Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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6
votes
1answer
343 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, ...
6
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2answers
195 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.
7
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3answers
1k 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 ...
15
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2answers
366 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 ...
7
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1answer
320 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 ...
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 ...
10
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1answer
275 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 ...
8
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1answer
739 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 ...
5
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2answers
2k views

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). ...
4
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0answers
134 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
227 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 ...
4
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1answer
205 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

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
396 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 ...
9
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5answers
1k views

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?
13
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2answers
354 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
452 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? ...
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 ...
11
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3answers
448 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" ...
9
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2answers
380 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 '...
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 ...
14
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1answer
173 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? ...
8
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2answers
370 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'...
17
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2answers
3k views

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'...
12
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
917 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 ...
16
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2answers
771 views

Why is the “u” in “nuntius” and “nuntiare” long by exception?

First of all, a warm hello to all the users here! I was recently thinking about the pronunciation of nūntius and nūntiāre along with its derivatives (such as prōnūntiāre). According to "Latin for ...
29
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3answers
2k views

Are there exceptions to the Latin stress rules?

Do the Latin stress rules (antepenultimate if penultimate is light, penultimate if heavy) have any known exceptions? If so, what are the exceptions, and what evidence is there in the grammatical ...
6
votes
0answers
216 views

Why is pronunciation different in Turku than the rest of Finland?

In Finland ae and oe are both typically pronounced as /e:/ when they belong to the same syllable. In (and near) Turku the pronunciations are /ai/ and /oi/. (This excludes, for example, aer and poema; ...
11
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1answer
197 views

Did the Romans drop the x from “maxilla”?

C.M. Weimer quotes Cicero's Orator, 153, in this answer: How was the name of your ancestor changed from Axilla to Ala except from a desire to avoid a harsh-sounding letter? The same letter is ...
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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Accurate pronunciation of Luther's 86th thesis

I'm working on a short elocution piece that will involve quoting Luther's 86th thesis in the original Latin: Cur Papa, cuius opes hodie sunt opulentissimis Crassis crassiores, non de suis pecuniis ...
18
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1answer
738 views

What is an overview of the differences between Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin?

I'm aware of some of the differences in pronunciation between the two, and perhaps this can be covered in greater detail elsewhere, but are there also any other key areas of differences (with perhaps ...
14
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3answers
852 views

How should I pronounce 'ait'?

I'm interested in the proper Classical pronunciation of the word 'ait'. I've been pronouncing it as 'ate', /eɪt/. Should it instead be pronounced as /a.it/ or even /aɪ.it/? What evidence is there ...
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?
23
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1answer
4k 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 ...
34
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3answers
7k views

How do we know how the Romans pronounced Latin?

A quick Google Search says plenty of things about Roman Latin pronunciation, and since it's an edu domain I'm inclined to believe it. However, the closest to citing a source it gets is saying "we know ...
30
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2answers
2k views

When did “c” before “e” or “i” start to be pronounced as [ts] (in contrast to classical [k])?

In Classical Latin, "c" was always pronounced as "k". Since Renaissance Latin grammar reform, the correct pronunciation of "c" before "e" or "i" was codified to [ts]. So in Renaissance the true ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Was the final “-m” a “full-featured” consonant?

Is there any solid evidence supporting or denying the hypothesis that in Classical Latin the syllable-final vowel -m (especially at the end of the word) was only an orthographic convention, but in ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What are the arguments for Classical pronunciations vs. Ecclesiastical pronunciation?

I know to some degree it's a matter of taste, but are the arguments for one pronunciation being used over another? Is it simply a matter of taste, or are there claims that one is "correct" and another ...
30
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4answers
873 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/, ...
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 ...

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