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Postby adrianus » Wed May 14, 2008 12:40 pm

It is important to remember that the evidence of the grammarians mostly applies to how it was felt that people should speak, rather than to how people do speak in all circumstances. The purpose of grammar books was for use in teaching and training, in schools and centres of higher learning, government, trade and legal administration and religious life. Since dictating and copying were vital industries in those places, clear, standard speech was essential. The grammarians then represent standard speech, with clarity at its core. Everyday spoken Latin could take care of itself in environments where it was a first or second language. The evidence of the grammarians is for an ideal Latin language, not everyday Latin with all its other nuances.

Res magi momenti memorare est argumenta grammaticorum composita esse ut linguam latinam modo exemplare doceant et non linguam locutam omnium circumstantiarum enarrare. Usum docendo et meditamentis libri grammatici scripti sunt,--usum in ludis, vel in centris seu philologis, seu regiminis, seu legis, seu mercaturae, seu religiosorum. Magnitudine industriarum dictationis imitationisque ibi concessâ, quam magnam erat necessitas orationis ordinatae. Grammatici ergo regulas loquendi, bonae studiosas claritatis, dederunt. Lingua quotidiana, ubi aut primò aut secundò locuta est, se curet! Argumenta grammaticorum ad intellectum pertinent, et non ad linguam vulgarem cum omnibus aliis subtilitatibus quas habebat.
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Postby adrianus » Wed May 14, 2008 2:53 pm

Quintilian on the problem of hiatus (and illustrating why interstitium and hiatus are not the same in grammar, that hiatus is a special category of interstitium).
De vitio hiato apud Quintilianum.
Quintilian, Institutiones, 9.4, 33-41, on the problem of hiatus and then on M (trans from the internet), wrote:33. To proceed methodically, in the first place, there are some faults so palpable that they incur the reprehension even of the illiterate, such as when two words come together to produce, by the union of the last syllable of the former with the first syllable of the latter, some offensive expression. In the next place, there is the clashing of vowels, for when this occurs, the phrases gape, open, dispart, and seem to labor. Long vowels, especially when they are the same, have the very worst of sound in conjunction, but the hiatus is most remarkable in such vowels as are pronounced with a round or wide opening of the mouth.
34. "E" has a flatter and "I" a closer sound, and consequently any fault in the management of them is less perceptible. The speaker who puts short vowels after long ones will give less offense, and still less if he puts short ones before long ones; but the least offense of all is given by the concurrence of two short. In fact, whenever vowels follow vowels, the collision of them will be more or less harsh in proportion to whether the mode in which they are pronounced is more or less similar.
35. A hiatus of vowels, however, is not to be dreaded as any great crime, and indeed I do not know which is worse—too little or too much care in regard to it. The fear of it must necessarily be a restraint on an orator's efforts and divert his attention from points of more consequence. Just as it is a mark of carelessness to be constantly running into this fault, so it is a sign of littleness to be perpetually in dread of it. Not without reason, critics have considered all the followers of Isocrates, and especially Theopompus, to have felt too much solicitude as to this particular.
36. As for Demosthenes and Cicero, they paid it but moderate attention. Indeed, the amalgamation of two vowels, which is called synaloepha, may render a period smoother than it would be if every word retained its own vowel at the end. Sometimes, too, a hiatus is becoming and throws an air of grandeur over what is said, as, Pulchra oratione acta omnino jactare. Besides, syllables that are long in themselves and require a fuller pronunciation gain something from the time that intervenes between the two vowels, as if taking a rest.
37. On this point I shall quote, with the utmost respect, the words of Cicero: "The hiatus and concourse," he says, "of open vowels has something soft in it, indicating a not unpleasing negligence, as if the speaker were more anxious about his matter than about his words."
But consonants, especially those of a harsher nature, also are liable to jar with one another in the connection of words, such as "S" at the end of a word with "X" at the commencement of the following, and the hissing is still more unpleasant if two of these consonants clash together, as Ars studiorum.
38. As I have observed, this was Servius' reason for cutting off the letter "S" whenever it terminated a word and was followed by another consonant, a practice which Lauranius blames, but Messala defends, for they do not think that Lucilius retained the final "S" when he said, Serenus fuit and Dignus locoque; and Cicero in his Orator states that many of the ancients spoke in the same way.
39. Hence belligerare and pomeridiem, and the Diee hanc of Cato the Censor, the letter "M" being softened into "E." Persons of little learning are disposed to alter such modes of writing when they find them in old books, exposing their own ignorance while thinking they censure that of transcribers.
40. But the same letter "M," when it terminates a word and is in contact with a vowel at the commencement of the following word, so that it may coalesce with it, is hardly expressed, though it is written, such as, Multum ille, Quantum erat. It gives almost the same sound as a new letter, for it is not extinguished, but merely obscured, and is, as it were, a mark of distinction between the two vowels to prevent them from combining.
41. We must also take care that the final syllables of a preceding word, and the initial syllables of that which follows it, are not the same. That no one may wonder at such an admonition, I may remark that there has escaped even from Cicero, in a letter, Res mihi invisae visae sunt, Brute, and in his verses,
O fortunatam natam me consule Romam.
Quintiliani verba latinè (interreti), wrote:33.Atque ut ordinem sequar, primum sunt quae imperitis quoque ad reprehensionem notabilia videntur, id est, quae commissis inter se verbis duobus ex ultima [fine] prioris ac prima sequentis syllaba deforme aliquod nomen efficiunt. tum vocalium concursus: quod cum accidit, hiat et intersistit et quasi laborat oratio. Pessime longae, quae easdem inter se litteras committunt, sonabunt; praecipuus tamen erit hiatus earum quae cavo aut patulo maxime ore efferuntur.
34. E planior littera est, i angustior, ideoque obscurius in his vitium. Minus peccabit qui longis breves subiciet, et adhuc qui praeponet longae brevem. Minima est in duabus brevibus offensio. Atque cum aliae subiunguntur aliis, proinde asperiores aut leviores erunt prout oris habitu simili aut diverso pronuntiabuntur.
35. Non tamen id ut crimen ingens expavescendum est, ac nescio neglegentia in hoc an sollicitudo sit peior. Inhibeat enim necesse est hic Metus impetum dicendi et a potioribus avertat. Quare ut neglegentiae est pars hoc pati, ita humilitatis ubique perhorrescere, nimiosque non inmerito in hac cura putant omnis Isocraten secutos praecipueque Theopompum.
36. At Demosthenes et Cicero modice respexerunt ad hanc partem. Nam et coeuntes litterae, quae synaliphai dicuntur, etiam leviorem faciunt orationem quam si omnia verba suo fine cludantur, et nonnumquam hiulca etiam decent faciuntque ampliora quaedam, ut "pulchra oratione +acta oratio iactatae+", cum longae per se et velut opimae syllabae aliquid etiam medii temporis inter vocales quasi intersistatur adsumunt.
37. Qua de re utar Ciceronis potissimum verbis. "Habet" inquit "ille tamquam hiatus et concursus vocalium molle quiddam et quod indicet non ingratam neglegentiam de re hominis magis quam de verbis laborantis". Ceterum consonantes quoque, earumque praecipue quae sunt asperiores, in commissura verborum rixantur, ut s ultima cum x proxima, quarum tristior etiam si binae collidantur stridor est, ut "ars studiorum".
38. Quae fuit causa et Servio sulpicio, ut dixi, subtrahendae s litterae quotiens ultima esset aliaque consonante susciperetur, quod reprehendit Luranius, Messala defendit. Nam neque Lucilium putat uti eadem ultima, cum dicit "Aeserninus fuit" et "dignus locoque", et Cicero in Oratore plures antiquorum tradit sic locutos.
39. Inde "belligerare", "pos meridiem" et illa Censoris Catonis "dicae" "faciae"que, m littera in e mollita. Quae in veteribus libris reperta mutare imperiti solent, et dum librariorum insectari volunt inscientiam, suam confitentur.
40. Atqui eadem illa littera, quotiens ultima est et vocalem verbi sequentis ita contingit ut in eam transire possit, etiam si scribitur, tamen parum exprimitur, ut "multum ille" et "quantum erat", adeo ut paene cuiusdam novae litterae sonum reddat. Neque enim eximitur sed obscuratur, et tantum in hoc aliqua inter duas vocales velut nota est, ne ipsae coeant.
41. Videndum etiam ne syllaba verbi prioris ultima et prima sequentis +ide nec+: quod ne quis praecipi miretur, Ciceroni in epistulis excidit: "res mihi invisae visae sunt, Brute", et in carmine:
"o fortunatam natam me consule Romam".
Hoc, Luce, tibi placebit: "illa Censoris Catonis 'dicae' 'faciae'que, m littera in e mollita." Note this is elsewhere referred to an an M turned on its side (=E) to represent softening towards the nasally soft N sound (not an -ng sound, as in 'sing', because the tongue doesn't close with the upper part of the mouth at the end), or half an M (but it's not an M really because the lips are open!

I completely forgot to mention in the previous post the importance of clear speaking for rhetoric and orators. Silly me. Quintilian's mention of Isocrates in connection with hiatus and elision is an important reminder about the issues here.

Necessitas claritatis rhetoricai oratoribusque mihi prorsùs excidit. Me ineptum. Quod dixit Quintilianus de Isocrate, in dicando de hiato elisioneque, me eventus gravissimos ad rhetoricen pertinentes meditari facit.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed May 14, 2008 4:22 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:What precisely is "myotacismus," I ask myself, because it is not clearly defined.
I don't see how the grammarians could express it more clearly. It seems pretty clear to me. Myotacismus is the careless shifting of the M from the end of one word to the start of the next if it starts with a vowel. So "hominem amicum" is read as "homine mamicum". Do you not hear a difference when you don't speak carelessly?


Ooff! I hope your thoughts and feelings aren't getting too wrapped up in all this, amice! *friendly handshake* :)

So, this discussion originating from the Pompeius has become deeply confusing, mostly because the grammarians of this time are so confused due to barbarisms, native mutations, and their own hypercorrections. Let us go thru the text line by line to see what is really going on (and, not to allow my own ego to get too wrapped up in this either, to prove that I am more than a capable translator ;) with my own notes in bold).

Myotacismus est, quotiens inter duas vocales m positum exprimitur, ut si dicas 'hominem amicum', 'oratorem optimum'.
Myotacismus is, whenever an m is placed between two vowels and is expressed, for instance if you say "hominem amicum," "oratorem optimum."

At this point I understood myotacismus to be the nasalized vowel marked orthographically with 'm' — this is natural, considering the man in effect indicates 'the sound of m at the end of a word', and we know how this sound is Classically.


Non enim videris dicere 'hominem amicum', sed homine mamicum, quod est incongruum et inconsonans.
You will not indeed seem to say "hominem amicum," but "homine mamicum", which is incongruous and inconsonant.

I figured, given my first and natural assumption about the meaning of myotacismus, that this aspect was something other than myotacismus. But apparently, as you say, the liaison of 'm' to the next word, which would be natural for any other consonant before a vowel, is called "myotacismus." So, myotacismus = liaison of 'm'.

Similiter 'oratorem optimum', videris dicere 'oratore moptimum'. Bonam rationem dixit Melissus, quo modo vitandum est hoc vitium, ne incurramus in aliud vitium.
Similarly "oratorem optimum," you would seem to say "oratore moptimum." Melissus said with good reason, how this vice is to be avoided, lest we run into another vice.

Plerumque enim aut suspensione pronuntiatur aut exclusione:
For by many it may be pronounced either with suspension or exclusion:

suspensione pronuntiatur, si dicas 'hominem amicum', [interponas aliquid puta] 'oratorem optimum';
be it pronounced by suspension, if you say "hominem amicum," [for example if you put something in between] "oratorem optimum;"

So apparently Pompeius says that suspension is the prevention of liaison. This is already unacceptable, and unlatin. A gross hypercorrection. And, you said yourself, Adriane, this makes for a "halting" sound. No wonder I was confused! Latinly, this should never occur in proper discourse! Maybe perchance in occasional over-emphasized phrases exaggerated for didactic purposes, but preventing liaison? Not possible in good, fluent Latin, or even English (e.g. "he thew a ram at me" sounds "he threw a ra mat me"). Hypercorrection.


aut certe, si velis excludere, 'homine amicum', 'oratore optimum'.
or of course, if you would like to exclude it, "homine amicum," "oratore optimum."

Pompeius seems to glide over this; why is it that one may drop the -m at all?
Because it was never there to begin with, and only represented a nasalization of the vowel. Allen rightly suggests that this kind of evidence points to the loss of the nasalization on the vowel by this aera altogether. The -m was then only preserved in a written capacity, or as an inauthentic over-emphasized fully closed -m, which is inappropriate in Classical Latin.


Nos quid sequi debemus? Quid? Per suspensionem tantum modo. Qua ratione? Quia si dixeris per suspensionem 'hominem amicum', et hoc vitium vitabis, myotacismum, et non cades in aliud vitium, id est in hiatum.
What then should we follow? What? Only suspension. For what reason? Because if you say with suspension "hominem amicum," and you avoid this vice, myotacismus, and you won't fall into another vice, that is the hiatus.

Nam si volueris dicere 'homine amicum', vitas quidem myotacismum, non tamen vitas hiatum. Nam hiatus est, quando vocalem alia vocalis sequitur, id est quotiens post vocalem altera vocalis sequitur.
For if you wanted to say "homine amicum," you would avoid the myotacismus, but you would not avoid the hiatus. For hiatus is, when a vowel follows another vowel, that is whenever another vowel follows after a vowel.

Presumably he doesn't mean diphthongs ('laurus') and vowels that follow vowels within words ('deus') that are together polysyllabic.


Tunc gravius tamen hoc fit vitium, si eadem vocalis sequatur. Puta 'Musa amavit' peius est, quam 'Musa habuit', 'Musa edocuit'.
Then it becomes however a greater vice, if the same vowel should follow. For example "Musa amavit" is worse than "Musa habuit," "Musa edocuit."

Whoa, again something strange: 'musa habuit' is different from 'musa amavit' ...? Really they both should be elided, only with hiatus for special emphasis, either poetically or in colloquy. Was the 'h' still pronounced? Was it over pronounced, and no longer elided-thru as in the Classical centuries?

Ergo hiatus est, quotiens vocalem altera vocalis sequitur. Quare si illud vitare debemus, ne in eandem vocalem cadat, melius est vitetur.
Therefore hiatus is, whenever a vowel follows another vowel. Because if we must avoid that, lest it fall into the same vowel, it's better that it be avoided.


Of course, hiatus really is only when, if a vowel follows another vowel, they are prevented from blending. At least this hiatus exsists in poetry; but the suspension? It should not every exsist in Latin, and certainly doesn't exsist in English when spoken naturally. Liaison is natural and essential. Pompeius has disqualified himself, in my opinion, as a probal primary source. Nor does he speak with authority on the Classical pronunciation of Latin which apparently mostly had disappeared by the time of his 5th-century reasoning.
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Postby adrianus » Wed May 14, 2008 5:23 pm

Adrian wrote:Do you not hear a difference when you don't speak carelessly?
That was meant to tease you. I thought it clever. since it was based on the Consentius quote "Myotacismum dicunt, cum in dictione aliquid sic incuriose ponitur vocali sequente m litteram, ut, an ad priorem pertineat an ad sequentem..." Personally, I think our discussion is a fun sort of game, at the end of which I would not hesitate if I had to declare myself an idiot for being so wrong. And no doubt sooner than I suppose.

Jocus est quo te vexam, qui e definitioni Consentius surgit, "Myotacismum dicunt, cum in dictione aliquid sic incuriose ponitur vocali sequente m litteram, ut, an ad priorem pertineat an ad sequentem..." Doctum eum putavi, Meâ parte, altercatio nostra mihi valdè placet, ut ludi similis. Libenter me asinum vocabo, si me peccavisse ostendetur. Citiùs autem quam puto, sine dubitó.
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Postby adrianus » Wed May 14, 2008 9:15 pm

Adrian wrote:Personally, I think our discussion is a fun sort of game, at the end of which I would not hesitate if I had to declare myself an idiot for being so wrong.
.And I know you would, too, Lucus, wouldn't you?
Et tu, Luce, idem facies, scio. Nonne verum dico?
Lucus wrote:Pompeius has disqualified himself, in my opinion, as a probal primary source. Nor does he speak with authority on the Classical pronunciation of Latin which apparently mostly had disappeared by the time of his 5th-century reasoning.
We've been here before Lucus (in other threads). Pompeius doesn't expound on three-hundred-year-old Latin, but on the Latin of his day, as do Servius, Donatus, and the rest. Many scholars consider Pompeius 'probal' or acceptable, by the way.
Eundem in locum revenimus. Expandit Pompeius (et Servius et Donatus et caeteri) linguam aevi sui et non aevi veterioris. Multi obiter sunt philologi qui Pompeium credibilem esse habent.
Lucus wrote:Pompeius seems to glide over this; why is it that one may drop the -m at all?
Because it was never there to begin with, and only represented a nasalization of the vowel. Allen rightly suggests that this kind of evidence points to the loss of the nasalization on the vowel by this aera altogether. The -m was then only preserved in a written capacity, or as an inauthentic over-emphasized fully closed -m, which is inappropriate in Classical Latin.
I pray for strength. If M were there only in a written capacity, the problem of myotacismus would not exist. You discredit Pompeius by accusing him of wanting to drop something that isn't there, and then you say he provides evidence for the non-existence of the thing he proposes dropping!
Vis mihi detur. Si M in extremitate solùm orthographiam servitum adsit, myotacismus vitium futurum esse non possit. Pompeio rem quae deest demittere cupiendi accusato, illum virum deformas; dicis autem deinde eum approbationem supplere quae pertinet ad non-existentiam rei quam demittere proponat Pompeius!
Lucus wrote:So apparently Pompeius says that suspension is the prevention of liaison. This is already unacceptable, and unlatin. A gross hypercorrection...Not possible in good, fluent Latin, or even English (e.g. "he thew a ram at me" sounds "he threw a ra mat me")...Liaison is natural and essential.
Obviously, you never did time at the Henry Higgins correctional facility for speech offenders. Better watch out, because you are a wanted man.
Clarum est te numquam in domicilio Henrici Higgins emendando illorum qui loquendo erraverunt residisse. Cave, quià proscriptus es.
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Postby adrianus » Thu May 15, 2008 8:18 am

Post scriptum.
Lucus wrote:Whoa, again something strange: 'musa habuit' is different from 'musa amavit' ...?,,,Was the 'h' still pronounced?
I agree with Pompeius. He is saying that hiatus is less a problem in the first ('musa habuit'). It is. H was pronounced indeed, as a gentle breath.
Cum Pompeio consentio. Minùs grave vitium hiatus in primo. Ita est. Cum spiritu miti hic H sonitur, "musa habuit".

Post post scriptum

On the false notion of Hypercorrection
De propositione falsâ Hyperemendatione


When the ambassador from the court, the barrister from the bench, the priest from the pulpit, the orator from the platform, the reader from the lectern, the teacher from the classroom, the doctor from the patient, the sergeant from the yard, the trainer from the arena, the merchant from the market, the moneylender from the client, the crier from the street, the actor from the stage, return home in the evening, they are entitled to a rest. They do not talk as they did at work.

Cum domum vesperi redit legatus ab aulâ, causidus ab banco, sacerdos ab pulpito, orator ab suggestu, lector ab analogio, magister ab auditorio, medicus ab aegro, campidoctor ab ariâ, exercitor ab arenâ, mercator ab foro, foenerator ab cliente, praeco ab viâ, histrio ab scenâ, licet ut quiescet. Tunc non loquitur ut solet dum laborat.
Last edited by adrianus on Fri May 16, 2008 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Thu May 15, 2008 7:13 pm

adrianus wrote:
Adrian wrote:Do you not hear a difference when you don't speak carelessly?
That was meant to tease you. I thought it clever. since it was based on the Consentius quote "Myotacismum dicunt, cum in dictione aliquid sic incuriose ponitur vocali sequente m litteram, ut, an ad priorem pertineat an ad sequentem..." Personally, I think our discussion is a fun sort of game, at the end of which I would not hesitate if I had to declare myself an idiot for being so wrong. And no doubt sooner than I suppose.

Jocus est quo te vexam, qui e definitioni Consentius surgit, "Myotacismum dicunt, cum in dictione aliquid sic incuriose ponitur vocali sequente m litteram, ut, an ad priorem pertineat an ad sequentem..." Doctum eum putavi, Meâ parte, altercatio nostra mihi valdè placet, ut ludi similis. Libenter me asinum vocabo, si me peccavisse ostendetur. Citiùs autem quam puto, sine dubitó.


I also find it a fun game! I was just teasing you all the same. I'm not sensitive; play on!
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Postby adrianus » Thu May 15, 2008 10:00 pm

Lucus wrote:play on!
I did. It's you.
Lusi. Tuae vices.

Corrigendum: "qui e definitioni Consentius surgit" -> "qui e definitione Consentii surgit"
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Postby adrianus » Fri May 16, 2008 10:11 am

While waiting, I thought to add this.
Dum maneo, hoc addito.

Let us consider Allen's mode of reasoning in Vox Latina (pp.30,31), which you wanted to discuss earlier.
In the third century BC, Allen says, there are many early examples of inscriptions that drop final-M. It is common in verse for the final-M together with its preceding vowel (elision) to be dropped before a vowel.
In the second century BC with more standardized spelling, there are occasional examples. Elision of the final-M and its preceding vowel (elision) is still common.
He also says there are many examples of aphaerisis in inscriptions ('scriptust' for 'scriptum est').

Isn't it (is it not) odd that Allen doesn't (does not) menti'n (mention) 'scriptumst' for 'scriptum est'? We have no difficulty using a bilabial-M (closed-lip) there, although of course it could be pronounced with a open-lipped N.

More import'ntly (importantly), though, isn't it (is it not) odd that Allen doesn't (does not) menti'n (mention) the possibility that two styles of speakin' (speaking) could exist side by side. Couldn't they (could they not)?

Hopef'ly (hopefully), you get the point I'm (I am) makin' (making) by all this annoyin' (annoying), untranslatable repetiti'n (repetition) in brackits (brackets) --made also above in On the false notion of Hypercorrection.

If someone examined today's written English in two thousand years time, what would they conclude from a comparison of personal communications such as postcards, letters and text-messages (containing as they do indications of informal speech habits) with newspapers and academic journals? Would they conclude that no one actually talked, or could talk, like the newspapers and journals are written? I hope you might say 'no', or that if they did so conclude they would be wrong.

Quid censebit aliqui duobus milibus annorum qui temporum nostrorum photocartulas epistulasque atque textnuntia ephemeridibus (signas consuetudinum affabilarum et remissarum continens) periodicisque academicis comparabit? Concludetne neminem loquari, vel loquari posse, sicut est scriptum in ephemeridibus periodicisque? Spero te respondere ut non, vel si ita concludat, eum erraturum esse.

Really, it comes down to the co-existence of accepted conventions in different areas of communication, and spoken by the same person. Why must we suppose Roman speech in antiquity homogeneous? We acknowledge speech differences between groups, but can we not acknowledge also the possibility of speech differences by the same person under changed circumstances?

Verùm sic redit, consuetudines varias esse generibus variis communicandi quibus eadem persona utitur. Cur nobis oportet loquelam Romanorum antiquorum continentem opinari? Declinationes inter classibus adgnoscimus. Nonne possumus quoque declinationes loquendi adgnoscere ab eodem viro sonatos accidentibus variis pertinentes?

Post scriptum
I'm dying for you to debate about Henry Higgins.
De Henrico Higgins tecum conferre valdè aveo.
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Postby Cato » Fri May 16, 2008 2:44 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Because of the relative weakness of final -m, and its generality as a nasal vowel with littel articulation, it could be transmutated into any appropriate nasal in front of any consonant.
<...>
We write:
cum curru

But really these sound as one "joined" word:
cuncurru [that 'n' is the velar nasal, the same at the end of the word "sing"]
<...>
We write:
cum patre

But we sound:
cumpatre [the 'm' is full and true, or at least more so]

It's likely that, even in these sandhis, some element of the natural nasal-vowel quality of the -m remains, even though it's not "left hanging," so to speak, as it would be at the end of a sentence, conforming naturally to the consonant that follows. Hence "tan durum."

Sorry to break in, but I find this debate very interesting, and had to ask a question about this particular topic. Does the weakness of final -m and associated sandhi shown in the cum examples also apply to the com- prefix, or is this just 'normal' sandhi?

I would guess this is not a final -m example, since the length of the o in words like comes - "friend/fellow diner" and comitare - "accompany, go with" remained short after compounding. This would seem odd if a final -m in the separable prefix com- were to cause the vowel to be lengthened and nasalized, but perhaps I'm missing something (that, after all, is why one asks questions :) )
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Postby adrianus » Fri May 16, 2008 6:37 pm

Hi Cato. Lucus may respond about the 'com-' prefix. I wanted to throw more in about final M.

Here's a nice passage from Diomedes that I found in Kiel. Will you say that Diomedes is an unacceptable source, Luce? He did, of course, flourish only in the second half of the fourth century AD. But what grammarians is he himself referencing, I wonder? Hiatus had been an issue for discussion already in Diomedes' day for at least 700 years.
Ecce locus Diomedis apud Kielium. Dicasne Diomedem improbum esse? Nempe serus saeculo quarto floruit, At qui sunt grammatici anteriores quos legerat Diomedes, ut emiror? Iam eo tempore annos septingenti vitium hiatus commentabatur.
Diomedes, Ars Grammatica, K, i, p.453, wrote: Sunt praeterea pronuntiationis quaedam vitia, quae non nulli barbarismos putant, iotacismi labdacismi myotacismi hiatus conlisiones et omnia quae plus aequo minusve sonantia ab eruditis auribus respuuntur. Haec vitia praelocuti controversiam de nomine pertinacibus relinquimus...Myotacismi quoque sunt cum in fine partis orationis invenitur 'm' littera et incipiat sequens a vocali quae non sit loco consonantis posita. Haec enim scribitur quidem, non autem enuntiantur, ut 'quousque tandem abutere'. Tunc autem pronuntiamus 'm' litteram, cum sequitur vocalis loco consonantis posita, ut est
cum sequitur vocalis loco consonantis posita, ut est
cum Iuno aeternam s. s. p. v.
distinctio quoque, quae separat verba, ut est
dum corderet urbem
inferretque d. L.
quae pronuntiatio servanda, ne sit barbarismus, non in scriptura sed in sermone, si enuntiata fuerit.
I translate:
"There are, besides, certain faults of pronunciation, which quite a few consider unseemly (or barbarisms), iotacism, labdacism, myotacism, hiatus, collisio, and all those which sound more or less repellent to the educated ear. [Regarding] the aforementioned faults, we leave arguing about names to the pedants...Myotacism also is when the letter M is found at the end of a word followed by a word beginning with a vowel that cannot take the place of a consonant [i.e., not j or v]. For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'. Otherwise, we do pronounce the M when followed by a vowel that can take the place of a consonant [i.e., j or v], such as in 'cum Iuno aeternam' , or also by an expectant pause* to separate the words, as in
'...dum corderet urbem
inferretque...'
which if it were to be spoken (not written) so as to preserve pronunciation would not be unpleasant.
*Nota benè:
Diomedes defines 'distinctio' (K, i, p.437) as "a sign, akin to a dot, of termination of meaning [a full stop] or an expectant pause [comma]".
Diomedes distinctionem definit, ut "apposito puncto nota finiti sensus vel pendentis mora" [note this has the same sense as 'suspensio']

Look what this quote for Diomedes says:
1. There is an issue concerning pronunciation of M at the end of a word and before a vowel beginning the next (myotacism).
2. Not everyone considers myotacism a problem.
3. You can fix the problem by either (a) not pronouncing the M, or in the case of an I or a V by pronouncing the M as if it were before a word beginning with a consonant (myotacism is not really a problem in such a case), or (b) introducing a pregnant pause, and then pronouncing the words in question normally (that is, with a terminal M).
4. M before a consonant is sounded and, by implication in the context of the problem of myotacism, sounded like an M at the start of a word.
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Postby adrianus » Sat May 17, 2008 11:35 pm

The evidence that Pompeius' view on hiatus is wholly consistent with classical grammarians is provided by Quintilian (c.35-100 CE), already given in full above (Institutiones, 9.4.33-36). Hiatus is the abrupt effect that is produced when two vowels are sounded distinctly and in succession. You hear this particularly in the English phrase "Oh Oh!" for "Here comes trouble!" (which is better written "O O" because there is properly no H sound). Similarly, "Ah ah!" (or better "A A") for "Don't do that!" Understandably, it's not a mellifluous sound and it interrupts the flow of a sentence. A Roman audience was reputedly very attuned to syllable division and expected clearly articulated flowing speech; the jerky hiatus, however, interrupted the flow, making phrases seem to gape and labour, according to Quintilian. A century earlier Cicero, however, had pointed out that such interruptions could enhance a speech or performance by introducing an unpolished element to communicate urgency, but he agreed that they were generally best to avoid near the beginnings and ends of lines, because that's where an audience's attention is most keenly held. Quintilian seems to prefer the avoidance of hiatus, although some types of hiatus were considered worse than others, Quintilian explains that the worst case is when two vowels the same clash, next worse is two long vowels, then a long vowel followed by a short, then a short followed by a long, and least bad is two short vowels. Also U with O is much worse than E with I. Now, these aren't arbitrary rules but are based on the sounds of the various vowel combinations. Thus "mihi ipsi" flows more easily than "nummo obsecro". An option to overcome the problematic sound of hiatus was elision, --a natural result of speaking quickly in most cases. In elision, synaloephe refers to the practice of dropping the first vowel, ecthlipsis to dropping the second, and then merging the neighbouring syllables into one. The reason you would not want to always use elision is because it can be harder to understand what is meant. Thus "mihipsi" or "mipsi" for "mihi ipsi" and nummobsecro" for "nummo obsecro" forces the listener to do a lot more work to understand with certainty what is said. In most cases, elision is understandable to the native speaker but, by the very nature of using it, speech becomes less distinct. The extent to which elision means dropping letters altogether or slurring vowels together is often debated. Personally, I think that quickly slurring two colliding vowels, as opposed to deleting one in particular, must work better for an audience by preserving more audio clues. Nor do I think that elision was the default option in classical formal pronunciation. Had it been, then Quintilian would not have bothered to discuss the varieties of hiatus, nor Cicero downplay it's negative consequences.

Ut Pompeus cum opinionibus grammaticorum classicorum concurrit, hic Quintiliani (c.35-100 AC) locus ostendit: Institutiones, 9.4.33-66, iam suprâ deditum. Hiatus est effectum abruptum duabus vocalibus dictionum vicinarum concurrendis oblatum, quem cum locutione anglicè "Oh Oh!" vel "Ah Ah!" auditur (meliùs 'O O' et 'A A' scribitur quia non sonitur 'h' littera). Clarè est dissonum est et sententiam fluere impedit. Perperitus auditor Romanus qui fines syllabarum distinguere poterat et orationem clarem et separem quaerebat. Hiatus autem apud Quintilianum orationem hiare laborareque facit. Centum annis, Cicero talia hiulca quae impolita sunt et proinde 'indicet...non ingratiam neglegentiam de re" nonnunquam utilem esse putabat, at alibi indicat ut meliùs est hiatus evitare et in prooemium et in clausulâ versûs ubi cura audientiae acrior erit. Hiatum evitare praefert Quintilianus, etiamsi genera quoddam meliores quàm alios. Sic pessimum est ut eaedem vocales concurrant, tunc longa in longa, dein longa ante brevem, exim longa post brevem, postremò minimumque brevem contra brevem. Pejus est quoque U cum O quam E cum I. Non arbitrariae hae regulae, sed sonis omnium conjugii vocalium in syllabis probatae. Faciliùs taliter fluit "mihi ipsi" quàm "nummo obsecro". Elisione semper vitium hiatus corrigi potest, quae elisio citò loquendo naturaliter oritur. Elisione, synaloephe dicitur cum vocalis primum demittitur, ecthlipsis cum secundum, deinde in syllabas confundendo. Attamen frequenter poti est elisioni non utere quoniam saepe fiet elisio dictionum sensum confusarum obfuscare. "mihipsi" vel "mipsi" pro "mihi ipsi", nummobsecro" pro "nummo obsecro" puta, auditor plùs laborare debet, ut pro certo intelliget. Generaliter, quod elisione mutaberis intellectum erit cui facundè latinè loquitur at, usu vero, quod dicaberis minùs distinctum fiet. Utrum oportet cum elisione vocalem demitturam an ambas vocales cursim confusuras esse, saepe rogatur. Meâ sententiâ, in elisione meliùs est vocales concurrentes confusuras quam unam demitturam esse, quòd illud significationes subtilibus auditoribus servat. Ut reor utinam, non erat elisio temporibus classicis exitus primus inter alios ex hiato. Si aliter fuisset, neque Quintilianus de hiati generis edissertasset, neque Cicero vitium detraxisset.
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 12:19 am

Oops! Accidental post. Me ineptum!
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Postby ascii » Sun May 18, 2008 12:20 am

Hello, as you may see, this is my first post on this forum. I found this place Google-searching "nasal accusatives". This was because I started learning latin and attic greek this year at university and I this thing, which really called my attention, might bring some litght to the discussion about whether the -m was pronounced or just marked the nasalization of the previous vowel.
Every accusative singular in lithuanian is written with what they call nasal vowels (ąęįų). They are not nasalized, the character denotes just a long vowel, but they used to be.
Being the three of them, latin, greek and lithuanian, indoeuropean languages, makes me think this can't be just a coincidence.
To my inexpert eye it means one of the following:
    In latin and ancient greek the final m and ν on the accusatives, was the way they used to write the nasalization, which was a common feature on indoeuropean languages
    Lithuanian used to have a final nasal consonant on the singular accusatives, that then disappeared, leaving a nasalized vowel, which afterwards ended up as a long vowel. All this means that final nasal consonants tend to fall and leave a nasalized vowel, and therefore the Romans some time stopped pronouncing that accusative final m, even thought they might have kept on writing it.

What do you think? Can any of this suppositions be feasible? Is it possible to make this kind of correlation between languages?
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 1:16 am

Salve, ascii88. Welcome! Gratus est nobis tuus adventus!

As you see by the foregoing, ascii88, I believe that the grammarians' discussion of myotacism provides evidence that the final M was indeed pronounced (or could be), albeit in a vague way but still a consonantal way. But you really can't take my views very seriously because I don't know this area. I can read, though, and I like to ask questions, so this is a good way for me to learn Latin. Clearly, Lucus (a much better latinist than I) believes differently about final M (and elision).

Ut vides in rebus iam scriptis, ascii88, credo quod dicunt grammatici de myotacismo testimonium esse ut M littera dictionem terminans verùm enuntiata est (vel enuntiari potuit), ut consonans etsi potiùs obscura. Argumenta mea non necessariè valentia sunt, quià haec res mihi inaudita est. Atquin legere possum et investigare mihi libet, quod modus jocundus est linguam latinam discendi, ut invenio. Planè, Lucus, qui latinè me longè antecedit, de M terminante (et elisione) sententiam diversam habet.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 2:37 am

Asci88, your theory is one I played around with too at one point. But Ancient Greek final nu is pronounced as, say, and English final -n (and not like a French one), and is liaisoned onto following words that start with vowels. My assertion is that the nasalized vowel, as you point out, was the IE way of marking accusatives — Greek hardened that into a full consonant. Latin did not.

adrianus wrote:Salve, ascii88. Welcome! Gratus est nobis tuus adventus!

As you see by the foregoing, ascii88, I believe that the grammarians' discussion of myotacism provides evidence that the final M was indeed pronounced (or could be), albeit in a vague way but still a consonantal way. But you really can't take my views very seriously because I don't know this area. I can read, though, and I like to ask questions, so this is a good way for me to learn Latin. Clearly, Lucus (a much better latinist than I) believes differently about final M (and elision).

Ut vides in rebus iam scriptis, ascii88, credo quod dicunt grammatici de myotacismo testimonium esse ut M littera dictionem terminans verùm enuntiata est (vel enuntiari potuit), ut consonans etsi potiùs obscura. Argumenta mea non necessariè valentia sunt, quià haec res mihi inaudita est. Atquin legere possum et investigare mihi libet, quod modus jocundus est linguam latinam discendi, ut invenio. Planè, Lucus, qui latinè me longè antecedit, de M terminante (et elisione) sententiam diversam habet.


Well, Adriane, you are rightly noting that some late grammarians say that their Latin would pronounce the final -m as if it were like an English final -m. But Late Latin is just that — not Classical Latin. I feel as if you are taking evidence from these Late grammarians and saying that it dictates possibilities about all Latin thru all time — it does not. Classical Latin final -m is just an orthographic marking, replaced by any other diaeresis or tilde per the convention to let you know this vowel is different than others. The sense of this was lost by the Late Latin period, whence come these data, hence the oddity of Pompeius' writings.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 3:40 am

All righty, my amazing girlfriend out of town after a wonderful few days, I am back to full Latin strength. *cracks knuckles ceremoniously*

I pray for strength.


I love ya, buddy, haha. :)

If M were there only in a written capacity, the problem of myotacismus would not exist. You discredit Pompeius by accusing him of wanting to drop something that isn't there, and then you say he provides evidence for the non-existence of the thing he proposes dropping!


I see your confusion. Consider, then, this timeline:

• In ancient Latin into Classical Latin (from ~ 600 BC thru 100 AD and later), Latin marks the m/f accusative and other word forms with the nasalization of the final vowel. We see that, epigrammatically, inscriptions thruout Roman history have no way of marking this (such as in the Scipio epigramme: e.g. "duonoru").

• In the 2nd Century, these nasalized vowels come to be marked, out of convention, by the addition of final -m. Romans recognise that this is an orthographic mark, and some even opt for a different letter, like a half-M, and others don't write it at all.

• In the Classical aera, poetry reflects that word-final-m is not "really there" in the way other consonants are, and elision happens thru it unimpeded.

• After a time, the weakness of the nasalized vowel gives way to foreign tongues, and general evolution and change. People stop pronouncing "puellam" different from "puella," and just say "puella" acc./nom., just as modern Italian and Spanish with their words.

• Litterate people in all time periods are relatively few. This is so also in the Late Latin period. So, the educated few, many of them foreigners themselves (in the sense of being not from Rome or Italy by birth), say, "Hey, these words have final '-m's that the stupid common folk don't pronounce — well, we write these '-m's, shouldn't we pronounce them?" "Yes, we should," they tell themselves.

That is where Pompeius comes in. You see now my reasoning? "M was only there in a written capacity," you paraphrase me above, which is correct; then Pompeius and others say that these should be pronounced, since they write the darn letters. This is hypercorrection.



Obviously, you never did time at the Henry Higgins correctional facility for speech offenders. Better watch out, because you are a wanted man.


I'm afraid I don't get the reference. I assume this is in reference to my noting of English liaison, which I spelled out in the example "he threw a ra mat me."


agree with Pompeius. He is saying that hiatus is less a problem in the first ('musa habuit'). It is. H was pronounced indeed, as a gentle breath.


Heh, yes, in CLASSICAL Latin, four hundred years before, but in Late Latin 'h' had ceased to be sounded — moreover, even in Classical Latin the lighly pronounced 'h' was elided thru, for it was considered a marking only of "rough breathing" exactly the same as Greek, a mere affectation of the vowel, and not therefore a true consonant.



Isn't it (is it not) odd that Allen doesn't (does not) menti'n (mention) 'scriptumst' for 'scriptum est'? We have no difficulty using a bilabial-M (closed-lip) there, although of course it could be pronounced with a open-lipped N


Nothing odd about it at all. I believe he does mention it earlier. The point is that one may contract thru the '-m' — and it would be impossible to remove the 'e' of "est" Latinly if the '-m' were not a part of the preceding vowel. For example, one cannot contract Latinly thus: "amorst" for "amor est."

By the way, you definitely want to drop the "open-lipped N" deal; that's hugely confusing, and not necessary at all.

More import'ntly (importantly), though, isn't it (is it not) odd that Allen doesn't (does not) menti'n (mention) the possibility that two styles of speakin' (speaking) could exist side by side. Couldn't they (could they not)?


More importantly? That just sounds like tangential musing to me. No, probably not two styles of speaking — that kind of duality is rare at best.

Really, it comes down to the co-existence of accepted conventions in different areas of communication, and spoken by the same person. Why must we suppose Roman speech in antiquity homogeneous? We acknowledge speech differences between groups, but can we not acknowledge also the possibility of speech differences by the same person under changed circumstances?


This is really beside the point and totally hyperbolic. Do you pronounce the final '-e' in the word "like" ? Does a word sounding like "lika" or "likee" coexsist for us in English? Final '-m' is orthographic in the same way.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 3:44 am

Sorry to break in, but I find this debate very interesting, and had to ask a question about this particular topic. Does the weakness of final -m and associated sandhi shown in the cum examples also apply to the com- prefix, or is this just 'normal' sandhi?

I would guess this is not a final -m example, since the length of the o in words like comes - "friend/fellow diner" and comitare - "accompany, go with" remained short after compounding. This would seem odd if a final -m in the separable prefix com- were to cause the vowel to be lengthened and nasalized, but perhaps I'm missing something (that, after all, is why one asks questions )


I'm glad you broke in.

I think I can most simply say that, the final -m could sometimes be strengthened into a true consonant. As to the vowel change — mostly just a change in what was comfortable for that environment. Short 'o' is close in quality to 'u', hence the transmutation.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 4:03 am

"There are, besides, certain faults of pronunciation, which quite a few consider unseemly (or barbarisms), iotacism, labdacism, myotacism, hiatus, collisio, and all those which sound more or less repellent to the educated ear. [Regarding] the aforementioned faults, we leave arguing about names to the pedants...Myotacism also is when the letter M is found at the end of a word followed by a word beginning with a vowel that cannot take the place of a consonant [i.e., not j or v]. For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'. Otherwise, we do pronounce the M when followed by a vowel that can take the place of a consonant [i.e., j or v], such as in 'cum Iuno aeternam' , or also by an expectant pause* to separate the words, as in
'...dum corderet urbem
inferretque...'
which if it were to be spoken (not written) so as to preserve pronunciation would not be unpleasant.


So, excellent. Diomedes says that final -m is not pronounced when a vowel follows in the next word. And that sandhi takes place when there are consonants. This corroborates what I have related above, altho Diomedes is rather late, and not Classical.

Your assessments are, well, interesting:

(b) introducing a pregnant pause, and then pronouncing the words in question normally (that is, with a terminal M).


I take it you mean "that is, with a terminal M pronounced as an English terminal M." He does not say that. You make that assumption. He says that the space is put in there, which would simply seperate the vowels, and prevent elision, as in the case he gives from the Aeneid, where there is no enjambant between lines.

4. M before a consonant is sounded and, by implication in the context of the problem of myotacism, sounded like an M at the start of a word.


No. Or rather, not necessarily. Sandhi would take over, as I related above.


Later, you equate hiatus with a glottal stop — not mutually exclusive, but not the same thing (see your "oh oh" or rather, as we say, "uh oh" example).


Nor do I think that elision was the default option in classical formal pronunciation.


This opinion does not follow from the grand corpus of evidence. Learn Italian, and you will see.
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 12:30 pm

One thing at a time. Omne in vice suâ.
Lucus wrote:
adrian wrote:I agree with Pompeius. He is saying that hiatus is less a problem in the first ('musa habuit'). It is. H was pronounced indeed, as a gentle breath.
Heh, yes, in CLASSICAL Latin, four hundred years before, but in Late Latin 'h' had ceased to be sounded — moreover, even in Classical Latin the lighly pronounced 'h' was elided thru, for it was considered a marking only of "rough breathing" exactly the same as Greek, a mere affectation of the vowel, and not therefore a true consonant.

You want to hoodwink me, but I won't let you off the hook about Pompeius, who says hiatus is less in "musa habuit" than in "musa amabo".
You said that he was not a credible source because classically there was elision between these words and besides, H was not pronounced in Pompeius's day. I disagreed with you on all counts.
Lucus wrote:Whoa, again something strange: 'musa habuit' is different from 'musa amavit' ...? Really they both should be elided, only with hiatus for special emphasis, either poetically or in colloquy. Was the 'h' still pronounced? Was it over pronounced, and no longer elided-thru as in the Classical centuries?

Now, with a better understanding of hiatus, you have changed your mind and agree that hiatus is less in "musa habuit" than in "musa amabo" but only in classical times, and that Pompeius is still not credible because "h" was not pronounced in his day!!!
You know better than Pompeius how he spoke Latin? :shock:
Will you not admit your initial assessment of Pompeius was wrong on both these matters (regarding the sounding of H and the degree of hiatus)?

Quod attinet ad Pompeium, qui dicit minùs grave vitium hiatus cum "musa habuit" quàm cum "musa amabo", caput mihi obvolvere tentas, sed evadere te hamulum non patiar.
Priùs dixisti eum infirmus esse quod inter has dictiones non erat hiatus et ampliùs non sonata est H littera diebus Pompeii. In omnibus tecum dissensi.
Nunc, quod dicere vult 'hiatus' visum, sententiam permutas. Dicis cum "amabo habuit" vitium minùs grave esse sed temporibus classicis solùm et non diebus Pompeii. Dicis errare eum ubi denotat H sonari.
Sentisne meliùs quam Pompeius quomodò eum locutum esse latiné?
Nonne admittes quod dixisti ad Pompeium attinentem unidique falsum esse, quod ad sonum H atque ad hiati quantitatem? :)

[Just in case, this is still all said in fun, by the way. Obiter haec omnia festivè dicuntur.]
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 8:38 pm

Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:Obviously, you never did time at the Henry Higgins correctional facility for speech offenders. Better watch out, because you are a wanted man.
I'm afraid I don't get the reference. I assume this is in reference to my noting of English liaison, which I spelled out in the example "he threw a ra mat me.
Professor Henry Higgins seeks to induct flower-girl Eliza Doolittle into the niceties of refined English speech in Shaw's play Pygmalion. If you believe it impossible to articulate distinctions between words when speaking carefully in English, how is it possible to articulate syllable divisions in Latin which require attention to double consonants and, more relevantly, to the attachment of a consonant in a Latin word either to the preceding or to the following vowel when sandwiched between, and when the recommended pronunciation requires it? Thus 'obeo', 'obambulo', 'obaudio', 'oborior', 'obumbro', 'inaccessus' to 'inaudsus' (with 31 of this sort between), 'exarcerbesco' to 'exuviae' (with 435 words of this type between) and so on all require the first consonant to cling to the preceding vowel (not the following one).

Bernardi Shaw in dramate nomine Pygmalion, Professor Henricus Higgins de subtilitatibus pronuntiationis anglicorum benè eductorum Elizam Doolittle, venditricem florum, docere quaerit. Si te impossibile distinctiones anglicè inter dictionibus articulare credis, quam difficilius est latinè syllabas articulare, quae curam ad consonantes duplices dare requirunt, et, quod plùs pertinet, quae, consonante inter duas vocales, eam utrum cum unà vocali an cum alià coalescere indigent! Sic cum 'obeo', 'obambulo', 'obaudio', 'oborior', 'obumbro', 'inaccessus' ad 'inaudsus' (ampliùs interponentes triginta una dictiones huius generis), 'exarcerbesco' ad 'exuviae' (ampliùs interponentes quadringenti triginta quinque huius generis) et caetera, regula requirit ut consonans prima cum vocali praecedenti (et non sequenti) coalescat.

Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:...the possibility that two styles of speakin' (speaking) could exist side by side. Couldn't they (could they not)?
No, probably not two styles of speaking — that kind of duality is rare at best.
You deny the actor's profession and the actor is all of us. Please ask one of your friends who is European, or a recent immigrant to America, what they think of my statement and then come back on that. (I'm not talking about the ability to speak different languages in different ways, by the way, although I could draw attention to that because it is relevant.)

Histrionis artem et histrionem in omnibus nobis negas. Amabò te, meam sententiam amico europaeo vel recenti adventui in Americam fingas, et deinde mihi reveni de hac re. (Non dico de linguas varias loquendo, obiter, etsi sic facere possim quià ad rem pertinet.)

Lucus wrote:So, excellent. Diomedes says that final -m is not pronounced when a vowel follows in the next word.
Read the Diomedes quote again. Relegas quod dicit Diomedes.

Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:(b) introducing a pregnant pause, and then pronouncing the words in question normally (that is, with a terminal M).
I take it you mean "that is, with a terminal M pronounced as an English terminal M." He does not say that. You make that assumption.
This is how you reasoned on the Priscian quote. You assume I make an assumption and then accuse me of assuming! I did not make the assumption you ascribed to me.

Ecce quomodò ratiocinatus es, quod de Pompeio dixisti. Me aliquid dixisse ut non dixi opinaris et me accuso opinatus esse ubi nullum opinatus sum!

Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:Nor do I think that elision was the default option in classical formal pronunciation.
This opinion does not follow from the grand corpus of evidence. Learn Italian, and you will see.
Where is that grand corpus published and have you read it? I would love to learn Italian but I cannot see how it will inform me about the formal pronunciation of classical Latin, just as learning modern English to find out how English was pronounced in the Middle Ages would leave one disappointed and misled. Also, read Allen's Vox Latina, pp.78-82 (I believe you have the book) and then tell me that everyone thinks elision is the default in spoken classical Latin. You will find it otherwise.

Ubi est magnum testimoniorum corpus de quo dicis, et legisne eum? Me linguam Italicam discere cupiam. Attamen me intellegere non possum quomodò sic facere de pronuntiatione formali linguae latinae classicae me docebit. Sicut et, quod ad pronuntiationis studium linguae anglicae aevo medio attinens, defectus et circumductus eris, si solùm modernam linguam didiceris. Denique, Alleni libri nomine Vox Latina paginam duodeoctoginta ad octoginta duo legito (quem librum habes, ut credo), et tunc mihi narrato omnes usum elisioni in loquendo automaticum esse putare. Aliter invenies.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 9:55 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:Obviously, you never did time at the Henry Higgins correctional facility for speech offenders. Better watch out, because you are a wanted man.
I'm afraid I don't get the reference. I assume this is in reference to my noting of English liaison, which I spelled out in the example "he threw a ra mat me.
Professor Henry Higgins seeks to induct flower-girl Eliza Doolittle into the niceties of refined English speech in Shaw's play Pygmalion. If you believe it impossible to articulate distinctions between words when speaking carefully in English, how is it possible to articulate syllable divisions in Latin which require attention to double consonants and, more relevantly, to the attachment of a consonant in a Latin word either to the preceding or to the following vowel when sandwiched between, and when the recommended pronunciation requires it? Thus 'obeo', 'obambulo', 'obaudio', 'oborior', 'obumbro', 'inaccessus' to 'inaudsus' (with 31 of this sort between), 'exarcerbesco' to 'exuviae' (with 435 words of this type between) and so on all require the first consonant to cling to the preceding vowel.


What? Cling to the preceding vowel? This is not how Latin syllabary functions, Adrian (by the way, you may call me Luke at this point; after al these pages on a single topic I consider us good friends ;) ). I'm actually having difficulty understanding you. Are you saying that "obeo" would be divided syllabically ob-e-o rather than o-be-o? In Latin syllabary, o-be-o is correct, ob-e-o is incorrect.

And, ah yes, I get the reference now; Family Guy actually did a parody where Stewie ridiculed the speech of British children and sought to emend that of the local baby girl Eliza Pinchly. Great stuff.

Actually, friend, you seem more and more emotionally invested in this subject, and deeply attached to a few primary sources that do not reflect Classical Latin well at all, but better reflect the Latin spoken in the Late period, whether spoken with barbarisms, generic evolutions, or hypercorrections — this is not to discount their honesty; obviously they reflect their own times. But the issue is Latin thru the ages, and in particular focused on the Classical and pre-Classical period.


You ask me to reconsider the Diomedes quote. I wil quote your excellent translation:

For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'.

What more could one need? M is not pronounced when a vowel follows.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 10:14 pm

Also, it was fun to reread pp. 78-82 on "Vowel Junction" in Vox Latina. Allen provides lots of evidence for elision and contraction, and says that hiatus is to be avoided, and is rarer. So what's the problem? I said the same, I think. If not, then I wasn't being clear. So I clearly state: elision, contraction, and synizesis are the default for Latin, as it is for Italian, for the sake of example.
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 10:19 pm

Lucus wrote:Are you saying that "obeo" would be divided syllabically ob-e-o rather than o-be-o?
Yes, along with the others. Ita est, et cum aliis.

Lusus wrote:you seem more and more emotionally invested in this subject
That's twice you've said something like that. Not true. I do find it fun, though. Bis similiter dixisti. Non verum est. Jucundum est, ut puto.

Lucus wrote:you seem...deeply attached to a few primary sources that do not reflect Classical Latin well at all, but better reflect the Latin spoken in the Late period
Well I did switch to talking about Quintilian and Cicero.
Verti autem ad de Quintiliano Ciceroneque loquendum.

Lucus wrote:You ask me to reconsider the Diomedes quote. I wil quote your excellent translation:
For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'.
What more could one need? M is not pronounced when a vowel follows.
Reread the whole quote. Repeto, totum relegas.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 10:29 pm

You want to hoodwink me, but I won't let you off the hook about Pompeius, who says hiatus is less in "musa habuit" than in "musa amabo".
You said that he was not a credible source because classically there was elision between these words and besides, H was not pronounced in Pompeius's day. I disagreed with you on all counts.


But why is this, good sir, that you should disagree? You act as if you do not know that the pronunciation of 'h' was lost in Greek and in Latin in this time period, for which reason the Romance languages leave 'h' as a silent letter, or drop its writing altogether. Your very name Adrian in place of "Hadrian" is testament to this loss of the 'h' — French, Spanish, and Italian also all lost the sound of 'h', the rough breathing, just as they lost the nasalized vowels marked by final -m in favor of simple vowels.

This is why I question Pompeius. He sounds like he is discordant with the trends of the times. Hence, I accuse him of being hypercorrective, or part of a long train of thought perhaps hundreds of years in length from older, past grammarians that also were hypercorrective.

Will you not admit your initial assessment of Pompeius was wrong on both these matters (regarding the sounding of H and the degree of hiatus)?


Why do you want me to admit to being wrong? Relative "right" and "wrong" do not interest me. I am interested in the truth.
I assure you, of course, amice, that I am unhurt and fully enjoy these romps! Still, I hope a desire to be right is not clouding your judgement, or your enjoyment.

Remember what the Buddha said: "Pain or suffering arises thru desire or craving and that to be free of pain we need to cut the bonds of desire."

;)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 10:34 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:Are you saying that "obeo" would be divided syllabically ob-e-o rather than o-be-o?
Yes, along with the others. Ita est, et cum aliis.


No. This is incorrect. I will cite Donati Ars Grammatica and also Ørberg for reference.

For example, the first line in Ovidii Amores III.2:

Non ego nobilium sedeo studiosus equorum

is divided syllablically in this way:

No-ne-go-no-bi-li-um-se-de-o-stu-di-o-su-se-quo-rum

This is just how it is. If you have it that it must be otherwise, well, heh, that would explain your resistence.

Lucus wrote:You ask me to reconsider the Diomedes quote. I wil quote your excellent translation:
For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'.
What more could one need? M is not pronounced when a vowel follows.
Reread the whole quote. Repeto, totum relegas.


I have, and stand by my reasoning. You better spell it out for me because I'm not getting what you wish me to gather.
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 11:13 pm

Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:Nor do I think that elision was the default option in classical formal pronunciation.

This opinion does not follow from the grand corpus of evidence. Learn Italian, and you will see.

Allen says (p.79) "elision was not invariably the rule in classical times". Does that not fit more with what I was saying and with which you disagreed? Are you beginning to spot that elision and contraction and synizesis are significantly different things, with different implications, I suspect, for whether or not word-ending-M was just an orthographic convention or more accurately signified a sound closer to either M or N.

Quod dicit Allen, nonne simile est cuius dixi et quocum dissedisti? Incipisne nunc videre ut elisio, synizesis, contractio differunt una ex aliâ. Omnis implicationes dissimiles habet, ut suspicor, ad quaestionem utrum M litteram in extremitate dictionis solùm nota orthographica sit, an sonum litteram M vel N continentem accuratiùs significet.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 18, 2008 11:18 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:
adrianus wrote:Nor do I think that elision was the default option in classical formal pronunciation.

This opinion does not follow from the grand corpus of evidence. Learn Italian, and you will see.

Allen says (p.79) "elision was not invariably the rule in classical times".


Right. Variants include synizesis and contraction. NOT hiatus.

Does that not fit more with what I was saying and with which you disagreed?


Well, I believe I used "elision" as a broad term encompassing elision, contraction, synizesis, and in fact any junction of two vowels between words into one syllable. I already admitted to that confusion: "I said the same, I think [as Allen]. If not, then I wasn't being clear. So I clearly state: elision, contraction, and synizesis are the default for Latin, as it is for Italian, for the sake of example."
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Postby adrianus » Sun May 18, 2008 11:22 pm

Lucus wrote:I will cite Donati Ars Grammatica and also Ørberg for reference.
But they are not classical, Luke! At non fontes classici sunt. Jocor! :wink:

And where is the Donatus citation? Ubi sunt verba Donati?

Here's what you don't see in the Diomedes quote. Ecce quod non vides apud Diomedem:

Diomedes, Ars Grammatica, K, i, p.453, wrote: Sunt praeterea pronuntiationis quaedam vitia, quae non nulli barbarismos putant, iotacismi labdacismi myotacismi hiatus conlisiones et omnia quae plus aequo minusve sonantia ab eruditis auribus respuuntur. Haec vitia praelocuti controversiam de nomine pertinacibus relinquimus...Myotacismi quoque sunt cum in fine partis orationis invenitur 'm' littera et incipiat sequens a vocali quae non sit loco consonantis posita. Haec enim scribitur quidem, non autem enuntiantur, ut 'quousque tandem abutere'. Tunc autem pronuntiamus 'm' litteram, cum sequitur vocalis loco consonantis posita, ut est
cum Iuno aeternam s. s. p. v.
distinctio quoque, quae separat verba, ut est
dum corderet urbem
inferretque d. L.
quae pronuntiatio servanda, ne sit barbarismus, non in scriptura sed in sermone, si enuntiata fuerit.



"There are, besides, certain faults of pronunciation, which quite a few consider unseemly (or barbarisms), iotacism, labdacism, myotacism, hiatus, collisio, and all those which sound more or less repellent to the educated ear. [Regarding] the aforementioned faults, we leave arguing about names to the pedants...Myotacism also is when the letter M is found at the end of a word followed by a word beginning with a vowel that cannot take the place of a consonant [i.e., not j or v]. For although it [the M] is written, it is not pronounced, as with 'quousque tandem abutere'. Otherwise, we do pronounce the M when followed by a vowel that can take the place of a consonant [i.e., j or v], such as in 'cum Iuno aeternam' , or also by an expectant pause to separate the words, as in
'...dum corderet urbem
inferretque...'
which if it were to be spoken (not written) so as to preserve pronunciation would not be unpleasant
.

*Nota benè:
Diomedes defines 'distinctio' (K, i, p.437) as "a sign, akin to a dot, of termination of meaning [a full stop] or an expectant pause [comma]".
Diomedes distinctionem definit, ut "apposito puncto nota finiti sensus vel pendentis mora" [note this has the same sense as 'suspensio']
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon May 19, 2008 1:04 am

Yeah, you missed something:

Otherwise, we do pronounce the M when followed by a vowel that can take the place of a consonant [i.e., j or v], such as in 'cum Iuno aeternam'


He says that M is pronounced when it comes before j or v — they aren't vowels, but consonants. They just share the shape of the vowels i and u. Clear now?
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Postby adrianus » Mon May 19, 2008 2:39 am

Lucus Eques wrote:Yeah, you missed something...Clear now?

Of course, Luke, I did propose the quote and translate it, but Diomedes ALSO says that, if you leave an expectant pause between a word-final M and the next vowel (not J or V) the M can INDEED be sounded before that vowel (not J or V) and everything sounds hunky-dorey. He gives as his example the two words 'urbem inferretque" which belong together but have a little pause between because of their occurrence straddling two lines of verse. Here the M is between E and I (not J) and is sounded.

Lucus wrote:But why is this, good sir, that you should disagree? You act as if you do not know that the pronunciation of 'h' was lost in Greek and in Latin in this time period, for which reason the Romance languages leave 'h' as a silent letter, or drop its writing altogether...This is why I question Pompeius. He sounds like he is discordant with the trends of the times. Hence, I accuse him of being hypercorrective, or part of a long train of thought perhaps hundreds of years in length from older, past grammarians that also were hypercorrective.

As you are, good sir ("part of a long train of thought...from older, past grammarians", that is)! I suspect your opinion about 'h' relies on Herman (Vulgar Latin, Ch.4, Phonetic Evolution, 2. Consonants, pp.38,39). A closer reading of Vox Latina would persuade you that Pompeius is wholly trustworthy.
Ut tu es, bone vir! Sententia tua, ut suspicor, authori Herman operi (nomine Vulgar Latin) confidat. Accuratiùs Vox Latina legito et Pompeium solidè credibilem esse persuadeberis.
Allen, Vox Latina, pp.44,45 wrote:In the Romance languages there is no longer any sign of h whatever...But we may be sure that the writing and pronunciation of h continued for a long time to be taught in the schools and cultivated in polite society—as St Augustine complains [Conf., i, 18]: 'uide, domine...quomodo diligenter obseruant filii hominum pacta litterarum et syllabarum accepta a prioribus locutoribus...; ut qui illa sonorum uetera placita teneat aut doceat, si contra disciplinam grammaticam sine adspiratione primae syllabae ominem dixit, displiceat magis hominibus quam si contra tua praecepta hominem oderit.' (pp.44,45)

Best to read all. Meliùs legere in toto.
Sancti Aureli Augustini Confessiones, 1.18.29 wrote:Vide domine deus, et patienter, ut uides, uide, quomodo diligenter obseruent filii hominum pacta litterarum et syllabarum accepta a prioribus locutoribus et a te accepta aeterna pacta perpetuae salutis neglegant, ut qui illa sonorum uetera placita teneat aut doceat, si contra disciplinam grammaticam sine aspiratione primae syllabae hominem dixerit, magis displiceat hominibus, quam si contra tua praecepta homine oderit, cum sit homo. Quasi uero quemlibet inimicum hominem perniciosius sentiat quam ipsum odium, quo in eum inritatur, aut uastet quisquam persequendo alium grauius, quam cor suum uastat inimicando. Et certe non est interior litterarum scientia quam scripta conscientia, id se alteri facere quod nolit pati. Quam tu secretus es, habitans in excelsis in silentio, deus solus magnus, lege infatigabili spargens poenales caecitates supra inlicitas cupiditates, cum homo eloquentiae famam quaeritans ante hominem iudicem circumstante hominum multitudine inimicum suum odio immanissimo insectans uigilantissime cauet, ne per linguae errorem dicat: inter hominibus, et ne per mentis furorem hominem auferat ex hominibus, non cauet.

Augustine, Confessions, 1.18.29 http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/augustine/Pusey/book01 wrote:Behold, O Lord God, yea, behold patiently as Thou art wont how carefully the sons of men observe the covenanted rules of letters and syllables received from those who spake before them, neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee. Insomuch, that a teacher or learner of the hereditary laws of pronunciation will more offend men by speaking without the aspirate, of a "uman being," in despite of the laws of grammar, than if he, a "human being," hate a "human being" in despite of Thine. As if any enemy could be more hurtful than the hatred with which he is incensed against him; or could wound more deeply him whom he persecutes, than he wounds his own soul by his enmity. Assuredly no science of letters can be so innate as the record of conscience, "that he is doing to another
what from another he would be loth to suffer." How deep are Thy ways, O God, Thou only great, that sittest silent on high and by an unwearied law dispensing penal blindness to lawless desires. In quest of the fame of eloquence, a man standing before a human judge, surrounded by a human throng, declaiming against his enemy with fiercest hatred, will take heed most watchfully, lest, by an error of the tongue, he murder the word "human being"; but takes no heed, lest, through the fury of his spirit, he murder the real human being.

Post scriptum
It is not being HYPERCORRECTIVE to put a H where it is supposed to be. It is hypercorrect to put a H which it isn't supposed to be but it SOUNDS like it could be, if one didn't know any better. Writing 'hominem' is not hypercorrective, nor is pronouncing it. Hypercorrective it is to say or write 'hinsidias' for 'insidias' (Allen, Vox, p.44).
Hypercorrigendum vitium non est si H litteram dignè ponitur, ut vides cum "hominem", sed indignè, sicut 'hinsidias' pro 'insidias'.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon May 19, 2008 3:21 am

But if the 'h' of Pompeius were a normal Classical Latin aspiration on the vowel, why should "Musa amavit" be any different from "Musa habuit" with a hiatus? It shouldn't be. This is not made clear from the primary source. It appears that his 'h' may be pronounced with too much force.

Altho this is wandering into the realm of opinion.
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Postby Amadeus » Mon May 19, 2008 3:48 am

This has all been very interesting. Definitely a good exercise for the mind. Now, I've tried to follow the reasoning up til now, but I have a few questions I'd like to ask:

Who or what determines a usage in Latin to be correct or incorrrect? Do late grammarians such as Quintilian or Priscian count as authorities? Are poets of equal authority as grammarians? Is usage rather the standard? If so, is it all relative or does one usage (e.g. in the Classical era) determine all others?

If we are to take usage as that which determines what is correct or incorrect within a specific time frame, then I would think that writing and pronouncing the "h" in times of St. Augustine is, in fact, hypercorrection. ¿No? If, on the other hand, grammarians are to be our guides, do we have such authorities for every major era of the Latin language or just the late period?

These questions came to mind when reading all the arguments in this thread, and I believe go to the heart of the issue. Anyone cares to address at least one of them, especially the first? :P
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.
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Postby adrianus » Mon May 19, 2008 10:25 am

Lucus, who believes there in truth in this matter, imagines there to be a correct way of speaking Latin, and it is the classical way. This is what all the grammarians believed. That is why they more or less all say the same thing and appeal to the same authorities. That is why, if you carefully examine what each says about myotacism and hiatus, for example, you will see that Priscian, Diomedes, Servius, Consentius, Longus, Donatus and Quintilian (who is definitely classical period, by the way), all agree about what the issues are, and their written sources on this overlap and go back to the Greeks and Isocrates (436-338 BCE) on this. You can also see one using the other as an authority, chronologically. In a sense, you cannot say any one of them is an authority on Roman speech generally (I mean vulgar Latin in particular), because they are all teaching grammar and polite pronunciation for their own day, but they are still teaching with reference to classical written sources. That means they are teaching a recommended style of pronunciation and, on many counts that differs from vulgar Latin and all its varieties. Generally, they themselves are reading from the same authorities, but you will notice, also, that it is possible to take a slightly different position on the various solutions to the issues, --for example Quintilian's position on hiatus (1st century CE) differs slightly from Cicero's (Ist century BCE).

Language is a form of of communication open to all, and because open to all, it evolves and hybridizes over time in a Darwinian fashion, more markedly in pronunciation usually than in grammar. Scholastic effort, driven by the authority of the written word, was to keep one variety, standard Latin, alive for a very long time. Scholarship also, however, has permeable boundaries and, to an extent, the scholastic search for truth is influenced by its environment, including political influence and regional variations in languages outside of Latin and in vulgar Latin. The consequence is that elements of taught pronunciation, even in the tradition of scholastic Latin, did change over time, to the point where standardization in pronunciation of Latin was called for under Charlemagne (747-814 CE), so great had become the different regional styles of pronouncing 'standard' Latin.

In answer to your first question, the text determines authority in the scholastic tradition,--the more ancient the text the more authoritative, and the more authoritative a text's written sources of reference, the more authoritative that text becomes. Also in certain areas there was a pecking order (more expressed within the scholastic tradition as time went on), with Hebrew biblical sources having precedence over Greek and then Latin before everything else in terms of linguistic 'perfection'. What complicates things is that, even within the scholastic tradition authorities can either contradict each other or not be clear about questionable matters. Another complication is that transmitted texts can be lost or subject to variation as a result of either human error or the effects of translation from one language into another,--some translators are better than others, after all, and some scholars are better than others, too! Outside of the scholastic tradition, practice governs what is correct usage or not, backed up by political and economic power or by the promise of it (by need or by fear, in other words).

My preference is for exploring diversity of practice both outside and inside the schools and to look for the reasons for change and difference. I believe in the need to seek simplicity in a complicated world in order to achieve personal well-being, but I also believe it IS a complicated world and that opinion and practice vary and will always vary, and that appreciating how diverse things are is essential to appreciating the power of simplicity. I suspect Lucus and I have similar ends. I would not describe mine as 'Truth', though, but I do suspect they are similar. Certainly, we love discourse. And we go about achieving our ends differently, with different assumptions and background experiences, --which is to be celebrated, I believe. That doesn't, of course, let either of us off the hook in terms of being mistaken about particulars and using language ourselves in muddled ways in the games we play.

Your question about the poets is an exciting one, Amadeus. What the grammarians say about language in poetry is very pertinent to the current discussion and goes to the heart indeed of differences expressed above between Lucus and me. Too important to deal with quickly. I should think long and hard about that and read much more before I try to give my response, because my own feelings on this are more intuitive and based on skimmed reading of the grammarians, --searching for what I hope to find rather than for what is there. Obviously, I would love to play the fool on this topic but give me time to get into costume and into character.
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Postby adrianus » Mon May 19, 2008 12:05 pm

Lucus wrote:But if the 'h' of Pompeius were a normal Classical Latin aspiration on the vowel, why should "Musa amavit" be any different from "Musa habuit" with a hiatus? It shouldn't be. This is not made clear from the primary source. It appears that his 'h' may be pronounced with too much force.
Unless you are looking at the source, you can't say the source is unclear. Best to say the selected quote is unclear, if you think so.
Nisi ad manum fons primarius tibi est, non debes dicere eum de hac re obscurum esse. Meliùs dicere verba citata obscura esse, si sic quidem putes.

The purpose of hiatus is to express clearly the word break between words ending and beginning with vowels. The problem with hiatus is that it breaks the flow of natural speech slightly inelegantly. Now, as long as 'h' is audibly discernable in 'musa habuit', where the first word ends and the second begins will thereby be discernable, so the need for hiatus is lessened, i.e., a lesser hiatus is required to facilitate understanding. You do not need excessive force on the H to achieve that, and Pompeius does not imply anywhere that you do.

Ponitur hiatus inter dictiones ut interstitium inter dictiones vocalibus terminantes incipientesque intellegitur. Vitium esse habitur cum facit hiatus ut dictiones non eleganter fluunt. Litterâ H in 'musa habuit' intellectâ, eo modo distinctio inter dictiones confirmatur et opus hiatum habendo diminuitur, id est, intellectus hiatum breviorem requiret. Non opus est magnus spiritus ut hoc proficias, nec Pomeius id usquam suadet.
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Postby adrianus » Tue May 20, 2008 11:12 am

Lucus Eques wrote:
adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:Are you saying that "obeo" would be divided syllabically ob-e-o rather than o-be-o?
Yes, along with the others. Ita est, et cum aliis.
No. This is incorrect. I will cite Donati Ars Grammatica and also Ørberg for reference...This is just how it is. If you have it that it must be otherwise, well, heh, that would explain your resistence.

Concerning elision et syllable division in English and Latin.
De elisio et dictionum divisione in syllabas Latinè et Anglicé.


Adam, The Rudiments of Latin Grammar (1814), p.7, wrote: Compound words should be divided into the parts of which they are made up ; as, up-on, with-out, &c, and so in Latin words, ab-utor, in-ers, propter-ea, et-enim, &c. In like manner, when a syllable is added in the formation of the English verb; as, lov-ed, lov-ing, lov-eth, will-ing, &c.
Professor Higgins would agree wholeheartedly!! Corde cum consilio hoc concurrat Professor Henricus Higgins!!

Allen & Greenough, New Latin Grammar, §606c, p.405, wrote: Compounds retain the quantity of the words which compose them: as, oc-cido (cado), oc-cido (caedo), in-iquus (aequus).

http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Latin/ ... ccent.html wrote:They elaborated several major rules about the syllables:...5. The compound words are divided according to their elements: dis | tribuo, trans | eo etc.

I believe, though, I'm wholly wrong about compounds with the preposition "ex", because 'x' strictly represents the sounds of two letters (Allen & Greenough say ks, cs, gs, hs, even chs in Greek)
Perperàm autem adusque de verbis compositis cum "ex" praepositione dixi, ut opinor, quià 'x' littera rectè duarum sonos litterarum habet (utrum 'ks', an 'cs', an 'gs', an 'hs', an 'chs', apud Lewis atque Short)

[Nota benè
What I said above about Hebrew above Greek in the textual scholastic pecking order only applies in the Christian period, of course. That historical Greek texts outranked Latin modern ones in the classical period was an acknowledgement only grudgingly given by some, and not at all given by others, outside the schools.

Certè, quod suprà dixi de scriptis Hebraeis, quae opera Graeca superabant, solùm ad aevum Christianum pertinet. Non nulli quoque extrà scholas aevo classico qui vel aemulè vel nullo modò scriptores Graecos antiquos in philologiâ Romanis modernis superiores habebant.]
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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue May 20, 2008 2:38 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus Eques wrote:
adrianus wrote:
Lucus wrote:Are you saying that "obeo" would be divided syllabically ob-e-o rather than o-be-o?
Yes, along with the others. Ita est, et cum aliis.
No. This is incorrect. I will cite Donati Ars Grammatica and also Ørberg for reference...This is just how it is. If you have it that it must be otherwise, well, heh, that would explain your resistence.

Concerning elision et syllable division in English and Latin.
De elisio et dictionum divisione in syllabas Latinè et Anglicé.


Adam, The Rudiments of Latin Grammar (1814), p.7, wrote: Compound words should be divided into the parts of which they are made up ; as, up-on, with-out, &c, and so in Latin words, ab-utor, in-ers, propter-ea, et-enim, &c. In like manner, when a syllable is added in the formation of the English verb; as, lov-ed, lov-ing, lov-eth, will-ing, &c.
Professor Higgins would agree wholeheartedly!! Corde cum consilio hoc concurrat Professor Henricus Higgins!!

Allen & Greenough, New Latin Grammar, §606c, p.405, wrote: Compounds retain the quantity of the words which compose them: as, oc-cido (cado), oc-cido (caedo), in-iquus (aequus).

http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Latin/ ... ccent.html wrote:They elaborated several major rules about the syllables:...5. The compound words are divided according to their elements: dis | tribuo, trans | eo etc.

I believe, though, I'm wholly wrong about compounds with the preposition "ex", because 'x' strictly represents the sounds of two letters (Allen & Greenough say ks, cs, gs, hs, even chs in Greek)
Perperàm autem adusque de verbis compositis cum "ex" praepositione dixi, ut opinor, quià 'x' littera rectè duarum sonos litterarum habet (utrum 'ks', an 'cs', an 'gs', an 'hs', an 'chs', apud Lewis atque Short)

[Nota benè
What I said above about Hebrew above Greek in the textual scholastic pecking order only applies in the Christian period, of course. That historical Greek texts outranked Latin modern ones in the classical period was an acknowledgement only grudgingly given by some, and not at all given by others, outside the schools.

Certè, quod suprà dixi de scriptis Hebraeis, quae opera Graeca superabant, solùm ad aevum Christianum pertinet. Non nulli quoque extrà scholas aevo classico qui vel aemulè vel nullo modò scriptores Graecos antiquos in philologiâ Romanis modernis superiores habebant.]


Adrian my friend, you act as if you know nothing about Latin poetry and scansion (or Greek for that matter — maybe you just haven't gotten around to studying them yet). This is the most fundamental part: knowing where syllables begin and end. When you know the beginning and end of a syllable, you know if a syllable is long or short. If a syllable ends in a consonant, it is long. If it ends in a vowel, it may be short, unless the vowel is long, in which case it is long. It is mere convention, but the selfsame convention exsists in singing (for example if you look at the score to, say, the score to The Marriage of Figaro, you will see the very same syllabary), but I urge you to understand this convention.

The other convention you are noting, and confusing for pronunciation, is that found in dictionaries and other reference or didactic tools, whereby the elements are divided to demonstrate to the learner etymology. But that has no relevance on pronunciation, or syllable division in poetry.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue May 20, 2008 2:58 pm

Amadeus wrote:Who or what determines a usage in Latin to be correct or incorrrect?


I am uneasy declaring a Latin usage to be "correct" or "incorrect" — the only thing I've called "incorrect" was Adrian's syllable division in pronunciation. It's extremely relative, and ultimately all changes thru time and variations in pronunciation are relevant, even "correct." The proper context is what needs to be addressed. So, any Latin speaker, in his own context, at that moment, is in a state of relative truth. It depends what scope you are gazing thru: is it all Latin ever? Is it Classical Latin as we accept its convention ancient and modern? Is it Late Latin? That will define your boundaries of "correct" and "incorrect" — or, better, "conventional" and "unconventional."



If we are to take usage as that which determines what is correct or incorrect within a specific time frame, then I would think that writing and pronouncing the "h" in times of St. Augustine is, in fact, hypercorrection. ¿No? If, on the other hand, grammarians are to be our guides, do we have such authorities for every major era of the Latin language or just the late period?


It definitely seems unconventional. :) It would be counter to the contemporary vulgar Latin.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue May 20, 2008 3:07 pm

adrianus wrote:Lucus, who believes there in truth in this matter, imagines there to be a correct way of speaking Latin, and it is the classical way.


Well that's blatantly untrue! I'll speak for myself, thank you. ;) (I find it amusing that Adrian has pinned me down and identified me with a position that is quite contrary to my point of view — it explains his vehemence!) The absolute truth, that is to say, the neutral fact is that sounds have been uttered and their pronunciations recorded over thousands of years by Romans and their posterity. Any subset standard of those is merely that, and cannot be said to be more "correct" or less. I have, however, emphasized the convention of Classical Latin, since it is the Latin standard, as it was to the ancient grammarians, as Adrian notes, and is also the standard today. So when one asks, "how was/is final -m pronounced?" I respond according to the Classical Latin convention that is hodiern and ancient.
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Postby adrianus » Tue May 20, 2008 7:10 pm

Lucus wrote:(I find it amusing that Adrian has pinned me down and identified me with a position that is quite contrary to my point of view — it explains his vehemence!) The absolute truth, that is to say, the neutral fact is that sounds have been uttered and their pronunciations recorded over thousands of years by Romans and their posterity. Any subset standard of those is merely that, and cannot be said to be more "correct" or less.

I can only apologize to you, Luke, if you have changed your mind on this since the time we debated in November. Then, you would not retract the statement that the pronunciation of the Nuntii Latini broadcasters was "in error". I take it that you have retracted, in which case I state publicly, as I agreed I would, "I sound like William Shakespeare". :D (See "pronunciation used at LATINUM PODCAST", http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... c&start=20 in which we also debated about 'elision'.)

De hac re, si sententiam permutavisti cùm mense novembris disputavimus, meam culpam purgo. Eo tempore, tua verba recantare pronuntiationem nuntiatorum Nuntiorum Latiniorum in errorem esse non te volebas. Credo te recantavisse; ideò, ut sic facere polliticus sum, publicè declaro, "Shakespearis similis pronuntiatio mea". :D

By the way, that's the third time you have accused me of motives that I don't feel at all. Unless I put 'smilies' all over the place, how can I persuade you that I am not seething with "vehemence", or "wrapped up", or "emotionally invested" or "deeply attached" to certain sources? :D I think you're a lovely, smart fellow, Luke, but if I were to suggest that you were the one feeling those emotions and you were not, would you not be surprised? I enjoy arguing with you. I would be loathe to stop. I thought you got my sense of humour and mischief or kidding.

Ter me accusavisti, obiter, affectiones habendi quas non habeo, ut acritas, obsessio, largè affectus et fontibus aliquibus perafficticius esse, Quomodò te suadeam aliter, nisi ubiquaque notas subridentes ponam? :D Te amabilem doctumque esse puto, Luce. Si tales sententias te habere accusavero cum non habueris, nonne perturbatus sis? Tecum ratiocinari me placet. Desinare nolim. Credidi ut jocos et ludos vel facinora meos intellexisti.
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