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Salvete! — And a question.

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Salvete! — And a question.

Postby Vardigon » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:31 am

Hello there everyone :). Just posting to say Hi for the first time. I'm just beginning the study of Latin (using Wheelock's 6e, revised, but I also plan on getting M&F sometime in the future), and I have a question on classical Latin pronunciation. Especially in reference to one of the audio examples on the Wheelock's Latin site in the alphabet. How exactly do you pronounce Ÿ Graeca? I haven't been able to understand the tone exactly (and it has been driving me up the wall a bit). Another example was provided with the pronunciation of the word "Dionÿsius" -- which was still a bit unclear. I thought about What the word y graeca meant, greek u, and listened to it again. It sort of seems like a gutteral/back-of-the-throat/maybe nasal oo sound, with a hint of a y at the beginning. Any help on this? (I might be wrong to be fidgeting so much over a pronunciation like this -- being that Latin is ancient and we supposedly might not know how it's all pronounced, or so I've heard, but anyway.)

*AHEM* Aside from that long question, some personal info. I'm a nineteen year old guy who lives on the Eastern seaboard of the US. :) I'm interested in languages (just for the heck of it, for one -- I love how words roll on the tongue), and also because I like to see ideas that classical authors had to offer. There's a lot of wisdom in the Ancients, I believe. Most probably a heap more than 90% of the books and print media out there today. One thing I need to do to encourage the interest though, is not spend as much time playing text games on the 'net and wasting time on black holes like Youtube, etc. (:oops:) But that's all in a day's work.

If anyone's interested, I'd be delighted to chat it up with anyone on the forum some time through IM or other means. (What else does a guy my age have to do? Besides school and such, though I took a break off this semester.)
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Postby timeodanaos » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:10 am

Welcome to textkit!

as to your question, see this quote from Wikipedia's article on latin prunciation: y was used in Greek loanwords with upsilon (Ï’Ï… /y/). Latin originally had no close front rounded vowel, and speakers tended to pronounce such loanwords as /u/ (in archaic Latin) or /i/ (in classical and late Latin) if they were unable to produce [y]. [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_pronunciation#Vowels

A learned Roman should be able, however, to pronounce every sound in Attic Greek:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_front_rounded_vowel Here is a sound sample and a description. I haven't checked it out, but I'm sure it's fine.
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Postby Vardigon » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:55 am

Hehe. I listened to both the close front rounded and unrounded vowel sounds. They were both very distinct. In actual usage though, they can seem somewhat similar. When I think about it, it's the difference between a straight long Ä« sound and the sound/word "euh" that the French use in place of "Um."
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:19 pm

Welcome to Textkit - glad you joined us.

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