Textkit Logo

Newbie pronunciation question, "i consonant"

Are you learning Latin with D'Ooge's Beginners Latin Book? Here's where you can meet other learners using this textbook. Use this board to ask questions and post your work for feedback and comments from others.

Newbie pronunciation question, "i consonant"

Postby hanelse » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:27 pm

Hi all,

I am just starting Latin For Beginners, and I already have a question about pronunciation. The book states that "i" before another vowel in the same syllable is considered a consonant, i consonant, and has the sound of "y" as in yes. So am I correct in thinking that in the word "iam" the "i" is not considered a consonant and has the sound of short i, because the "i" is a syllable apart from the "am"? I think I understand most of the other rules of pronunciation, but I want to confirm this one.

Thanks in advance for any help offered,

Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: United States southeast

Postby Turpissimus » Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:09 pm

So am I correct in thinking that in the word "iam" the "i" is not considered a consonant and has the sound of short i, because the "i" is a syllable apart from the "am"?

Initial and intervocalic (between two vowels) i is a consonant. So iam has one syllable.

Otherwise, i is a vowel except when it's the first letter of the second part of a compound. Clarior has three syllables. coniuro has three also.
User avatar
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Romford

Postby Kerastes » Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:46 am

Turpissimus is correct. Iam has one syllable. This is why I advocate using "j" to represent consonantal "i", as was commonly done earlier in the last century, in the Collar and Daniels beginner book, and in the Bennett grammar. Think about it, why should "v" be used for consonantal "u" but not "j" for consonantal "i"? The inconsistency is annoying.

Kerastes the Opinionated
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 9:16 pm
Location: Rantoul, IL USA

Postby benissimus » Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:26 am

I find that inconsistency somewhat annoying as well, but I would rather throw out the forms for both consonantal I and consonantal U than re-adopt J. I suppose the rationale for our modern inconsistency is that the rules for when to pronounce I as a consonant are fairly regular (consonantal when between vowels or at the beginning of a word and followed by a vowel), but sometimes it is hard to tell when U is consonantal (in a series of U's and other vowels it can be difficult to tell which are consonantal and which vocalic, or if the U makes a diphthong or is pronounced as a consonant).
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
Global Moderator
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Return to Latin For Beginners by D'Ooge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests