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Survey of Latin orthography preferences

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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Interaxus » Sat May 22, 2010 10:37 pm

Smythe:

Here's one attempt:
http://www.answers.com/topic/laoco-n

and here's the picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laoco%C3%B6n

Another name I've always found hard to pronounce is 'Pirithoo' (ablative of Pirithous I think) which is the last word in Horace's spring Ode 4.7:
http://www.merriampark.com/horcarm47.htm

Wish someone would decline Pirithous for me! :D

Cheers,
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby adrianus » Sun May 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Interaxus wrote:Wish someone would decline Pirithous for me!

In case you're not joking, it's second declension: Pīrithoüs -i (Pī-rí-tho-us, 4 syllables). L&S & OLD.
Ut non joceris, secundae declinationis est (Pī-rí-tho-us sonitur, nisi fallor, quattuor syllabas habet, secundum L&S et OLD).
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Alatius » Sun May 23, 2010 6:41 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:But about macrons, when it comes to vowels with hidden quantity, how much do we know and not know? I can find resources that mention the different things scholars use to figure out whether such vowels are long or short, but I can't find any numbers about what percentage of these vowels still have unknown quantity.

I haven't seen any numbers, but from having studies the lists of Bennett and Buck from almost a century ago, and compared them with more recent publications like Allen, I would guess that there might be a at most a couple of dozen words that are at least moderately common, where there is a vowel whose hidden quantity is in dispute. I don't think it is a large problem; an ambitious editor (*cough*) might want to investigate each of them and compare different arguments; or you can choose to follow a particular dictionary and stick to it; or investigate what a majority of publishers do and follow that; or simply leave them unmarked. As much as I am interested in historical authenticity, I don't think it is a very important issue.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Interaxus » Sun May 23, 2010 10:26 pm

Adrianus:

I wasn't joking :oops: so thanks. I suppose I deceived myself into thinking that because it was a Greek import it couldn't be that simple. But then, even Lewis & Short online seem a bit confused when it comes to the masculine form:

pirithoum noun pl masc gen no user votes 41.1% [vote]
pirithoum † noun sg masc acc no user votes 58.9% [vote]

† This form has been selected using statistical methods as the most likely one in this context. It may or may not be the correct form. (More info)


Anyway, now I can enjoy the poem all the way to the last syllable. :D

Cheers,
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby furrykef » Sun May 23, 2010 11:36 pm

Greek import words are tricky because sometimes there is more than one attested form. For a trivial example, athlētēs (a first-declension noun) was sometimes declined regularly as athlēta -- maybe much more often, in fact, since Cassell's Latin Dictionary has only athlēta.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:29 am

I'll say something here in a few days.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:50 pm

My name is Michael Everson; I am a font designer and character encoder who has a certain expertise in linguistics, and I am the publisher of the book that is being discussed in this thread. Shortly I will post a link to a PDF of a sample of the new publication.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:31 pm

And the book is....

Alicia in Terra Mirabili translated by Clive Harcourt Carruthers!

FIrst published in 1964, this splendid book is very hard to get. I publish a range of Alice materials (translations currently available in Cornish, Esperanto, French, German, Irish, and Manx, with Italian, Swedish, Scots, and Ulster Scots in the works.

Alatius and I have been discussing the presentation of this publication, which inspired his poll. The results of that poll were very interesting—not least for showing some differences in taste between Anglophones and learners of Latin who speak other languages.

Please see this sample for a comparison of the text with macrons/j/v and with i/v.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Smythe » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:22 pm

Very cool. Looks good! When shall it be available?
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:58 pm

Well, it will take a bit of time to put together. Perhaps in time for Christmas.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby columbula » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:40 pm

Yaay! Christmas present for myself. I can't wait. :D

I just found the survey. And I just recently discovered after some thinking that macrons are really really important. Before I just threw them aside as unimportant -- but they kinda tell you everything. I've taken Japanese as well, which also distinguishes between vowel length, and I would think it to be just silly if they didn't add in the extra us in places. So yes, I'm glad the survey goers had the same thinking as well. ^^
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:46 pm

Has anyone else had a chance to look at the sample?
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby adrianus » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:18 pm

If you created the fonts, they're nice. You're the publisher so what's the copyright like in this translation? I see it here http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0697/_INDEX.HTM on the internet, of course, with a 2007 copyright that can reside only in the concordances, but the translation copyright must be 1964.

[i]Si typos creavisti, macte. Es editor huius operis. Quid tunc de jure interpretis? Cunctus textus hîc interrete—http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0697/_INDEX.HTM—reperitur ubi annus bis millesimus septimus legitur (quamvis solis prae concordantiis ille annus jurem attendat) at jus interpretis anno millesimo nongentesimo sexagesimo quarto detur. [/i
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Lex » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Evertype wrote:Has anyone else had a chance to look at the sample?


I personally prefer the first version, with the macrons and j's. But that's because I'm at such a low level of proficiency in Latin, so I like all the help I can get, and macrons and distinguishing i's and j's both give me help.

They both look very nice, though. And I'm glad to see you've kept the illustrations.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby furrykef » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:09 am

Lex wrote:I personally prefer the first version, with the macrons and j's. But that's because I'm at such a low level of proficiency in Latin, so I like all the help I can get, and macrons and distinguishing i's and j's both give me help.


Correct me if I'm wrong -- which is very possible, but this rule will work at least 99% of the time -- but I think "i" is always a vowel except when it occurs as the first letter of a word (where it is always a consonant if it precedes another vowel), or when it occurs right after a prefix (example: adiuvare, from ad + iuvare -- prefixes should be easy to recognize since most are also prepositions). So "iam" starts with a consonant since it's the first letter and followed by a vowel, but it's a vowel in "diū" because it's not the first letter and "d" isn't a prefix. It's a pretty easy rule to handle, I think.

If for any reason you're unsure whether an "i" is consonantal or not, you can look it up in Whitaker's Words. For example, if you type in "iam", it will return "jam".
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Alatius » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:47 am

furrykef wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong -- which is very possible, but this rule will work at least 99% of the time -- but I think "i" is always a vowel except when it occurs as the first letter of a word (where it is always a consonant if it precedes another vowel)


Well, usually, but there are exceptions: for example, the son of Aeneas is "Ĭūlus" (three syllables). In particular, words of Greek origin do not have "j".
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:27 am

adrianus wrote:If you created the fonts, they're nice.
I added the macroned glyphs to the fonts, but did not create the fonts themselves.
You're the publisher so what's the copyright like in this translation?
The copyright rests with the Estate of Clive Harcourt Carruthers. I met the Estate (Clive's son and daughter-in-law) on 21 May when they passed through Westport on a bus tour through Ireland. I have permission to re-publish both Alicia in Terra Mirabili and Aliciae per Speculum Transitus.
I see it here http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0697/_INDEX.HTM on the internet, of course, with a 2007 copyright that can reside only in the concordances, but the translation copyright must be 1964.
I'm afraid that whoever has put that text on the internet is in breach of the Carruthers' copyright. Not only is the text incomplete (there are twelve chapters) but it is uncorrected. And unauthorized. That's not right.

Carruthers lived from 1891 to 1980, so the copyright rests with the Estate until 2055.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:32 am

Lex wrote:They both look very nice, though. And I'm glad to see you've kept the illustrations.
“Quid adjuvat liber,” sēcum reputābat Alicia, “in quō sunt nūllae tabulae aut sermōnēs?”
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Lex » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:13 pm

furrykef wrote:It's a pretty easy rule to handle, I think.
....
If for any reason you're unsure whether an "i" is consonantal or not, you can look it up in Whitaker's Words.


Yeah, yeah, yeah.... I still like the reinforcement of having i and j distinguished in the text. Much easier than interrupting oneself by looking up the word in Whitaker's or whatever else. As I said earlier, I'd even take accent marks in Latin, if they could be had. Anything to make the language easier to learn, I am for.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby furrykef » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:36 pm

And, to be honest, I say if you're afraid of learning very simple rules like "'i' is a consonant 99% of the time when it's at the start of a word or after a prefix and followed by a vowel, and always a vowel otherwise", then Latin isn't the language for you. ;) Looking stuff up in Whitaker shouldn't even be necessary because the rule is so simple.

I mean, Latin is full of rules you have to memorize. Where stress goes (when you already know which vowels are long) or when "i" is a consonant are tiny pebbles atop a mountain. Taking off a couple of tiny pebbles for one person at the expense of making everything look funny to everyone else doesn't sound like a good compromise to me.

To be fair, I can certainly see the rationale for "j" and I think it's actually more logical than using "i". "Different phonemes should have different graphemes" is a good convention to follow when designing an orthography. Nonetheless, whether a text uses "j" or not is a pretty small matter, certainly not on the scale of whether it should use macrons (since whether a vowel is long cannot be inferred from context, unless you're reading poetry and can figure out how the line should be scanned) -- hence I think it would be wise to defer to common convention, and few write Latin with "j" anymore.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:45 pm

Still, the census seemed to indicate a strong preference amongst some responders that there was merit in marking both consonantal /j/ and /w/~/v/ with a consonant to distinguish both of them consistently from vocalic /i/ and /u/.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Lex » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:34 pm

furrykef wrote:And, to be honest, I say if you're afraid of learning very simple rules like "'i' is a consonant 99% of the time when it's at the start of a word or after a prefix and followed by a vowel, and always a vowel otherwise", then Latin isn't the language for you.


I think this kind of blatant snobbism is ironic, considering how many here decry the demise of the study of classical languages. Maybe Latin isn't the language for me, though. I'm a relative idiot when it comes to learning languages, I'll admit. But still, why have to learn rules by rote memorization, even relatively simple ones, when with simple orthographical changes, a student can simply absorb the rules by osmosis, as it were, while reading? Hell, it seems to me that the simple rules are the ones that are best learned this way!

furrykef wrote:Taking off a couple of tiny pebbles for one person at the expense of making everything look funny to everyone else doesn't sound like a good compromise to me.


At one point in time, accent marks looked "funny" to Greeks, and yet now they are common practice. They became common practice in the Hellenistic period, which I don't think is a coincidence. Once Greek became an important language politically, and people from different cultures had an incentive to learn it as a second language, such assistance to the reader appeared, even though the Greeks of that time probably thought it was unnecesary. The reason was that the orthographic innovators knew that their innovation helped people learn a difficult foreign language.

furrykef wrote:...I think it would be wise to defer to common convention, and few write Latin with "j" anymore.


I think it is simply that j's annoy you, and you're trying to come up with rationalizations. It's like me with Betts and Henry's Teach Yourself Ancient Greek. They insist on using the lunate sigma, instead of the medial and finial forms. Now, from a purely logical point of view, there is no good reason not to do this. But I couldn't stand this book. The lunate sigmas drove me to distraction simply because I was used to the more common medial and finial forms. I know it's completely irrational, but I still can't use this book. I think it's the same with you and j's, and I think it's just a matter of taste. And you know what they say about taste...
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby furrykef » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:14 pm

Lex wrote:I think this kind of blatant snobbism is ironic

Snobbery has nothing to do with it. Again, it's pebbles on the mountaintop; that's true whether I'm being a snob or not. I'm not saying that you're too stupid to learn Latin, I'm just trying to put this issue into perspective. When you're worrying about remembering to use the ablative case with "utor" and conjugating the verb into the perfect subjunctive correctly, things like how to pronounce "i" seem pretty trivial. It wouldn't surprise me if, say, a year from now you look back on this discussion and chuckle that you thought it was such a big deal at the time.

Lex wrote:At one point in time, accent marks looked "funny" to Greeks, and yet now they are common practice.

You can't pronounce Greek correctly without the accents unless you've memorized the pronunciation. The same is true of Latin and macrons. The same is not true with Latin and I/J.

Lex wrote:I think it is simply that j's annoy you, and you're trying to come up with rationalizations.

It's not that they annoy me, it's that they annoy a whole bunch of people of which I am but one person. :mrgreen:

Or rather, it's not the J's that annoy me but the inconsistency -- some texts being written with them and some without them. It'd be nice if the world would just agree on one Latin orthography. That means finding a standard and sticking to it. The closest thing to a standard we have now is to use "i" in place of "j" -- hence, keeping it that way is the path of least resistance towards the goal of a unified Latin orthography, even though you and I agree that, aside from such considerations of consistency, the use of "J" would be better.
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby columbula » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:39 am

That's a really strange thing. I'd prefer most to read Latin the way they did in ancient Rome. But having no punctuation and all uppercase letters is very hard to get accustomed to. Especially when you grow up using the Latin alphabet.

I think one of the funnest things in Latin is, when reading, to be able to spot out the consonantal and vocalic sounds without even thinking. But really, it's not that hard once you get into the hang of how Latin works, because there is a method to it all.

But I just noticed that most of my books differentiate between u and v, but leave i as just i. How did this inconsistency become normal? I would definitely prefer keeping the v/u's and the i/j's only one letter, yet only the Oxford Classical Texts editions make the u-sound one letter.

But in my case, using the u could be no good. Because I've also studied Korean. a word like reuictum would make me want to pronounce the ui as this one glide that includes this close back unrounded vowel -- definitely not a Latin sound. ^^;
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby furrykef » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:46 am

columbula wrote:But I just noticed that most of my books differentiate between u and v, but leave i as just i. How did this inconsistency become normal?

The Latin Wikipedia's rationale for following this convention (in addition to the fact that Wheelock's Latin, etc. use it) is that J is non-classical, but V, while also non-classical, helps reading considerably more than J does. I'd have to agree. For one thing, maybe it's just that using 'u' as a consonant between vowels looks horribly unnatural to modern eyes. But more importantly, unlike J, V also occurs in places other than at the start of the word or between vowels. Take "curvus" for example; if you spell it "curuus", it's a lot less obvious that the 'u' after the 'r' is a consonant (and the relation to the English word is also less obvious -- a shame, because I love noticing the origin of English and Romance words). You might think the consecutive u's is a clue, but then contrast "vacuum", or the plural genitive of any fourth-declension noun (manuum, exercituum...), where it's definitely a vowel. Or what about "graviter"? If you spell it "grauiter", you might be tempted to pronounce it with the diphthong "au".

To be fair, until recently I did somehow get a habit of pronouncing "iam" as "ee-am" rather than "yam" because for some reason the 'i' just "didn't look like a consonant" to me. Likewise it somehow "looked like a consonant" in "diū". But that was before I was 100% sure of my rule about when "i" is a consonant or not, since it had never been explained to me. If you have somebody explain the rule from the beginning, such pronunciation quirks are probably much less likely to develop...
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Re: Survey of Latin orthography preferences

Postby Evertype » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:19 pm

Smythe wrote:Very cool. Looks good! When shall it be available?

Evertype wrote:Well, it will take a bit of time to put together. Perhaps in time for Christmas.

I was right. The perfect gift for your Latinist friends.
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