17 votes
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When did the consonant U (i.e., V) begin to be pronounced as the fricative [v] instead of [w]?

There is indeed evidence for the u-consonant being pronounced as a voiced fricative during the Classical period, even as early as the middle of the 1st century. A wax tablet dated to AD 39 records a ...
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16 votes
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Is there a relationship between the phonology in Old Latin and later Vulgar Latin?

Almost everything in Romance languages that comes from Old Latin passed through Classical Latin. u/o changes In the case of u/o, it's probably a coincidence that some Old Latin o corresponds to ...
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11 votes
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What do we know about Vulgar Latin pronunciation?

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 ...
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10 votes
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What is the superlative of ipse?

Joonas is correct: those forms don’t belong in good classical style. Peter Stotz’s Handbuch zur lateinischen Sprache des Mittelalters mentions that Donatus explicitly forbade comparatives and ...
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  • 2,914
9 votes

What is the superlative of ipse?

Classical corpus searches suggest that ipsimus is only attested in Satyricon and ipsissimus is used once by Plautus and once by Afranius. There are not enough attestations to decide which is correct, ...
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9 votes
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Euler passage translation (Latin in 18th century)

This whole process of tuning will be seen more clearly from the attached figure. Since the notes E, B, G#, F#, D# and Bb are determined in two distinct ways – both by fifths and by thirds – a valuable ...
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8 votes

When did the consonant U (i.e., V) begin to be pronounced as the fricative [v] instead of [w]?

§ 1. Latin, Greek, and Hebrew I would argue that the consonant V by itself was never pronounced as a W, and that something near to the W sound only occurred depending on the position of the letter ...
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8 votes

The classical Latin speakers called Vulgar Latin sermo vulgaris, sermo vulgi, and sermo plebeius, but what did plebeians call their language?

This question assumes that "vulgar Latin" and "classical Latin" are two completely different languages. This, however, is untrue. As you said yourself, the classical authors called ...
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7 votes
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How did '-met' + 'ipse' + '-issimus' compound to mean <the same> (in *metipsimus)?

The key to the meaning is ipse; all the rest is just intensifiers glommed onto that. In Classical Latin, ipse meant "self"—not as a reflexive, but as an intensive: Barack Obaman ipsum apud ...
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7 votes
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When did the infinitive of purpose arise?

It actually does appear in vulgar Latin. Here's Palmer, The Latin Language 319: [Infinitives], as we saw, are formally either old datives or locatives and both these cases could express purpose. ...
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7 votes

What would a 5th-6th century learned Latin pronunciation have sounded like?

Long comment: 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 ...
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7 votes
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Can the use of articles be traced back to Late/Vulgar Latin?

Isolated usages of unus as an indefinite article have been identified in Old and Classical Latin, but generally speaking unus and ille did not establish themselves as articles until Late and early ...
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7 votes
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Can "ave, vire" be used colloquially as "hey, bro"?

TL;DR: No; I wouldn't, at least. Hey Ave seems like a very good word for this. It's conventionally translated as "hail", but at this point that just sounds archaic; the Latin word can also ...
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7 votes
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Did the Vulgar Latin verb "toccare" exist?

As your question implies, the * in *toccare means that the word is unattested, i.e., there is no direct written evidence that the verb actually existed. This does not mean that there is a good ...
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6 votes
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How would Marcus Aurelius have pronounced his Latin?

For the most part, the upper classes in Rome still spoke Classical Latin in the 2nd century AD. Features in common with Classical Latin c - hard, as /k/. The softening came much later. g - hard, as /...
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  • 941
6 votes

What would a 5th-6th century learned Latin pronunciation have sounded like?

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 ...
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6 votes
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Was there ever a difference between 'volo' and 'volo'?

The Wiktionary article on Italian volere says that, as the infinitive suggests, the verb was moved to the second conjugation in Vulgar Latin, so it traces it to a "Vulgar Latin *volēre". The -gli- in ...
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6 votes
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What is the meaning behind "calcostegis" from the Appendix Probi?

This is a Greek word χαλκόστεγος "bronze/copper-roofed", and seems to refer to the imperial palace at Byzantium. Some googling found these references: (Latin) "The house of Emperor ...
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5 votes

Is *rīcus attested?

Ricus and riccus show up in late Medieval and Humanist Latin, but they're certainly backports from French and Italian, not pre-Medieval loans. The various Romance cognates of rich are actually ...
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  • 6,159
5 votes

How did Latin sound?

I don't know of any recordings. But we can make a good guess: The high-class, "proper" pronunciation is documented in books on oratory and rhetoric; Allen's Vox Latina summarizes and explains it ...
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5 votes
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Is there support for claiming -gn- was pronounced as /ŋ/ in classical Latin?

I think the wording of the Encyclopædia Britannica article is unclear, leading to misunderstanding. I don't think they mean that Latin "gn" could represent [ŋ(ː)] rather than [ŋn], but I'll admit the ...
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  • 4,558
5 votes

Intonation pattern in Classical Latin that is the same intonation pattern Dora Marquez of Dora the Explorer does at times when she is speaking English

Despite my respect for Bervoets' efforts and his commitment to recreating an authentic Latin pronunciation (see this video) which I also share, his intonation sounds histrionic and highly unnatural to ...
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4 votes

Appendix probi: "cannelam nun canianus"

It was a typo. All of the online sources I find have been based on the book Sprachlicher Kommentar zur vulgärlateinischen Appendix Probi, but in the book it was correctly printed as non (Page 5 of ...
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  • 745
4 votes

What underlying semantic notions connect 'studere' to 'to put in, put aside, spare, keep'?

The TLFi has this: Étymol. et Hist. Ca 1170 garder en estui « entreposer » (Rois, éd. E. R. Curtius, p. 148). Déverbal de l'a. fr. estuier, estoiier « conserver, garder » attesté dep. le xiies. (...
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  • 1,168
4 votes

When did the consonant U (i.e., V) begin to be pronounced as the fricative [v] instead of [w]?

Greek transcriptions with β (beta) support dating the start of the change in the pronunciation of Latin V as early as 200BC While the earliest evidence in texts written in the Latin alphabet for the ...
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  • 21.2k
4 votes

Did word order have any function in colloquial Latin?

I've read in various places that Latin, too, encodes emphasis in word order—for example that the first and last positions in the sentence get particular stress (especially the first). Unfortunately I ...
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4 votes

Latin expression for "carrying something on one's back"

An Early, Classical, and Late Latin synthetic expression corresponding to Sp. "llevar a cuestas" is the denominal verb bāiulāre (see the image below). As for analytic variants formed by a verb of ...
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  • 6,442
4 votes

Did the Vulgar Latin verb "toccare" exist?

The wiktionary entry on the Italian verb toccare is somewhat more explicit, saying Probably from a Vulgar Latin root *toccare, of Germanic or onomatopoetic origin. Compare French toucher, Friulian ...
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4 votes

Was there ever a difference between 'volo' and 'volo'?

volō can indeed mean either “I want” or “I fly”, but the other forms of the two words are different (e.g. infinitive velle vs volāre), so they were definitely perceived as different words and this ...
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  • 15.7k
4 votes

What evidence is there for volēre over volere?

A Latin form *volĕre would have been stressed on the first syllable. Italian volere is stressed on the penultimate syllable, like a Latin form *volēre. There could have been a Vulgar Latin form *...
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