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Pronoucing "ae"

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Pronoucing "ae"

Postby NaughtiusMaximus » Thu Feb 20, 2003 1:58 pm

Hi all. Novice here.<br /><br />I found that in the downloadable books available here (such as "Latin for Beginners"), the pronouciation for "ae" is usually "ai, as in island, aisle, etc. However, in the latin radio broadcast (http://www.yle.fi/fbc/latini/trans.html with transcript), "ae" is pronounced "eh", which is often what I hear in movies, etc. Did I interpret the instruction in the books incorrectly, or is this just a difference in pronouciation bewteen the Roman Latin and modern Latin?<br /><br />Just curious.<br /><br />
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Re:Pronoucing "ae"

Postby sarkikos » Sat Mar 01, 2003 2:56 pm

You interpreted the instructions in the downloadable books correctly. In Classical Latin "ae" is pronounced as the "i" in "island." In postclassical Latin "ae" began to be pronounced as "eh." Unless you are in a situation in which Church Latin is appropriate, you really should stick with the Classical Latin pronunciation as given in the books on this site. Actually, for consistency, I always use the Classical Latin pronunciation, which is fine, since I would probably never be in a situation in which Church Latin would be appropriate. :)
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Re:Pronoucing "ae"

Postby klwps » Sun Mar 16, 2003 6:46 pm

Don't forget that there are regional variations on pronouncing Classical Languages such as Latin. For instance, my Italian friend tells me that they are taught to pronounce Latin in a similar manner to Italian. In contrast to this, there are several English pronunciations of the Latin such as the Ee-nead, rather than Aenead. But my vote definitely goes to sticking with the Classical Latin pronunciation per Allen and Greenough's "New Latin Grammar," or till some scholar offers a better argument. Vale.
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Re:Pronoucing "ae"

Postby vinobrien » Mon Mar 17, 2003 11:37 am

if you really want to get to grips with this one, read Sidney Allen's Vox Latina. His Vox Graeca explains the mysteries of Greek pronunciation with equal tenacity.
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Re:Pronoucing "ae"

Postby Elucubrator » Sun Apr 20, 2003 11:47 pm

Amen brother Vincent!<br /><br />W. Sydney Allen is the best thing to recommend in these matters. I would suggest people aim for a Classical pronunciation when reading classical Latin, and the Church pronunciation when reading Church Latin. But never as the Italians do pronouncing Classical Latin as they pronounce Italian. It can obscure some of the poetic, rhythmic, and musical effects that may have been intended by the poet. <br /><br />The same goes for the pronouncing Ancient Greek as if it were modern Greek, I don't understand why people do this. I think it is as foolish as Winston Churchill insisting on pronouncing every language as if it were English; he must have been completely deaf to poetry in any other language.<br /><br />Check Sydney Allen for both pronunciation of Ancient Greek, and Latin in his books: Vox Latina, and Vox Graeca. <br /><br />Fratres<br />Pax vobiscum <br />in nomine patris<br />et filii et spiritus sancti<br />et Sydni Alleni,<br /><br />Aaaaaa meeeeeen! :)
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