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How many of you pronounce...

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How many of you pronounce...

Postby Aurelia » Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:21 pm

v as w, and how many pronounce it as v? Just wondering, I was taught to pronounce it as w but sometimes I hear people pronounce it as v.
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Postby Turpissimus » Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:29 pm

Always 'w'.

Several Greek inscriptions are extant that show that the Roman name "Valerius" was spelled by the Greeks (in their own alphabet of course) "Oualerius". For me, that settles the issue, although sometimes, out of sheer stupidity, I'll forget.
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Postby Skylax » Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:37 pm

You are right regarding the Greek inscriptions, but the emperor Claudius said surely V as he tried to introduce new letters into the Latin alphabet to differentiate the two sounds (V between two vowels or at the beginning of a word, W or U [oo] elsewhere). Maybe the Greek usage appeared when the Romans still said always W or U ? I think I have already seen later Greek inscriptions with spellings as BALERIOS (with B pronounced as V)
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Postby Aurelia » Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:37 pm

Yes, always "w". Whenever I hear Latin spoken on telly and they pronounce it as "v", I yell at the tv. lol :lol:
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Postby benissimus » Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:00 pm

I always pronounce it as a W, but between a W and B.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:10 pm

I treat it as a bilabial fricative but go crazy on it so that it sounds like un essaim d'abeilles as they say.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:52 pm

Ack, no, not a bilabial fricative; that's what [face=SPIonic]f[/face] is for.

Simply, the Romans possessed no letter 'v,' only an 'u'. They spelled all these 'u's as V, however, just like the Etruscans and, though differently pronounced, the Greeks before them.

All vowels in Latin can be either long, short, or really short, which some dictionaries will lable with one of those u-shaped little curly lines over the vowel. For the two most extreme vowels, i and u, when really-short, they become virtually consonantal, essentially pronounced as 'y' and 'w' in English, respectively. However, I find that if one pronounces either of these vowels like a true consonant, the value of the word is dramatically poorer to the ear. Instead, I'm always sure to think of these 'v's that I see as actual vowels, not consonants, and give them a more distinctive, vocal sound, and a much more appropriate formation with the lips. I can only hope I'm emulating my Roman ancestors.

Personally, I would prefer not to use the letter 'v' at all when writing Latin, or use all 'v's instead of all 'u's, if for no better reason than that's how the Romans understood their language. Otherwise, I think that if we use 'v's so arbitrarily as we do, we also should employ 'j's for consonantal i. Is anyone else of a similar opinion, employing all 'v's or 'u's?

·Lvcvs·Eqves·

Post scriptum: I will admit that the hardest part about doing that would be the typing; my brain and fingers are so used to the coordinated efforts of the spellings according to the conventions already established, especially since so many Latin words involving 'v' are in English, and a great deal of my Latin vocabulary is grown out of my first language. Still, after writing a Latin piece in the conventional way, I suppose it would be easy enough to "find : change all" the 'u's to 'v's or 'v's to 'u's.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:02 am

One of my friends insists that I use only V and he even writes in all capitals, though he is not willing to write without any word-spacing. I sort of like the way it looks with just V's, but it really is harder to recognize the English derivatives if you only write that way.
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Postby Amy » Sun Aug 01, 2004 7:53 pm

When I'm saying a Latin sentence in my head or memorizing vocab "w", but I really got it from my uncle when I told him I was obsessed with the name "Floh-vee-uh" and if I ever had a daughter that was going to be her name.
His argument: Either go with English or Latin pronounciation! "Flah-vee-uh" or "Floh-wee-uh"
My argument: It sounds better my way and English doesn't have pronounciation rules anyway, uh, well, at least I don't think......
:roll:

He also doesn't believe in this "kick-ero" business either; the less valid argument there: "Latin's dead and we should pronounce it how we pronounce everything else." me: In conversation "sis-ero", because it's become an English word, but in the study of latin you are saying it as a latin word so "kickero". He is a die-hard Lutherian Christian
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Postby Skylax » Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:08 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Ack, no, not a bilabial fricative; that's what [face=SPIonic]f[/face] is for.


I believed that our "F" is an unvoiced labio-dental fricative. Voiced bilabial fricative would be the Spanish B or V.

(Je profite de ce message, cher Lucus Eques, pour répondre à votre question : 'été belge est tout à fait... belge, cette année , avec prédominance de chaleur orageuse)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:25 pm

Amy wrote:He also doesn't believe in this "kick-ero" business either; the less valid argument there: "Latin's dead and we should pronounce it how we pronounce everything else." me: In conversation "sis-ero", because it's become an English word, but in the study of latin you are saying it as a latin word so "kickero". He is a die-hard Lutherian Christian


Good gracious! It shouldn't be pronounced "kickero"! That's a horrific Anglicization, for which many classicists are at fault (including my former Latin teacher). Latin has five perfectly placed vowels whose position of sound did not change within the mouth, not even with length, as some very foolishly insist. Cicero was pronounced kee-keh-roh, 'kee' as in "key," "keh" rhyming closely "heh" (though the placement of the sound is significantly higher), and "roh," with a trilled 'r', sounding a bit like "Romeo," except with a proper, unchanging, constant o sound, such as in Italian or Spanish. In fact, all the vowels are just like Italian (whereas Spanish lacks long vowel sounds, hence is comparatively staccato sound.)

I believed that our "F" is an unvoiced labio-dental fricative. Voiced bilabial fricative would be the Spanish B or V.


Précisement, ami. That's exactly what they are.

(Je profite de ce message, cher Lucus Eques, pour répondre à votre question : 'été belge est tout à fait... belge, cette année , avec prédominance de chaleur orageuse


Ah, très bien! Ou mal. Nous avons le même temps ici en Pennsylvanie. J'attend avec impatience l'automne.
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Postby Timothy » Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:23 am

Lucus Eques wrote:Good gracious! It shouldn't be pronounced "kickero"! That's a horrific Anglicization, for which many classicists are at fault (including my former Latin teacher).


I think all that was being done was drawing a distinction between SIS-SIR-OH and KEY-KEH-RRROH. For someone like me, who doesn't quite understand the phonetic aspects, the crude phonetics suffice. That's what came across to me at least. :)

- Tim
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Postby Michaelyus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:32 pm

Of course, phonetics change over time. I imagine that Late (but not Romance) Latin would have pronounced "V" as a voiced bilabial or labiodental fricative, with Latin around the time of the 2nd-3rd centuries AD as a voiced labial-palatal approximant to a labiodental fricative, and before that a voiced labial-palatal approximant or a voiced labial-velar fricative (probably in Germania), and in Augustan era Latin (if I may be permitted to use such a phrase), pronunciation of "V" would be a labial approximant (probably bilabial, rarely labiodental; I doubt the English version of "W" (a bilabial-velar approximant) is accurate enough).

I cannot prove these precise changes.
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Re: How many of you pronounce...

Postby Iacobus Mathematicus » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:46 pm

Aurelia wrote:v as w, and how many pronounce it as v? Just wondering, I was taught to pronounce it as w but sometimes I hear people pronounce it as v.


I may be the only one here (!), but I pronounce v's as v's. In general, I pronounce Latin using a modern Italian pronunciation. I don't attempt to emulate the diction of people who died a long time ago---I don't study Latin as archaeology, but as a tool for communicating with people (both those living and with those who happen to be dead). The living people who speak Latin for practical purposes tend to use an Italianate pronunciation, and Cicero, Caesar, or Thomas Aquinas probably no longer feel strongly about my bilabial fricatives.

fac ut bene valeas,

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Postby Aurelia » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:01 pm

lol, I was just wondering because in Latin I, whenever a discipulus or discipula accidentally said "v" as "v" Magister would pretend to choke or something. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:11 am

Where do you get the "bilabio-velar" thing from, Michaelyus? In all my linguistic and philological travels, I've never encountered such a thing. Unless you can give an example otherwise...?

I may be the only one here (!), but I pronounce v's as v's. In general, I pronounce Latin using a modern Italian pronunciation. I don't attempt to emulate the diction of people who died a long time ago---I don't study Latin as archaeology, but as a tool for communicating with people (both those living and with those who happen to be dead). The living people who speak Latin for practical purposes tend to use an Italianate pronunciation, and Cicero, Caesar, or Thomas Aquinas probably no longer feel strongly about my bilabial fricatives.


Well, it's actually a matter of the way Latin is spelled, not an option for pronunciation. Simply, the letter 'v' does not exist in Latin, and, in the sense we know it today, it never did. Latin had only 'u's. Those 'u's which were particularly short and acted more consonantally than vocally are represented by modern Classicists — for no good reason, in my opinion — as 'v's. I think this practice is pointless. 'v' doesn't exist in Latin. It's use is purely conventional.

The same is true of 'j', another invention by the Italian Humanists, representing a consonantal 'i', making essentially the 'y' sound of English, as in "yes." 'v' in English, contrary to its sound in contemporary Latin spelling, is indeed the voiced version of an 'f', a labio-dental fricative by definition.

Thus, if you pronounce "veritas" as if the "v" is pronounced like an English or Italian 'v' instead of a 'u', as it truly is, then you might as well pronounce "jacere" as (using Italian phonetics) giachere, or "justitia" as giustitia, or "Julius" as Giulius. To do otherwise would be totally inconsistant with the Italian which you are using as the basis of your Latin pronunciation, for indeed, these are virtually the same as the modern Italian translations of the words (giustizia, Giulio, etc).

I commend your prone towards la lingua italiana; surely the inherent music of that the most beautiful of all languages is something to retain in our Classical Latin. However, mistaking a 'v' for actually being a 'v' (I know, it's stupid; but just spell the 'v's with 'u's and pronounce them thus) is actually quite a grievous error.

And also, as for your drive for using a language in the manner it is meant to be pronounced, that is, not caring about the usages for two-thousand-year-old-dead-guys — I salute you! I feel quite the same. However, if you're interested in Italianizing Latin ... then speak Italian. As we see above, 'i's become 'g's and 'u's become 'v's from Latin to Italian. Moreover, Italian took Latin, then streamlined it, and turned it into the prettiest of all the world's tongues. Heck, we'd all be so lucky if we all spoke Italian instead of English (as much as I laud our own speech as well). If you want to communicate, Italian sure is spoken by a lot more people.

But then that's ridiculous; the whole point of speaking and writing Latin is to deal with Latin and those who wrote it and spoke it, and continue to do so to this very day. And thus, we ought to speak it just as correctly, estne ita?

Essentially, there's no reason to 'mispell' Latin by using a true, Anglo-Italic 'v'. Let it be a 'u', as in the Italian uomo, meaning "man." To do otherwise — though of course your own prerogative — is not only iniustitia to Cicero, Caesar, and St. Thomas Aquinas, but to the ancient and living language itself that is Classical Latin.
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Postby Iacobus Mathematicus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:36 pm

I think you're confusing how Latin was and how Latin is.

Lucus Eques wrote:Well, it's actually a matter of the way Latin is spelled, not an option for pronunciation.


It's a matter of how Latin <b>was</b> spelled; I've not seen modern Latin that did not use V's and U's both.

Lucus Eques wrote:Simply, the letter 'v' does not exist in Latin, and, in the sense we know it today, it never did. Latin had only 'u's.


You're speaking of Latin in the past tense pretty much sums up my point. Latin used to have only u's, that's great---but modern Latinists (ie, Latinists who are trying to actually use the Language today rather than simply read/speak/think like/understand the past) use V's.

V's are all over the place in modern Latin; if you disagree, you'll end up arguing that all modern "Latin" using V's is actually just really bad Italian.

fac ut bene valeas,

Iacobus

ps- I'd love to learn Italian, but I have a ways to go with Latin first... :)
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Postby Michaelyus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 5:52 pm

Isn't the bilabial-velar approximant an English "w"? That's what I heard it was. Doesn't anyone feel the pressure at the back of the mouth (at the end of the hard palate) when they say a "w"?

Here's a link: http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/fullchart.html

What do you call "w" then, Lucus Eques (or LVCVCEQVES)?
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Postby Lucus Eques » Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:41 am

Isn't the bilabial-velar approximant an English "w"? That's what I heard it was. Doesn't anyone feel the pressure at the back of the mouth (at the end of the hard palate) when they say a "w"?


Not once in my entire life. Though it's possible you have a unique dialect of English you speak. Yet being from London, I doubt you have something so incredibly non-standard as that.

What do you call "w" then, Lucus Eques


The English 'w', in most of its more phonetic uses, qualifies as a "bilabial liquid," or "semivowel," a consonant with a great deal of fluidity that may indeed be used as a vowel if more steadily pronounced (that is, not moving the lips right away from their position, effecting an 'u' sound, as in Latin or other languages). Other semivowels include the English 'y', which appears in Latin as 'i', as we know; and others you might not expect at first: 'l' is a semivowel in all languages that possess it, but some, in particular Sanskrit, actually use it (though rarely) as a true vowel, constantly pronounced in a steady fashion. Just the same is the Sanskrit vowel based on the semivowel 'r', one of my favorite vowels (which just sounds like a never-ending 'r'-trilling and is exceptionally pretty).

(or LVCVCEQVES)?


Quin!

·LVCVS·EQVES·
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Postby Michaelyus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:25 pm

Non-standard? Je ne pense pas.

Well, I do suppose that the various liquids vary the most out of, I believe, all the phonemes.

I think virtually all approximants are semi-vowels.

I've virtually always known of the vowel-l; I used to experiment with it. I've never have thought that it was used in an actual language; to me, it was a weird, nonsense sound.

My "perpetual"-rolling r's are exceptionally ugly; they sound like quiet pneumatic-drills. I'd like to hear this Sanskrit r, though.

LVCVS EQVES- of course; my typing error.
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Postby allanpoe » Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:38 am

i prefer [W] than [V]. [V] sounds ugly :shock:
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Postby Democritus » Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:02 pm

Michaelyus wrote:Isn't the bilabial-velar approximant an English "w"? That's what I heard it was. Doesn't anyone feel the pressure at the back of the mouth (at the end of the hard palate) when they say a "w"?


Yes, I feel this too. While the lips are busy puckering, the tongue presses against the velum.

However, it wouldn't surprise me if this little detail is not universal among English speakers.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:20 am

It's not effecting any sound, though, even if it's going on. It's the same nonsense as saying that Germanic 't's and 'd's are alveolar just because the tongue touches the teeth-ridge. No sound is coming from there. The tongue's position during the formation of 't' and 'd' is superfluous to the definition of the sound in English and German; the truly remarkable thing about Germanic 't' and 'd' is that they aren't created via the tongue, and are produced instead by the upper and lower incisors making direct contact, forming a rather aspirated sound, as opposed to the much softer, sweeter 't's and 'd's of pretty much every other language on Earth, including Italian, Latin, and Sanskrit, this plosive being defined as a linguo-dental stop, where the tip of the tongue touches the back of the teeth to form the plosive sound.
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Postby Michaelyus » Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:33 pm

I have to concur... the fact that velarisation is not the producer of sound, although without the velarisation of w, it sounds much like an Arabic "dark letter".

Lucus Eques wrote:It's the same nonsense as saying that Germanic 't's and 'd's are alveolar just because the tongue touches the teeth-ridge. No sound is coming from there....as opposed to the much softer, sweeter 't's and 'd's of pretty much every other language on Earth


Both Mandarin and (I think) Cantonese are "properly" alveolar. But I don't speak true Putonghua...I don't make a distinction between the alveolar "s" and the retroflex "sh", in pinyin (only when I have to).
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:57 am

As far as Chinese, the dentals are much like English and German, bi-dental. The tongue is even less relevant in making the sound than in the Germanic languages.

The position during those sibilants with the use of the tongue is correct, however.
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Postby Michaelyus » Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:30 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:the dentals are much like English and German, bi-dental.


I think you are confusing the Pinyin "t" (I am certain it is alveolar) with the "ch", "c" and "q".

Lucus Eques wrote:The tongue is even less relevant in making the sound than in the Germanic languages.


The difference between "ch" and "q" and "c" relies on the position of the tongue ("ch" is a bidental unvoiced plosive followed by an unvoiced retroflex fricative; "q" is a bidental unvoiced plosive followed by n unvoiced alvolar-palatal fricative; "c" is a bidental unvoiced plosive followed by an alveolar unvoiced fricative. They are all aspirated.)
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