Greek is a language of many respectable dialects. In more than a few dialects, there is no iota in ποιέω /poieô/ "do, make", the word from which the word ποιητής /poiêtês/ "poet" is derived in Greek. And Greek spelling was not always the same as in the classical age. That is most probably why the borrowed form in Latin does not contain an i.
The word was ...
There have been various theories about the phonetic value of ττ and σσ, but it`s often held that they were pronounced as might be expected, i.e. as [tt] and [ss]. The philologist Sidney Allen argues as follows:
These facts have led some scholars to suppose that both the ττ of
Attic and the σσ of other dialects represent different attempts to
It turns out, we know quite a bit about this!
There are three main sources for Vulgar Latin pronunciations: Classical texts imitating (or mocking or correcting) Vulgar speech, graffiti from actual plebs, and reconstruction from the Romance languages.
For the first of those, we have bits by Petronius and Catullus (the Cena Trimalchionis and Carmen 84), as ...
To my knowledge, the compounds of jaciō are the only words where this complication occurs. And in Imperial Latin, these words frequently scan with a light initial syllable, indicating loss of /j/ and resyllabification of the final consonant of the prefix, such as /a.bi.ki.oː/.
Scholars of Latin seem to differ somewhat in how they explain the heavy scansion ...
v and u
There are some minimal pairs between [w] and [u]. All of the examples that I have found so far involve words that contain the perfect formative [u] preceded by a sonorant and followed by a vowel:
volvit (volvo) and vŏlŭit (vŏlo)
solvit (solvo) and sŏlŭit (sŏlĕo)
calvī (calvus) and călŭī (călĕo)
alvī (alvus) and ălŭī (ălo)
salvī (salvus) and ...
I was previously unaware of any such pair, but browsing Lewis and Short (available online in various forms) brought up these:
lўsis: loosening, rupture, talon, ogee
Lўsis: a Pythagorean of Tarentum, instructor of Epaminondas
Lȳsis: a small river in Asia Minor
The letter is so rare in Latin that I doubt there are examples without Greek names....
We can only speculate about the exact underlying nature of the "foreign phoneme"; on the other hand, its surface realization is obvious, [tt] or [ss].
Below is my summary of the most relevant research on this problem.
Everyone agrees that θάλασσα is Pre-Greek (i.e. not IE), one of the reasons being that there were no geminates either in the PIE or ...
Weiss (Hist. Comp. Gramm. Lat. 75, note 26) says that "the first syllable of īnferus was identified with in- and the medial *dʰ was therefore given a pseudo-initial treatment".
De Vaan (s.v.) agrees, citing Walde-Hoffman, Leumann, and Meiser, though he also mentions the possibility of a divergent dialectal treatment. He compares -fāriam "in n parts" (e.g. ...
The only example of an intervocalic /h/ indicated in writing that I know of is in ταὧς, "peacock", but it's likely that /h/ also occurred in certain cases where there is a morpheme boundary, e.g., ευήμερος, probably pronounced [euhɛːmeros], though the internal /h/ is not represented in writing. (I believe this is supported by the Latin spelling "euhemerus".
The verb ἵημι is notoriously fertile ground for such minimal pairs, when compared with εἰμί and εἶμι, e.g.:
εἷναι aor. act. inf. / εἶναι pres. act. inf. of εἶμι
ἱέναι pres. act. inf. / ἰέναι pres. act. inf. of εἶμι
ὧ pres. act. subj. / ὦ pres. act. subj. of εἰμί (in all persons/numbers)
εἵην pres. act. opt. / εἴην opt. act. subj. of εἰμί (in all persons/...
Here is Allen, Vox Graeca (15):
Allen and Sturtevant (Pronunciation of Greek and Latin) both argue, based on the rarity of misspellings of the type *κθών, that the first consonant in such clusters really was aspirated, i.e. this was not just a spelling convention.
The nice thing about Greek dialect inscriptions is that there was little in the way of standardized orthography: spellings seem to closely track the local pronunciation (or sometimes apparently the pronunciation of the scribe, who wasn't always necessarily a local). So the answer is yes, we know quite a bit; this is the main reason we know anything about ...
By the fifth century you'd already have this, this, this.
Palatalization of "c" before "e" or "i" would still be under way.
I'm not totally sure but "ae" and "oe" might have remained [ae̯] and [oe̯] until after the Fall of the Empire, because it seems that graphically they were replaced by "e" only around the XI century - in contrast the ...
The development of the Latin 4th declension seems to be uncertain in several areas. The PIE ancestors of the G.sg. and the N.pl. of -u stems seem to have been *-ows and *-ewes respectively. The Latin forms seem to be contracted versions of these (although, as I said, the details are disputed). At any rate, palatalization does not seem to be a factor in ...
The common pronunciation depends somewhat on when you're learning, as well as where. In recent decades there's been a push toward "reconstructed" pronunciation in education; if you learned that "c" is always /k/, this is probably what you're using.
In reconstructed pronunciation, tĭ (as in sentiō) is /tɪ/, and tī (as in sentīre) is /tiː/. In other words, ...
Just as we have both intrā and intrō, citrā/citrō, ultrā/ultrō, there used to be a form contrō, which has only survived in this word. De Vaan adduces an Oscan form contrud. Historically, the -ō forms are masc./neut. ablatives, the -ā forms are fem. ablatives.
There are quite a few, actually. Just to add some more examples:
πράττω "do" (impv. πρᾶττε shows the length)
ἤλλαγμαι, pf. m./p. of ἀλλάττω "exchange"
ἡλλόμην, impf. of ἅλλομαι "jump"
Here's a list I was able to generate from the Perseus lemma list. This only looks at headwords, so it might exclude a few words that have similarly declined forms. Some of the words are also a bit non-standard, but the LSJ has them all listed:
ἅλινος - relating to salt
ἄλινος - without a net
ἀνία - grief
ἁνία - reins
ἐδανός - eatable
ἑδανός - sweet
In a third-conjugation verb, a [g] sound at the end of a present stem generally alternates with a [k] sound, written as ⟨c⟩, before the [t] of the past participle/supine suffix. I believe the phonemic representations of these sounds would usually be given as /g/ and /k/ respectively; if that is correct, this is not a case where "/g/ is written as c"...
There is no single standard for Latin pronunciation. The main division is between reconstructed pronunciation (based on our idea of what Classical Latin sounded like) vs. everything else. As Draconis mentioned, in reconstructed pronunciation <ti> is just pronounced as a sequence of the T sound [t] followed by one of the two I sounds, ĭ [i~ɪ] or ī [iː].
fdb already wrote that there is no adequate Indo-European etymology and most likely it is a loan from the Pre-Greek substratum. That being said, another etymology has been in circulation for many decades - its connection to the word 'sun' in PIE (i.e. *séh2u̯el-; see below). This is what Michel Lejeune wrote in his "Phonétique historique du mycénien et du ...
We can judge some features of educated Late Latin from the Appendix Probi (probably from the 3rd or 4th century). It is a list of corrected errors. There are can see that learned speech was different from the popular usage.
So at that time we already see indications that standard Late Latin had the same qualities for long and short vowels ("turma non torma")...
The existence of /y/ and /y:/ in Classical Latin is mainly postulated as a part of non-nativized pronunciations for loanwords from Greek. Vowel length was phonemically distinctive for Y in Greek, and it was accordingly distinctive in Latin as well.
In the popular language, it is thought that merger with /i/ and /i:/ was a possibility already in classical ...
W. Sidney Allen's famous Vox Graeca, which is well worth the time of anyone with a more-than-casual interest in Greek pronunciation, has three-and-a-half pages' worth of things to say about the subject, which I will attempt to summarise.
It's uncontroversial that from quite early in the Archaic period through the late 4th century BCE, ζ represented [zd] in ...
With respect to latter portion of the question only, I agree with @sumelic's answer that it is unlikely we have actual evidence of a qualitative difference between /y:/ and /y/, but I will supplement that with the following considerations:
1) It is generally thought that the Latin high vowels were somewhat lowered in Classical times to [ɪ] and [ʊ]. If ...
Note: this answer is pure speculation (or original research, if you're feeling generous), not backed up by any scholarly references.
Neither Varro nor I marked vowel length in our Hebrew and Aramaic transcriptions. But what if we go back and add that?
מְשִׁיחַ məšīaħ → messias
יֵשׁוּעַ jēšūaʕ → iēsūs
אַבְשָׁלוֹם 'abəšālōm → abessalōm
הוֹשֵׁעַ hōšēaʕ → ...
The usual explanation (e.g. in Beekes) is that selēnē is a Greek formation from selas “light”: *selas-nā > selēnē, with the same suffix (and the same semantics) as in Latin *luk-nā > lūna. For selas there is no adequate etymology and it may well be non Indo-European (borrowing or pre-Greek substrate).
There are AFAIK no outer relations for the Greek words σέλας sélas and σελήνη selēnē attested.
This leaves two possibilities:
The words are early loans into Proto-Hellenic from an unknown source language
The words can still be inherited from Proto-Indogermanic (and just died out in the other branches) and the proto-word started in a more complicated ...
The short answer would be no. Nōmen is a well-known example of a word that did not historically start with a velar consonant but that has a velar in some related prefixed words: agnōmen, cognōmen, ignōminia (but not in praenōmen or prōnōmen). This is thought to be the result of analogy.
There seem to be certain words in Latin which start with an ...