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The length of vowels with “hidden quantity” can often be discovered from one of the following sources of information: Explicit descriptions of vowel length in ancient texts “Lachmann’s law” is a well-known rule about the length of vowels in closed syllables in past participles; we have a description of this from the works of Aulus Gellius according to ...


13

Q1: my first question is whether overlining is the same as "stress"? Not really. The overline indicates vowel length—how long you sustain the vowel sound—which is a component of stress in English. But Latin vowel length is a property of each individual vowel, while English stress is a property of the whole word. For example, pila, pilā, pīla, and ...


12

For my answer, I will use Bennett's New Latin Grammar as a reference. There are two important rules which come together to make a long ū in nūntius. As you noted, a vowel followed by nt or nd is usually short, e.g. laudănt, landăndi. The usual exception to this rule occurs in compounds whose first word includes a long vowel, such as nōndum (nōn dum). This ...


12

On the one hand, we have MAX(IMO), A with an apex in CIL VI 2080 17 However, as De Angelis and Chilà 2015 put it, "the interpretation of the vowel of maximus as long is anything but certain" (p. 92). Allen thinks the long a is doubtful there (Allen 1978: 70). Forston argues the apex there could be a mark of the "final member of the phrase" (Weiss 209: ...


11

As varro says, it's always long. This is predictable as one example of a more general rule that any vowel is always long before "ns" or "nf". This rule of vowel length is thought to be the result of "compensatory lengthening" or assimilation. We have evidence that the consonant sound [n] could be lost before [s] in Latin: thus ...


11

Monophthongization (of diphthongs in Latin) most likely happened after Osthoff's shortening (in Proto-Italic). Osthoff's law: A long vowel before a liquid, nasal, or glide plus a stop was shortened (Weiss 2009, p. 125). Monophthongization in this case was *eu > *ū (completed by the end of the 3rd century BCE), /eu/ > /ou/ > /o̝ː/ > /uː/ (Clackson and ...


11

tl;dr: as the risk of mistake is higher than for other suffixes, in contexts where analyzing the cases is difficult (like chanting psalms in a fast pace) people often distinguish the length less for -a/-ā (or -us/-ūs in 4th declension) than for other suffixes. I am a Dominican friar; in our priory in Olomouc in Czech Republic, we pray parts of the Liturgy of ...


11

Macrons are mainly pronunciation guides, telling which vowels are pronounced long. In some cases they can resolve ambiguities, when two words only differ by the length a vowel. Using them is not necessary, and I would personally consider it better style not to use macrons when writing in Latin, unless there is a special reason. Macrons were not used in ...


11

Any syllable containing a long vowel is heavy, but not all heavy syllables contain long vowels. Syllabification is a fairly abstract concept, so unfortunately, there are multiple conflicting descriptions of Latin syllabification. I believe that among present-day linguists, the most common analysis would be that a syllable is heavy either (a) if it contains a ...


11

In addition to Draconis' excellent answer, you may also be interested to know that: The overline is called a macron. Macrons were not used by the ancient Romans, and today they are almost only used in dictionaries and teaching materials. The Romans knew which vowels were long and which were short, and us non-Romans have to learn it by heart. Vowel length ...


10

Well, there is some fairly simple evidence that a sequence of two identical short vowels could in some cases be treated as equivalent to a single long vowel, namely that the former can contract into the latter: e.g. ĭĭt ~ īt, nĭhĭl ~ nīl. This does not necessarily imply that the pronunciations were identical, of course, but it does show that the two ...


10

Whether or not this is how the forms really developed, this is how I organize it in my head. And it has proven quite efficient, so I consider it a good description of what classical Latin conjugation is even if it fails to describe where it comes from. First, the theme vowels in conjugations 1, 2, and 4 are long: ā, ē, ī. The vowel i in ...


10

*Please see addendum at the bottom I have found two possible explanations for the circumflex: (1) to indicate a long vowel and (2) to indicate an ablative. Both of these functions would seem to overlap! Earlier grammarians frequently used the circumflex to indicate a long vowel. A practical grammar of the Latin language; with perpetual exercises in ...


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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 ...


10

The i in videt is short. The length of a vowel in classical Latin pronunciation is defined by its duration—its "quantity"—as opposed to its "quality", i.e. the nature of the sound: its waveform or timbre. But first let's have a look at short-vowel quality, since that seems to be the focus of your question. Then we'll come back to rhythm ...


9

It's always long, but some dictionaries don't bother to mark the length since it's "long by position" anyway, so it doesn't matter for a metrical point of view.


9

First of all, it's important to note that syllables containing a vowel + gn combination are long (or, less confusingly, "heavy"), regardless of the length of the vowel itself. As Bennet says: A syllable is long,— a) if it contains a long vowel; [...] c) if it contains a short vowel followed by x, z, or any two consonants (5.B.1) It does not follow, ...


9

My first thought was that this looks like an ablaut variant. After looking into it a bit, this seems possible, but far from certain. I'm not familar with the field of IE literature, but using Google, I found a few sources that mention the matter, although I don't know how reliable they are. (So please don't assume this post contains the correct answer!) ...


9

There is abluō, abluere, abluī, ablūtus. And acuō, acuere, acuī, acūtus. And arguō, arguere, arguī, argūtus. And compluō, compluere, compluī, complūtus. And exuō, exuere, exuī, exūtus. And futuō, futuere, futuī, futūtus. And imbuō, imbuere, imbuī, imbūtus. And minuō, minuere, minuī, minūtus. And rŭo, ruere, rŭi, rŭtus. And spŭo, spuere, spui, ...


9

The stem of sāl is săl-. This is documented in many dictionaries, including Lewis and Short. Most derivatives are taken from the stem of the noun, not the nominative. The only outlier with respect to vowel quantity is the singular nominative of the noun. The question should rather be: Why is it long? If we accept the noun (sāl, sălis) as a starting point,...


9

As has been pointed out, it's the long vowel in the nom. and voc. sg. of sāl that requires explanation, not the short vowel everywhere else, and it doesn't look like we have a good consensus. Sihler, in his New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, calls it "an enigma". He holds that sāl continues earlier *sall and ultimately Proto-Indo-European *...


9

Yes; this is more common with conjugation (inflection of verbs) than with declension (inflection of nouns or adjectives), but there are examples with both. To set aside the issue of "stems", I'll first give examples of cases where the vowel in the first syllable of a word changes (which would probably be considered part of the stem by most people). ...


8

In contemporary spoken Latin in Finnish all vowel quantities are carefully articulated. There is nothing special about the first declension ablative. I have therefore learned to expect it, and it will be easy to confuse me by ignoring vowel lengths in pronunciation. The Latin news broadcast Nuntii Latini is a prime example of Latin spoken in Finland, but it ...


8

I don't know about the Vatican. But I've met very few people at conventicula, living-Latin events, etc., who make any distinction whatsoever. I don't generally have a problem, I think in part because nobody talks in insane periods like Cicero uses for orations, and with many speakers, unfortunately, though by no means a majority, word order is closer to ...


8

Szemerényi (1980) says that the following "descriptive rule" summarizes the conjugation pattern for verbs ending in -uo: verbs in -uo in general form their perfect in -uī, their PPP in -ūtus (even tuor/tūtus would conform to this rule!); a list would have to specify four exceptions: ruo has rūtus, but in the compounds -rŭtus; two verbs which have a velar ...


8

A syllable is can be heavy in two ways. It is heavy by nature if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong. It is heavy by position if the vowel is followed by a "consonant cluster". If neither happens, the syllable is light. It can also be heavy for both of the two reasons. The irregularities have to do with what "consonant cluster" means. Mostly, it means ...


8

The answer to your question is simple and difficult at the same time. As Christian Lehmann (Lehmann 2010) puts it rather succinctly, "A light syllable is one ending in a short vowel; all other syllables are heavy." Lehmann, C. (2005). Latin syllable structure in typological perspective, Journal of Latin Linguistics, 9(1), 127-148. doi: https://...


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quă? After posting the negative answer below, I found one possible example: quă used as the feminine nominative singular or neuter nominative/accusative plural of the indefinite pronoun or determiner quis "any(one)". This form is listed in Bennett (91.), Allen and Greenough 149, Schmitz 1849. Gaffiot explicitly marks quă with a short vowel, which ...


8

There is the word γλῶσσα and a great number of other words derived from it. Here is a list of words containing -ωσσ-, giving more examples.


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I'm not aware of any evidence that "long diphthongs" like ῃ were prosodically different from "short diphthongs" or from long vowels. (BTW the "long diphthong" category includes not only iota-subscript diphthongs but a few rarer ones ending in υ: ᾱυ ωυ ηυ.) Metrically, long diphthongs scan exactly the same as short diphthongs or ...


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