13

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 ...


11

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

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

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 ...


10

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 ...


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

*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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


8

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!) ...


8

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, ...


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

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.


7

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


7

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.


7

I am a Dominican friar; in our priory in Olomouc in Czech Republic we pray parts of the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin. Brothers most fluent in Latin pronounce all the lengths mostly correctly, others (including me) try to pronounce them making many mistakes. Since our native language distinguishes long and short vowels, pronouncing everything short sound bit ...


7

All syllables containing long vowels are heavy, but not all heavy syllables contain long vowels. Syllabification is in general a fairly abstract linguistic concept, and so there are several different ways of thinking about Latin syllabification. I believe the most common current analysis would be that a syllable is heavy either (a) if it contains a long ...


7

Alpha privative was short in Ancient Greek, as shown in Smyth (1920) §885 (a long vowel would have been written with a macron, rendered on the Perseus website as an underscore after the vowel). Alpha from PIE syllabic n was short as a general rule.


7

Latin does not have any monosyllabic words that end in a short vowel when pronounced in isolation. This is my formulation of a fact given by Diana Apoussidou and Paul Boersma in "The Learnability of Latin Stress", p. 115. Monosyllabic words in Latin may scan as light syllables when followed by another word in certain contexts. The most commonly ...


7

There are quite a few, actually. Just to add some more examples: ἥττων "less" πράττω "do" (impv. πρᾶττε shows the length) πλήττω "strike" μᾶλλον "more" ἤλλαγμαι, pf. m./p. of ἀλλάττω "exchange" ἡλλόμην, impf. of ἅλλομαι "jump"


7

A note re: evidence from IE comparanda PIE *nH > Sanskrit ā, Avestan ā, Latin nā, etc. but Greek nē/ā/ō (Beekes 2011: 151). Some of the relevant IE cognates are Greek γιγνώσκω, OPers. xšnāsāhiy, and Sanskrit jānā́ti; however, only PIE *nh3 > Greek nō. Weiss 2009/2011: PIE *R̥HiC > *RĒiC In Greek: *CR̥h3C > CRώC cf. PIE *ǵnh3-sk̂é- Greek ...


6

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 ...


6

There seems to be a certain amount of evidence that suggests the possibility of a phonetic process of vowel lengthening, or perhaps raising* before -gn-. However, evidence from Romance languages indicates that any lengthening or raising sound change did not run to completion (or was reversed) in this context: Italian has [e] in degno and segnare. For this ...


6

de Vaan posits an IE *h₃reǵ- alternating with *h₃rēǵ-, but he does not offer an explanation for the alternating quantity of the vowel. Sihler 271,4 offers IE *reh¹ǵ-, implying (if I understand him) that rēx is from the cited full-grade form *reh¹ǵ-, and that reg- is from the zero-grade *rh¹ǵ-. The “classic” theory (e.g. in Walde) is that rēx is a long grade ...


6

There doesn't seem to be any single rule that can be used to determine without fail if a first-declension feminine noun ends in ᾰ or ᾱ just from the unaccented spelling of the nominative singular. (I would recommend learning the accented spelling of words, though, since it seems like something that you should know for other reasons.)There are apparently ...


6

short notes/quotes from professional, serious, research-based sources (I thought it was clear to everyone what kind of sources I use; will make small changes later): The paradigm from Tronskii 1960: Weiss 2009/2011: "Although etymologically the stem vowel of the perfect subjunctive should be ī and the stem vowel of the future perfect should be ĭ, Classical ...


6

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 ...


6

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." The real challenge, of course, is syllabification, i.e. how to correctly (best?) divide any Latin word into syllables, e.g. rēg.num or rē....


6

The negative prefix typically attaches to an adjective, while the prepositional prefix typically attaches to a verb. The distribution is complicated by the existence of adjectives derived from verbs (or at least, participle forms that look very similar to adjectives) and nouns derived from adjectives or from verbs. But if you're looking at a finite verb form ...


6

The double ss is evidence for a short vowel in ussi (at least at some point) Just a short time after posting this question, I remembered a relevant fact. Even though there wasn't (as far as I know) a regular Latin sound change that would have shortened ū to u in this context, there was a Latin sound change that would have shortened ss to s after a long ...


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