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Pronunciation contradictions between sources?

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Pronunciation contradictions between sources?

Postby Sesquipedalian » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:31 pm

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Postby Carola » Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:21 am

Yes, we learnt the nasalised "gn" sound at university and this seems to be fairly consistant in modern text books. It may simply represent some futher linguistic research that was done in more recent times, maybe D'Ooge just didn't agree with this! I'm no expert in this field.
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Postby Ciraric » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:05 am

In D'Ooge it says-

'G is always like g in get never as in gem.'
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Postby darthanakin » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:08 pm

‘ch, ph, and th are like c, p, t,’
Well actually, you native English speakers p, c and t are all aspirated except in an s-p, s-c, s-t, consonant cluster. The ck sounds in block-head and blockade sound identical. So far I've heard few Latin readings even by english-speaking professors which do not aspirate these consonants.

http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/agp/
that homeric reading is a good example of unaspirated t and aspirated th, but take note that that isnt classical greek pronunciation.

just my 2cents worth from what i have found around the web so far, so feel free not to trust me
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Re: Pronunciation contradictions between sources?

Postby Hu » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:45 pm

First, I'd like to commend you on wanting to get the pronunciation right. Latin is a beautiful language, all the moreso when pronounced properly.

Sesquipedalian wrote:(except it doesn’t mention how to pronounce the vowel Y)

Y (the Greek letter upsilon, which was borrowed to write Greek loanwords) was pronounced like a French "u", which is simply an English long "i" pronounced with the lips rounded. The typical instructions are to round your lips like you're saying "oo", but say "ee" instead, which should get you the sound of upsilon.

1) ‘n before c, qu, or g is like ng in sing (compare the sound of n in anchor)’

This is correct.

2) ‘qu, gu, and sometimes su before a vowel have the sound of qw, gw, and sw’

Technically, "qu" and "gu" are pronounced like "k" and "g" with the lips rounded, which is called "labialized" in linguistic jargon. If you say a "k", but round your lips at the same time, you'll get something close to the right sound.

While those three statements are not contradictory with each other, it just seemed odd to me that there mentioned in one and not the other. Any reasons for this would be great.

There are bound to be a few aspects in every reconstructed pronunciation which not every author agrees with. Fortunately, nowadays we have most of the details worked out. I recommend Vox Latina: The Pronunciation of Classical Latin if you're interested in these things.

Secondly, I think I did find one piece of information that is contradictory. In Dooge it says…

‘ch, ph, and th are like c, p, t,’

but Wheelock says that ‘ch’ should be pronounced like chk in blockhead, ‘ph’ like in uphill and ‘th’ as hothouse??

"Ph", "th", and "ch" are called aspirated consonants, which means that they're pronounced with a puff of air after the consonant. (The unaspirated versions of these consonants are plain "p", "t", and "c".) These are Latin transcriptions of the Greek sounds phi, theta, and chi, which were aspirated at that point in time in the Greek language. The Romans naturally wrote p+h (or "ph") to represent the sound of a "p" with a puff of air after it.

Normally in English, "p", "t", and "k" are aspirated at the beginning of words, while they're unaspirated after "s", as darthanakin notes. The unaspirated sounds of these letters are the proper sounds of Latin "p", "t", and "c", while the aspirated versions are the ones to use for "ph", "th", and "ch".

One final question; in Wheelock is says ‘Between two vowels within a word i served in double capacity: as the vowel i forming a diphthong with the preceding vowel, and as the consonant like English y’.

As an example the website gives two words, reiectus ( = rei yectus) and maior ( = mai yor). If Latin only has the six diphthongs, how does this work with ‘maior’? I understand how it works with ‘reiectus’, as ei was a Latin diphthong. Does this mean, whenever ‘I’ was used between any two vowels it can then form different diphthongs to the original six?

Yes, basically. "Ae" and oe" used to be the diphtongs "ai" and "oi" (as in English "bye" and "boy"), but a pronunciation shift before classical times changed the "i" vowel to "e".

In certain places, however, the original diphthong was still formed by the i which functioned as the consonant "y" between vowels. This consonant was doubled in this position, with the former "y" blending into the preceding vowel as an "i" sound.

I'm admittedly not as knowledgable about thse things as some people here, however, so I'd appreciate any corrections anyone might have to offer.
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Postby Sesquipedalian » Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:14 am

Hello all,

Thanks for the information.. cleared a lot of for me. The aspiration part makes a lot of sense now. Ive noticed quite a few people mention Vox Latina and Vox Graeca.. I'm assuming these books are considered the authority on pronunciation? I had a quick look and noticed there are a couple of editions.. is any edition moe recomended then another or should I just get the latest?

Regarding my earlier post.. ive had a few people mention that.. "n before c, qu, or g is like ng in sing (compare the sound of n in anchor)" is true or at least supported in the literature. Can anyone think why Wheelock has not put this on their site? They seem to mention quite a lot on pronunciation in a bit of detail, yet have not mentioned this. I just find it a bit weird that they have mentioned it being quite a new site and this notion being heavily supported.


The same goes for this... "qu, gu, and sometimes su before a vowel have the sound of qw, gw, and sw"

I can understand D'ooge having some information missing as its quite an older book, infact as I understand it, D'ooge doesnt mention.. "When 'G' appeared before n, the letter g represented a nasalized ng sound as in hangnail", yet this is supported by modern theories I beleive? However this is mentioned on the Wheelock site.

I think it might be easier building a time machine and grabbing a roman or 4 and checking our pronunciation then going through different sources! hehe.

Again, thanks for your time..appreciated.
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Postby bellum paxque » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:39 am

qu will (almost) always have the sound "kw" as in the English "quick." Hence, qui sounds like "kwee."

Some words with "su" and "gu" also sound like "sw" and "gw." suadeo, therefore, is not "s + oo + ah + deh + oh" but rather "sw + ah + deh + oh."

I'm not a pronunciation expert, so I'm not sure what to tell you about the "ng" question. It's probably not worth worrying about. In fact, I seem to recall quite abit of debate about whether g before n (as in magnus) was pronounced "ng" + "n" or only "ng." You're probably not going to find consensus here.

You're right about Vox Latina (et Graeca). These are definitely the most trustworthy sources for detailed information and speculation about the pronunciation of the classical languages.

Regards,

David
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Postby Sesquipedalian » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:18 am

Thanks for the information David,

I think Vox Latina will have to be on my to-buy list. What actually makes W.Allen such a big name? Not only on the pronunciation of latin..but he also has Vox Graeca for ancient greek, which many seem to speak highly of. Seems quite rare to have someone be an expert at the two different languages..engouh to write two seperate authoritative books on them anyway!

Also...just curious in the last post.. you said..

"qu will (almost) always have the sound "kw" as in the English "quick." Hence, qui sounds like "kwee."

As you said 'almost always'.. i'm wondering how do you know the exceptions? How do you learn them?

Same goes for..

"Some words with "su" and "gu" also sound like "sw" and "gw." suadeo, therefore, is not "s + oo + ah + deh + oh" but rather "sw + ah + deh + oh."

You say 'some words'. Is there a good latin dictionary in IPA out there or something similar where you learn the exceptions?

While I'm a beginner, I know there are always exceptions in languages.. I'm just curious how people find out about these exceptions. Is there any given rule.. or do you just have to stumble across them?

Thanks all!
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Postby bellum paxque » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:13 am

Hi again Sesquipedalian,

I'm afraid I can't answer either of your questions. I've only glanced through Vox Latina myself, but everything I've read about it has praised it with little qualification. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the authority of W. Allen is. Perhaps his books present a collation of the results of research and speculation into the pronunciation of the two languages (instead of that research itself)? In which case, the quality of the book may rest not as much upon the original research involved as upon the discriminating judgment and insight that presents the research of others in a cogent manner. But that's my own speculation.

As for learning the exceptions - there may be some good rules out there, but I haven't seen them. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't know most of the exceptions. Most Latin dictionaries in fact do not include IPA (do any?) because the language is so consistent. What need, after all, when the letters already reveal the sound itself? (Well, discounting long vowels!) But I said that the "qu" sound is usually "kw" because I'm afraid to make categorical statements about anything. It's possible that there may be exceptions to this rule, though none come to mind at the minute.

These are the minutiae of Latin, however, and you needn't worry too much about them.

Best wishes,

David
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Re: Pronunciation contradictions between sources?

Postby philplus » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:39 pm

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