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Questions tagged [spoken-language]

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3
votes
2answers
183 views

Why is “ita vero” two words?

I was taught the way to say "yes" in Latin is two words: "ita vero". It seems counter-intuitive that it's two words, but why is that so? In essence, why is the Latin word for yes two words? Does "ita" ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

Are there attestations of Greco-Latin contact languages from antiquity?

When speakers of different languages meet they often develop some contact language or pidgin containing elements of both languages. Surely speakers of Greek and Latin met in the antiquity at several ...
6
votes
2answers
207 views

How can the use of “-aeus” as an adjective suffix in “Herculaeus” be explained?

Apparently, the English word "Herculean" has an old spelling variant "Herculæan". This seems to correspond to a Latin variant of the adjective "herculeus/Hercŭlĕus" spelled "Herculæus" (example: "...
7
votes
4answers
241 views

Softeners for conversational topic transitions: “Well, …”, “So, …”

In conversation, we often introduce a new topic or make a transition with a little introductory word, like "Well, …" or "So, …" in English or "Allora …" in Italian. For example, if previously we've ...
9
votes
1answer
219 views

What errors did the Greeks typically make in Latin?

Suppose a person born and educated in Greece comes to ancient Rome. They have learned Latin and can converse fluently, but not at a native level. What kinds of wrong pronunciation, vocabulary, or ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

When and how much did Romans speak Greek?

Here are a few historical facts that most amateur ancient historians are aware of: The Romans began speaking Latin. After the conquest of Alexander the Great, Greek became a "lingua franca" in the ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How to Practice Speaking Latin

How does one go about learning to speak Latin fluently? I am considering three options. Translation Based Method - Doing many translations (from Latin to English) would increase my vocabulary in ...
13
votes
2answers
244 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
72 views

Stereotypical Foreign-ness

In English writing, there are certain conventions for representing foreign accents. For example, a French character could replace all of zeir TH's wiz Z's, while an Italian might-a add-a short-a ...
6
votes
0answers
81 views

When did acronyms first appear?

Acronyms are abbreviations that are read as whole words rather than letter by letter — or in other words, they are words formed from initials of a phrase. "NATO" and "laser" are two examples. I ...
7
votes
4answers
205 views

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

In contemporary spoken Latin, such as (I think) occurs among canon lawyers in the Vatican and at Latin-only conventicula, do people clearly lengthen the -ā at the end of first-declension nouns in the ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

Spoken Classical Latin

I'm not sure whether this question is allowed, but I'm preparing for a course starting in September. The last time I heard Latin spoken was about 50 years ago at school, and that was Church or ...
19
votes
1answer
417 views

Did ancient Romans raise the intonation of their voices when asking questions?

I understand that in Classical Latin, when someone asks a question, the -ne causes stress patterns for some words to be modified, so that both the -ne and the new stress pattern indicates that the ...
18
votes
1answer
523 views

What were used as “filler” words in Classical Latin?

Do scholars have any idea what "words" were used as filler words in Classical Latin, similar to uh and um in English? Surely Cicero and other great orators instructed their pupils to never, ever say &...