romans confuse a long vowel with two short ones?

Consider the words sūs and sŭŭs. The former has one long u, the latter has two short ones in two syllables. For another similar pair with a different vowel, consider īmus and ...
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1answer
178 views

pronunciation of 'Via Galactea'

How to pronounce 'Via Galactea'? Could you write it in international phonetic alphabet?
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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 ...
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1answer
410 views

Where can I hear the original pronunciation of the Latin alphabet?

Is there a difference between the pronunciation of c, k and q in classical Latin? If they are all the same, why have three different letters for the same sound? Also, if x is pronounced just like ks, ...
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2answers
217 views

Mons Mensae pronunciation

How to pronounce Mons Mensae? Could you write it in international phonetic alphabet? I think that will be [Mʌns Mensæ]... Is that right? P.S. I intended the constellation known as Mons Mensae.
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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 ...
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2answers
419 views

How to read mathematics out loud?

Reading symbolic mathematical expressions out loud in any language is mainly folklore: everyone in the field knows how to do it but finding explicit written instructions is surprisingly hard. I have ...
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1answer
457 views

What digraphs did the Romans use?

English uses a variety of digraphs to represent sounds which lack their own letters. Some of these (such as "th" and "sh") appear in native words; others (such as "kh") only appear in loanwords. I ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
319 views

Interpretation of circumflex in a poem from 1621

A poem from 1621 contains one ô and one â. The ô is the interjection ô and the â is in the relative pronoun quâ. No circumflexes are used elsewhere in the poem. Does the circumflex (or caret or ...
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1answer
877 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 ...
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2answers
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Websites for Latin pronunciation? [closed]

The only one I've found so far is Google Translate. Is Google's Latin pronunciation good/reliable? If not, what are some other resources? Example from Google: ceteris paribus (click on the 🔊 icon). ...
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0answers
141 views

How to instruct people fluent in English to pronounce Latin?

Sometimes people with little or no knowledge of Latin end up having or wanting to use it. I am typically willing to help and I have learned how to do it effectively with Finns. But how should I ...
4
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2answers
327 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 ...
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1answer
235 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 ...
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2answers
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What is the pronunciation of O with macron and breve?

I found an Indo-European root, nō̆-men-, in the free dictionary. I know both macron and breve mean the length of vowels. And the Latin word, nōmen, has a long ō. However, how should I pronounce the ...
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1answer
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Did the Romans pronounce ph like the letter f or the letter p?

I'm wondering – how would the Romans have pronounced ph if these letters were together in a word like "triumphantes"? Would it be pronounced like the letter f or the letter p? Did the Romans even ever ...
7
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1answer
439 views

How were elided vowels pronounced by the Romans?

When I scan a verse, I simply leave out elided vowels: I don't pronounce them at all. But I've heard theories that the Romans did pronounce them, but just as very short vowels of half a syllable's ...
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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?
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2answers
487 views

In current teaching practice, what Latin pronunciation is most commonly taught in Europe?

I learned Latin in a US public school. Although pronunciation was admittedly never emphasized in the course, classical Latin pronunciation was always the ideal. I've met Latin students from across ...
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2answers
507 views

How did the Romans pronounce Niobe?

I finished re-reading the myth of Niobe and Latona, and it made me wonder, how did the Romans pronounce the name Niobe? Is it the same way we North American English speakers would pronounce it? ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
503 views

Why does singular “mons” become plural “montes”?

Some singular third declension nouns, ending in -s, have a t in their stem, so: singular mons → plural montes infans → infantes miles → milites I understand these to be examples of "lingual" ...
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2answers
456 views

Are vowels long before “gn”?

Allen and Greenough, §10d, provide a general rule: A vowel before ns, nf, gn, is long: as in cōnstāns, īnferō, māgnus [emphasis modified] This seems to agree with Priscian: 'gnus' quoque vel '...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
183 views

Why does “e” occur in forms of 'vōs' but not 'nōs'?

The forms of nōs and vōs exhibit a pattern, except in the genitive (nostrī/um, vestrī/um) and the possessive (noster, vester). Did vōs originally resemble nōs in all its forms, only to diverge later? ...
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2answers
380 views

DVCITIS, DUCITIS, DŪCITIS

Are all three of these valid spellings and have I listed them in the chronological order they would have been used? DVCITIS DUCITIS DŪCITIS Would the C have been pronounced with a hard 'K', or a 'CH'...
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2answers
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When did 'ph' start to be pronounced like 'f'?

I learned from Nathaniel's answer to my previous question that 'ch', 'th' and 'ph' were aspirated voiceless stops in classical Latin. In my experience many contemporary speakers of Latin pronounce 'ph'...
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1answer
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Were 'th' and 'ch' aspirated in classical Latin?

I have been taught that 'th' and 'ch' were pronounced just like 't' and 'c' in classical Latin, with no aspiration. The answer to this earlier question confirms that 't' and 'c' had indeed little or ...