phil wrote:There are some words that I have trouble pronouncing, such as where there is a short i as the third to last syllable, e.g. dēsierant. If I try to stress the i it comes out ee.
Are you worrying about the length
of your "i", or about the quality
? And what level of authenticity are you striving for? In my opinion, it is a pretty minor point. I would absolutely not fret about a too close
"i"; in fact W. Sidney Allen mentions a possibility that short "i" had a closer pronunciation before vowels (Vox Latina, p. 51, at the bottom). A too long "i" could perhaps be shortened by simply rushing over it...
Ideally, I would like to hear your pronunciation first before attempting to mend it.
phil wrote:Or does the i become y - DAY-syer-ant?
By no means!
phil wrote:Also, deesse. Both e's are short, so how does one pronounce them? Is it done with a glottal stop between them a la Samoan names such as Ma'a or So'oialo?
It shouldn't be necessary; the vowels are differentiated by the amount of stress (intensity and/or tone).
phil wrote:Maybe someone could record them and send me an .mp3 or .wav? If so my email address is philjgibbs at yahoo dot co dot uk ('at' and 'dot' are to foil spam spiders), or point me to where some audio already exists.
Something like this
perhaps; at least in this direction.