Questions tagged [vulgar-latin]

For questions about the Latin that was commonly spoken, rather than written (i.e. classical) Latin. Note that this does not refer solely to profanity, but any non-standard, spoken dialect of Latin.

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19
votes
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, ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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?
14
votes
1answer
336 views

Did word order have any function in colloquial Latin?

In Latin, word order is mostly free. This is used intensively by poets and other authors to achieve a desired rhythm or rhetoric figures like chiasms. However, this does not apply to regular, spoken ...
11
votes
2answers
607 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
851 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
766 views

Did the Vulgar Latin verb “toccare” exist?

According to the Royal Spanish Academy dictionary, the word tocar 'touch' has its origin in the toc toc onomatopoeia. Something similar is registered in Etymonline for the English verb touch: from ...
7
votes
1answer
206 views

When did the infinitive of purpose arise?

In Classical Latin, purpose would normally be expressed with ut, or ad with a gerund, or a supine with a verb of motion, or numerous other ways. However, in later and vulgar Latin (most notably the ...
4
votes
2answers
897 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Can “ave, vire” be used colloquially as “hey, bro”?

There's a Spanish webcomic called ¡Eh, tío!, an expression that can be translated into English as hey, man or maybe as hey, bro. The webcomic had some time ago a story arc set in an alternate universe ...
2
votes
3answers
352 views

How did '-met' + 'ipse' + '-issimus' compound to mean <the same> (in *metipsimus)?

[ Wiktionary for *metipsimus :] Etymology [0.] From -met (emphatic suffix) + ipse (“himself”) + -issimus (superlative suffix). Adjective *metipsimus (feminine *metipsima, neuter *metipsimum); first/...