Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions regarding the pronunciation of Latin words or syllables, or the history of Latin pronunciation. The desired time period for the pronunciation in question should be added.

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pronunciation of ă (called a-breve) in Latin

What is the pronunciation of the ă letter in Latin? Examples of words: ăhă, Ăgylla, ălăcer More info: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%82 Thank you.
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9 votes
1 answer
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Knowing the two quantities of 'est'

There are several forms of ĕsse and ēsse (= edere) that only differ by the quantity of the initial vowel, perhaps the most common one being ĕst/ēst. How do we know this difference in quantities? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
238 views

S at the end of Present Active Participle Pronunciation

I've noticed that we tend to pronounce the "s" at the end of present active participles (e.g. navigans) as /z/. But in ancient Roman times, would it really have been pronounced this way, /...
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10 votes
2 answers
616 views

Minimal pair for hidden quantity

Is there an example where the quantity of a vowel makes a difference in a syllable that is heavy by position? For a concrete example, this does happen in Finnish (where long vowels are written as ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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When pronouncing latin taxonomy names is there a rule when the letter p is voiced?

Pterodactyl -- Is the p voiced? tero- dactyl Pteridology -- Is the p voiced? teri- dology Dyropteris (genus name) - Is the p voiced? Dryo- pteris
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4 votes
1 answer
470 views

Why are some sounds differently pronounced to how they are written?

I am trying to start learning Latin because it sounds like a fun language to learn. It will also help me with English words and prefixes, among other things. This means that I know literally nothing ...
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5 votes
1 answer
88 views

Does the pronunciation of 'gn' depend on the environment?

I have heard different pronunciations of 'gn': [ŋn], [gn], [ɲ:]. Given a fixed era and dialect, is 'gn' always pronounced the same way or does the pronunciation depend on the environment? My ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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When did "ae" become [e]?

I know about the differences between Reconstructed and Church pronunciation. I have wondered when they arose. I have already researched it on StackExchange where "V" had already become [v] ...
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4 votes
2 answers
389 views

Littera Canina in Classical Latin and Old Latin

Ancient Romans called the letter R littera canina as the R in Classical Latin was trilled to sound like a growling dog! Was the letter R trilled to sound like a growling dog when the ancient Romans ...
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7 votes
9 answers
745 views

Resources for pronouncing Greek

Similar to our question about the pronunciation of Latin, I believe it would be very useful for users to have a single question to reference for resources for pronouncing Greek. Greek, as with Latin, ...
-3 votes
1 answer
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how would Caeser say "hodiē iānuae domuum sunt ātrae"?

this post has been editted to use macrons, using html eg ā is & amacr ; without the spaces as html, similarly the other vowels. But this trick cannot be used in comments. I suppose what you can do ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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How did Caesar pronounce Latin overlined vowels?

I am a beginner with Latin and am confused about the overlined vowels. The textbook I have explains these via vowels of English words, but I think that is unsatisfactory, because when learning other ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the trī part in the word patrī?

What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the trī part in the word patrī? The word is at the 5:06 mark of this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdQawsU2RFg&t=308s
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4 votes
2 answers
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Pronunciation of aspiration in ἔδεισεν δ᾽ ὁ γέρων

This example occurs in Iliad 1.33. In running speech, when there are no pauses between words, I'm able to articulate this as "edeisend ho." However, I would imagine (possibly just because I'...
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5 votes
1 answer
132 views

Pronunciation in medical terminology

I have been arguing about this with quite a number of people and it seems we all cannot find the answer (med students, duh😅) My question is: Where should the stress on words like mastoideus and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What was the most common pronunciation of the interjection "io" in Classical Latin?

Wiktionary lists two pronunciations for io: /ˈi.oː/, [ˈioː] Was one more common than the other? And just so I'm clear, the first would sound something like ee-oh in English, and the second yo?
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4 votes
3 answers
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Frequency of conventions regarding whether to pronounce ω more open than ο, more closed, or the same

<boring background> I've been doing some recordings of language drill in Homeric Greek (1, 2, 3), in which my pronunciation has been chosen based on a certain set of criteria: (1) They're meant ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How has the pronunciation of the letter "c" developed?

I'd like to know how the pronunciation of the letter 'C' has developed in Latin. All I know so far is that it has changed through the centuries, but I'm interested in specifically what those changes ...
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5 votes
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When does the diphthong υι occur in Greek, and when it is pronounced as [yː]?

I'm a bit confused by the information I've seen online about ancient Greek υι: it seems an original diphthongal pronunciation was replaced at some point in Attic Greek by a monophthongal pronunciation ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Arnold and Conway, earlier change of pronunciation of aspirates?

Describing the pronunciation of Greek in schools in the UK, Allen says that a pamphlet by Arnold and Conway, "The Restored Pronunciation of Greek and Latin," pretty much set the standard ...
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4 votes
1 answer
263 views

Why do I find it hard not to palatalize the /g/ in digitus?

In latin words such as digitus, I found it hard to pronounce correctly the consonants /k/ or /g/ followed by /i/. I think that this happens especially if these sounds are in the same syllabe. Is it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is it possible to make sense of the classical words and pronunciation in Dune, by Frank Herbert?

Dune is a classic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. There have been attempts to film it, including an upcoming movie version covering the first half of the book. A lot of the names and ...
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12 votes
0 answers
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the kiskis and kankan debate: primary sources

There's a very famous story about how in the middle of the sixteenth century the Sorbonne University filed a legal claim to the Parlement de Paris re: the correct pronunciation of qu- in Latin, viz. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Pronunciation of the syllables that are long by position

I have a question about pronunciation of long/heavy syllables: Should we lengthen the syllable that is long by position (e. g. septem) Also, should we lengthen the syllable which contains diphtong (...
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2 votes
1 answer
134 views

How were τὰ φυσικά, φυσικός, and φύσις pronounced in Aristotle's time?

This question occurred to me in the context of a previous question of mine, which concerned the etymology of 'physics'. τὰ φυσικά is 'the collective title of Aristotle's physical treatises' (OED). ...
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7 votes
2 answers
181 views

Syllabification of "anhelo"

I'm setting some writing of St. Augustine to music, and it includes the word anhelo ("I long for"). I'm wondering whether an-he-lo or a-nhe-lo is the preferred way to divide it into ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Were aspirations pronounced longer in dialects influenced by semitic languages?

In general, /h/ and similar sounds are quite frequent in semitic languages, in Hebrew it even forms the definite article. So, speakers of semitic origin would seem to me more likely to pronounce the ...
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  • 1,793
2 votes
1 answer
277 views

Why is no one pronouncing the final 'm' as a nasal vowel?

I've listened to about 30 modern Latin speakers and except for Luke Ranieri, none of them pronounce the final 'm' as it should be pronounced which is as a nasal vowel, at least during conversation. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
861 views

Was the 'i' in cuius pronounced as 'j' or did it form a diphthong with 'u'

You can't determine from metrical feet if the 'i' in 'cuius' was pronounced as 'j' or if it formed a diphthong with 'u'. Diphthongs always form long syllables so it could be the 'u' was long and the '...
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8 votes
1 answer
736 views

What can we say about the pronunciation of Z?

The letter Z was borrowed into the Latin alphabet in order to transcribe Greek loanwords, along with Y. Presumably, educated Latin-speakers pronounced it like its source, Greek zeta. However, Greek ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does CUM EŌ EO mean I go with them?

If so, the pronunciation of the long vowel Ō is really important?
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5 votes
0 answers
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Can a same poet use both U/V (vowel/consonant) variants of the same stem?

There are some words that poets use in more than one way. For example the word deorsum, usually 3 syllables (dĕ-or-sum), but sometimes the poets allowed themselves some freedom, and had it as 2 ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Was avē truly pronounced with an "unspelled /h/"?

According to the etymology at Wiktionary, avē derived from a Punic word with an initial /h/, and was pronounced as such in the Classical period even though the word was spelt without. Is this claim, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of intervocalic EV in Greek words in Roman Ecclesiastical

For example evangelium, which in Greek, and hence in Classical, has an ambisyllabic1 [w:], giving [ɛw:a]. How are this and similar words pronounced in (preferrably sung) Roman Ecclesiastical? Is it as ...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Evidence about pronunciation of ευ and αυ in Homeric Greek?

In modern Greek, a word like ευχαριστώ is pronounced like "ef-." The combinations ευ and αυ sometimes have the upsilon pronounced like β and sometimes like φ. (I'm not sure how variable it ...
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10 votes
1 answer
802 views

How to pronounce "Roterodamus"?

The adjective roterodamus means “of Rotterdam” (the city in Holland). To lovers of Latin, unless they entertain an unusual interest in Dutch geography, the word is familiar probably primarily because ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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How close is modern Italian pronunciation of sounds to Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation?

I know that Ecclesiastical Latin uses Italianate pronunciation. My question is if there are any significant differences between pronunciation of modern Italian sounds vs. pronunciation of ...
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9 votes
2 answers
843 views

Is the 'i' in 'videt' long or short?

I am currently reading Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, where he thankfully makes use of the macron to distinguish long vowels form short ones. However, and I have seen this elsewhere as well,...
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11 votes
1 answer
187 views

What is the earliest example of the monophthongisation of 'oe'?

Salvete amicae amicique, I have read lots of sources that state that in the 3rd Century AD. people started pronouncing the diphthong 'oe' as /e:/. However, I can't find any evidence - what I am ...
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4 votes
1 answer
234 views

Pronunciation of "Bethlehem" in "Adeste Fideles"

Pavarotti Fischer Adeste fideles laeti triumphantes Venite, venite in Bethlehem Natum videte regem angelorum Venite, adoremus, Venite, adoremus, Venite, adoremus, dominum! In the first link above ...
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6 votes
1 answer
285 views

Changing tones (?) in Classical Latin

When I heard Classical Latin for the first time on Horatii carmina quae voce canora Thomas Nudipes pronuntiat, I was surprised to hear what I will describe as changing tones! The reason why I was ...
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7 votes
1 answer
118 views

Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
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7 votes
1 answer
409 views

Pronunciation of "quoniam"

Is the "i" in "quoniam" a vowel or a consonant? Just based on the spelling it makes sense as a vowel (quo.ni.am), but at the same time etymologically as "quom + iam" it ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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How did Jerome pronounce the Latin language?

Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) lived between the 4th and 5th centuries. He translated the Bible into Latin as the Vulgate (Biblia Vulgata). How would he have pronounced the Latin language? In ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation of "excelsis": /e/ or /ɛ/?

My question is about pronunciation of both e's in the word excelsis in Ecclesiastical Latin. Here is an excerpt of a previous question in this site: A final postscript: although what I've heard is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Ut syllabās gravēs verbōrum didicimus?

Hanc rēgulam didicī dē verbīs: Sī syllaba paenultima brevis est, syllaba antepaenultima gravis fit. Sī autem longa est, ipsa gravis fit. Ut hanc rēgulam didicimus? Ex grammaticīs? Quō tempore haec ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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The pronunciation of Eta (η)

I have visited some sources and I can't finally understand that Eta (η) in Ancient Greek pronounced like 'eɪ' (delay), or like 'eə' (hair). In fact, should we say an 'ɪ' at the end of pronouncing η, ...
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  • 1,329
10 votes
1 answer
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Verbum Hispānicum "mientras" significat "-m" fīnāle prōnūntiātum esse?

In Was the final “-m” a “full-featured” consonant?, cēnsēbant "-m" fīnāle prōnūntiātum nōn esse, sed faciēbat nāsāle vōcālem praecēdēns. Sed invēnī verbum Hispānicum "mientras" ex ...
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  • 745
6 votes
1 answer
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Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

Allen's Vox Latina, 2nd edition (1988) metions that there is occasional "poetic interchange" in Latin of syllabic [u] and non-syllabic [w], mentioning trisyllabic silua and disyllabic genva ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Is U between NG and a vowel always a consonant?

Is the letter U (whether spelled as U or V) between NG and a vowel always a consonant? It is at the very least a useful rule of thumb, but I wonder if there are counterexamples to this rule (or ...
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