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Latin Syllables - check my syllabification

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Latin Syllables - check my syllabification

Postby Boban » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:25 pm

I have done syllabification but I need confirmation that is done right:

splendidus - splen-di-dus
candidus - can-di-dus
moneo - mo-ne-o
militia - mi-li-ti-a
saluber - sa-lu-ber
maiores - ma-i-o-res
proelium - proe-li-um
pulcher - pul-cher
pulchrorum - pul-chro-rum
aër - aër
aes - aes
modo - mo-do
caecus - cae-cus
seu - seu
aut - aut
fortitudo - for-ti-tu-do
geographia - geo-gra-phi-a
symmetria - sym-me-tri-a
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Re: Latin Syllables - check my syllabification

Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:17 pm

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Re: Latin Syllables - check my syllabification

Postby Boban » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:16 pm

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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:23 pm

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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:17 am

Lucus Eques wrote:Let this demonstrate to all the advantages of writing 'j' in addition to 'v' for consonantal 'i' and 'u', respectively. Had the text with which Boban was conferring written the 'j', there would have been no unnecessary confusion.
I couldn't agree more, Lucus.
Prorsùs, Luce, tecum concino.
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Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:33 am

Bah! When has convenience ever outweighed the golden juggernaut of orthographical convention?
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:02 am

Twpsyn wrote:Bah! When has convenience ever outweighed the golden juggernaut of orthographical convention?


Mm, but were they not commonly the same once? Could they be again?

Are they already :?:
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:53 am

Twpsyn wrote:Bah! When has convenience ever outweighed the golden juggernaut of orthographical convention?

Actually, every time there has been an imposed spelling reform. Haven't there been quite a few in the last few thousand years? What's convenience to one might be inconvenient to another, though. But it definitely benefits you if you're the one who runs the juggernaut, which is what Lucus is driving at, I think.
Certó, verum est omne occasione ubi orthographia correcta est, ut millenniis proximis frequenter accidit. Quamvis non omnes eadem mirantur amantque. Ut insinuat autem Lucus, meliùs semper illi qui Goliath gubernat.
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Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:39 am

adrianus wrote:What's convenience to one might be inconvenient to another, though.


Exactly my point! It is inconvenient for me to spell Latin some new way, regardless of how convenient novices might find it for the distinction between /i/ and /j/ to be represented in the orthography. It will, however, be inconvenient for those same novices when, (having leaned on the crutch of j-and-i all through their studenthood, perhaps never really understanding the relationship between the two sounds) as they crack the covers of a Latin text, they will be distracted and confused by the lack-of-j that has been popular, if not logical, for the last few hundred years. Especially for the study of something like Latin, which involves so much reading of that which is old, suggesting adherence to a single standard, especially one that is not fully or even commonly represented in the corpus of study, is likely to be counterproductive.

As far as chatting on internet fora in Latin goes, however, you, as an experienced Latinist with, no doubt, wads of Indo-European historical linguistics under your belt, can spell things however you wish — as can I. De gustibus non disputandum, after all.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:57 am

I see your point, Twpsyn, on 'j' acting like a crutch, and then when a student reads texts without them he might be somewhat bewildered.

But what if I wrote, as was the custom in Middle English, ioyous, iolly, Dwight and Iim, or Iack of All Trades; Truth and Iustice in the court, where coniecture is not deemed evidence, or iabber on for a iaunt, or iust a iourney in Iuly. I think the reader would make the transition rather easily. And would know these are consonants — and not vowels.
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:10 am

Well, I love your point and how you make it, Twpsyn. However, I think that "so much reading of that which is old" will be different for future generations, and machine-readable texts require the adjustments we're talking about. I'm designing synthetic voices for machine-readable Latin texts and it's what I need, anyway.
(You're teasing me with the "experienced Latinist". I'm late into Latin and compose hesitatingly.)

Scrupulum tuum, Twpsyn, admiror et quomodò enuntiatum. Ut opinor autem, generationes dehinc aliter legabunt quanta vetusta quae legenda sunt. Scripta accomodata ut dicamus requirent quae instrumentis legi possunt. Ego ipse saltem talia advoco qui voces syntheticas fingo, latinè legere atque loqui capaces.
(Tu me ludis cum peritum latinistam dicis. Pauculos annos linguam disco et cunctanter locos adhuc compono.)


And I love your point and how you make it, Lucus.
Scrupulum tuum, Luce, etiam admiror et quomodò enuntiatum.
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Postby Essorant » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:48 am

The consonantal quality of the semi-vowels usually happens so naturally and is so easy to understand that I don't see why people think it should be spelt differently.

<pre></pre>
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:40 am

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Postby Essorant » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:06 am

Lucus,

Why not just use a diaeresis?

<b>iämbus, Iäson, iëns</b>

I think it goes too far to spell the majority with j instead of i, just to indicate that the i is pronounced seperately in a small minority.<pre></pre>
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:27 pm

In manuscript writing of the Middle ages, the marks 'i' and 'j' were interchangeable, albeit in a different convention (nothing to do with consonantal 'i'). Scribes would often chose to write an initial 'i' as a 'j' in a word or a final 'i' as a 'j' in numbering, as in 'iij' = 3.

Caligraphiâ medio aetate, 'i' et 'j' signa inter se commutare poterant, etsi alio conventu (quod 'i' consonantem non videt). Saepè in dictionibus scriptor 'i' initiantem cum 'j' scribere optaverit, vel in numeris 'i' terminantem cum 'j', ut 'iij' pro 3.

I know Lucus will reply to you, Essorant.
Certò Lucus, Essorant, te resequetur.
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Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:33 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Truth and Iustice in the court, where coniecture is not deemed evidence, or iabber on for a iaunt, or iust a iourney in Iuly. I think the reader would make the transition rather easily. And would know these are consonants — and not vowels.


The pragmatic difference is that for most users of it, Latin is an unfamiliar language, and it's harder to do the mental arithmetic for converting one spelling to another, especially when one has parsing the sentence on one's brain. The linguistic difference is that the phonological relationship in Latin between /i/ and /j/ is much closer than that in English between /i/ and /dÊ’/ (the two letters represented by <i> and <i> in that old-style fashion).

Now, about the scansion. As you point out below,

Lavinjaque venit litora


is an abnormality. But it is for that very reason that we ought not mark it, since it is apt later to trip up an inexperienced scanner who assumes that the word Lavinia, and words of similar form, always make their prevocalic is into glides. Anyone who is proficient at scansion must, by necessity, be conversant enough with Latin word-forms, and know vowel quantities well enough, to render orthographical hand-holding of this nature superfluous. If they do need help with such things, then they're not ready to scan well; and changing the spelling of abnormal forms to reflect their abnormality will only confuse them when they see the normal, fully-syllabled form later, be it in poetry (where their misconception will make them scan wrong, alas!) or in prose (where they will pronounce the word wrong).

In summary: I don't care how you write, and I hope you don't care how I do. But let's expose those more inexperienced with Latin to every convention that they are likely to encounter, rather than grasping at one and pretending that the others don't exist. (Actually, it was I, not you, who introduced the subject of pedagogy into this, and I apologize for shifting the subject to something different though related.)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:52 pm

Essorant wrote:Lucus,

Why not just use a diaeresis?

<b>iämbus, Iäson, iëns</b>

I think it goes too far to spell the majority with j instead of i, just to indicate that the i is pronounced seperately in a small minority.<pre></pre>


So you'd rather use a complex diacritical mark that obscures the ability even then to place a long mark over the vowel, as is necessary in the latter two cases?

Moreover, a diaeresis is used for indicating vowels that do not make a diphthong, rather than for telling us that a vowel is not a consonant. That's a misuse of the diaeresis.

As for "going to far," can you explain then why the Renaissance to 19th century convention of using 'j' and 'v' had been in majority practice for so long? How can you justify placing 'v' as not "going too far" ? Or do you opt for u/i universally?

You can respond too, Adrian. ;)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:04 pm

Twpsyn wrote:
Lucus Eques wrote:Truth and Iustice in the court, where coniecture is not deemed evidence, or iabber on for a iaunt, or iust a iourney in Iuly. I think the reader would make the transition rather easily. And would know these are consonants — and not vowels.


The pragmatic difference is that for most users of it, Latin is an unfamiliar language, and it's harder to do the mental arithmetic for converting one spelling to another, especially when one has parsing the sentence on one's brain.


Heh, well if you're being taught parsing as primary then you're already going to have a hard time enough to render the rest of this irrelevant.

The linguistic difference is that the phonological relationship in Latin between /i/ and /j/ is much closer than that in English between /i/ and /dÊ’/ (the two letters represented by <i> and <i> in that old-style fashion).


This would make it easier to acquire, not harder.

Now, about the scansion. As you point out below,

Lavinjaque venit litora


is an abnormality. But it is for that very reason that we ought not mark it, since it is apt later to trip up an inexperienced scanner who assumes that the word Lavinia, and words of similar form, always make their prevocalic is into glides.


And why would that happen? Why would this be so when the student ought already to know exactly who Lavinia was?
Heh, and surely the student up to this point would be pronouncing "patria" with three syllables and not gliding two, and familia with four not three. It's an obvious irregularity, when spelled with a 'j' — but a damned mystery (as it was to me for some time) for those who already know hexametre and find themselves befuddled with no 'j'. And in the very next line of the Vergil stands "Italiam" — not "Italjam" — thus the student assumes nothing, and learns everything.[/quote]
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Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:31 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Heh, well if you're being taught parsing as primary then you're already going to have a hard time enough to render the rest of this irrelevant.


Perhaps you mean something different by 'parse' than I do. I meant 'parse' as in 'work out the meaning of a text'.

The linguistic difference is that the phonological relationship in Latin between /i/ and /j/ is much closer than that in English between /i/ and /dÊ’/ (the two letters represented by <i> and <i> in that old-style fashion).

This would make it easier to acquire, not harder.


Would make what easier to acquire? A knowledge of Latin phonology? Well, that depends on the student. A conversance with Latin orthographical conventions? No, because you're ignoring half of them. A good Roman accent? No, only talent and practice can do that.

And why would that happen? Why would this be so when the student ought already to know exactly who Lavinia was?


You mean where Lavinium was. Anyway, your point that the average student will be used to -i + vowel endings as disyllabic is taken. Still, it all comes back to being conversant with the Latin orthography that is common in texts, and as of the 21st century, just about everyone, in my experience, dispenses with the j. As I said above, for a scanner of reasonable ability irregularities like this are no problem, because they are run-of-the-mill and because the rhythm of the metre should guide them. For novice scanners, I would argue that keeping the line difficult will be instructive, and will help them improve their scanning ability. After all, the confusion of seeing a word spelt differently from how one is used to can be just as disorienting as seeing a problem with the metre. Since the majority of poetic texts do not help out the reader like this (learners' texts* generally explain metrical problems in their notes, rather than 'correcting' them in the text), and since issues like these plague Latin poetry, I should think it more helpful to train novices to take metrical problems in stride — an essential skill for sight-scanning.

And as I have said before, and shall, to avoid unpleasantness, repeat, my remarks only apply to teaching theory, and not our own choices about how we write Latin, which must be guided by æsthetic and not pedagogical considerations. Can we end this argument? It's stupid, and I don't think we disagree with each other as much as we think we do.

*Actually, the 'Lavinia' line is a rather sticky example for us to be using in this discussion: Pharr's annotated text, for example, gives simply 'Lavina', as an alternate form of the word that appears in some manuscripts.
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:28 pm

Twpsyn wrote:as of the 21st century, just about everyone, in my experience, dispenses with the j

Not in my experience, Twpsyn, and I'm in the 21st century.
BTW Lavinia, after whom Lavinium was named, was Aeneas's wife (though the word in the text is Lavinus -a -um/Lavinius -a -um).
I seem to recall that the "i" in "ius" and "ia" in Latin proper names was frequently spoken consonantally (said quickly either way amounts to the same thing, I suppose).

In saeculo vicesimo primo vivo, et usum saepè video exercitoque.
Obiter, Lavinia uxor Aeneae fuit cuius nomen ad terram commodatum est.
Obscurè memini "i" in "ius" atque "ia" quod propria nomines Latina terminat consonante sermo soneretur.
Last edited by adrianus on Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:39 pm

adrianus wrote:
Twpsyn wrote:as of the 21st century, just about everyone, in my experience, dispenses with the j

Not in my experience, Twpsyn, and I'm in the 21st century.


... so am I. Funny how these things happen.

BTW Lavinia, after whom Lavinium was named, was Aeneas's wife.


She is not being referred to in these lines. It's

Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit / litora.

The 'Lavinian shores', or 'shores of Lavinium'. This was the sentiment of my original comment.
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:50 pm

Twpsyn wrote:The 'Lavinian shores', or 'shores of Lavinium'. This was the sentiment of my original comment.

Sure. Actually, I was editing my last post just as you posted.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:11 pm

adrianus wrote:
Twpsyn wrote:as of the 21st century, just about everyone, in my experience, dispenses with the j

Not in my experience, Twpsyn, and I'm in the 21st century.
BTW Lavinia, after whom Lavinium was named, was Aeneas's wife (though the word in the text is Lavinus -a -um/Lavinius -a -um).
I seem to recall that the "i" in "ius" and "ia" in Latin proper names was frequently spoken consonantally (said quickly either way amounts to the same thing, I suppose).


Exactly right; that's why Vergil allowed us to interpet it so — it was a variant, as much as it is a variant in coversation to shorten long final 'i' and 'o' — and this then occurs in poetry.
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Postby Essorant » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:48 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:So you'd rather use a complex diacritical mark that obscures the ability even then to place a long mark over the vowel, as is necessary in the latter two cases?


Yes. I don't believe in indicating vowel-length in a normal text meant for reading. If there is doubt about the pronunciation, then the grammar/dictionary should be used. The only reason I would accept a diaresis is because it indicates something that is contrary to what we may usually expect. We may take it as a general rule that the vowels are to be pronounced together and be safe with the majority of words. But a diaresis may indicate some rare and exotic exceptions that don't meet that expectation, and it is good discreetly to indicate or make a foot note about them, especially if they are very uncommon words.

Lucus Eques wrote:Moreover, a diaeresis is used for indicating vowels that do not make a diphthong, rather than for telling us that a vowel is not a consonant. That's a misuse of the diaeresis.


I don't believe it is locked only into that usage, but nevertheless, it is still being used in that respect. For in words such as <b>iudex</b> we pronounce the vowels together as "iu", not seperately, therefore they are a dipthong. The consonant sound is not made by a consonant, but by the "relationship" of the two <i>vowels</i> as a dipthong.


As for "going to far," can you explain then why the Renaissance to 19th century convention of using 'j' and 'v' had been in majority practice for so long? How can you justify placing 'v' as not "going too far" ? Or do you opt for u/i universally?


Probably because they wanted more convenience, but that doesn't make it logical. It might also be more convenient to spell urbs as urps too, but it it is more reasonable that we don't. The consonantal quality of the vowels i and u does not make them different letters no longer i and u, but they are the same vowels and therefore should be spelt the same.<pre> </pre>
Last edited by Essorant on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:58 pm

Twpsyn wrote:
She is not being referred to in these lines.


That's a shockingly two-dimensional way of interpreting poetry, don't you think? :) Surely you see the foreshadowing and the double entendre?
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:18 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:
Twpsyn wrote:
She is not being referred to in these lines.


That's a shockingly two-dimensional way of interpreting poetry, don't you think? :) Surely you see the foreshadowing and the double entendre?


Excuse this abrupt response. Just a few thoughts on Poetry. I am with you, Luke, and what you suggest seems truly a kind of pre-Conceptism (insinuation, double entendre or even triple entendre, &c.). We are maybe interpreting as we want and that wasn't probably what the Poet intended to mean. Who knows? It's something difficult. One of the hardest problems in Literature. Where are the limits of Stylistics? Who does stablish the limits of the Word (in Saussure, Significant/sign+Meaning)? I've read recently Dámaso Alonso's Lïmites de Estilística (from his monumental Poesía Española. He was a great poet and a Romanic scholar, also a hispanist) and that's a problem which arises when we try to appropriate the Poet to make him our belonging. We want a 21st century Vergil and that's our problem but when I watch to the stars at night I get marvelled because those stars are the same as in Vergil's epoch and he lived below the same sky and over the same land I do. I know it's not the subject of the thread.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:21 pm

Essorant wrote:
Lucus Eques wrote:So you'd rather use a complex diacritical mark that obscures the ability even then to place a long mark over the vowel, as is necessary in the latter two cases?


Yes. I don't believe in indicating vowel-length in a normal text meant for reading.


I agree. But we're talking about didactic methods, for learners. And the dictionary doesn't tell you the consonant-I either, unless it's a good one.

We may take it as a general rule that the vowels are to be pronounced together and be safe with the majority of words.


Wow! I challenge you to back that one up. I'm going to scan through some Cicero and pick any words I see which contradict the precept you suggested, to be marked in bold; I will underline any time your precept is confirmed:

Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris? [2] O tempora, o mores! Senatus haec intellegit. Consul videt; hic tamen vivit. Vivit? immo vero etiam in senatum venit, fit publici consilii particeps, notat et designat oculis ad caedem unum quemque nostrum. Nos autem fortes viri satis facere rei publicae videmur, si istius furorem ac tela vitemus. Ad mortem te, Catilina, duci iussu consulis iam pridem oportebat, in te conferri pestem, quam tu in nos machinaris.


So, the count is 11 for your precept, but 20 against. You can do the same in practically any piece of Latin text; I chose this one at random.

So it seems that the precept that vowels should just be blended together is the exception rather than the rule. And really, we should exclude the 'qu-' ones since 'qu' is its own consonant, and they are not found separately, an orthographic rule easily remembered without the need for the precept. The precept is also hardly necessary for diphthongs, which are equally memorized: ae, au, ei, eu, ui, making the precept again unnecessary.

So that leaves the consonantal 'i's — you'll notice I did not mark the 'v's, since they are written as consonants and to be treated as such. The only feature that confirms your precept is due to this asymmetry.

Yet another reason for the vowel/consonant distinction in orthography of Latin, notably with 'j' or its absense: vowels elide; so it the initial 'i' going to be a consonant or a vowel?

I have another example of the importance of this clarity: IAM has one syllable, yet ETIAM has three. Thus, we ought to distinguish jam from etiam by means of the 'j'; what is to keep the learner from saying "etjam"? Although this is possible and is an acceptable variant, it is hardly common. I-am, disyllablic, however is not an acceptable variant, and impossible except in the most strained of metres. So when a learner knows IACTVS and is confronted with CONIECTVS, which also possess the common root, what is to keep him from guessing that something similar will happen as with ETIAM?

Effectiveness of communication. That is the precept in language learning.
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Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:32 pm

Similarly for me, the most important thing is that a dieresis indicates vowels split between syllables and consonantal 'j' indicates belonging to same syllable as the following vowel. It doesn't help to make the useful dieresis do something else.
Meâ sententiâ similiter, quod maximè ad rem refert est, primò, quod diaeresis vocales ostendit quae ad syllabas distinctas appertinent et, secundò, quod 'j' consonans ad eandem syllabam appertinens ut vocalem sequentem adsignificat. Non juvat ut diaeresem oportunam requirat aliter perficere.
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Postby Essorant » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:23 am

Lucus

You missed the context of my comment and I apologize for not making it clearer. I was talking about the semivowels in respect to the example words you gave: <b>iacio, iambus, iecur, Iason, periens, iens</b>. My point is that as a general rule, one may trust that the vowels do go together and they do have the consonantal quality ("ia" in iacio, not "i-a"), and that words such as iambus where they are pronounced seperately are an exception. Instead of spelling a multitude of such words with j- , I think the simple diaresis in those few exceptions would suffice.

The semivowel in noninitial positions doesn't require much math either. As long as one learns and remembers that the consonantal quality generally happens <i>between</i> vowels, he shall have no difficulty interpreting the pronunciations of words such as <b>maiores</b> and <b>etiam</b>.

Does that make sense?

<pre> </pre>
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Postby Lucus Eques » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:19 pm

Essorant wrote:Lucus

You missed the context of my comment and I apologize for not making it clearer. I was talking about the semivowels in respect to the example words you gave: <b>iacio, iambus, iecur, Iason, periens, iens</b>. My point is that as a general rule, one may trust that the vowels do go together and they do have the consonantal quality ("ia" in iacio, not "i-a"), and that words such as iambus where they are pronounced seperately are an exception. Instead of spelling a multitude of such words with j- , I think the simple diaresis in those few exceptions would suffice.

The semivowel in noninitial positions doesn't require much math either. As long as one learns and remembers that the consonantal quality generally happens <i>between</i> vowels, he shall have no difficulty interpreting the pronunciations of words such as <b>maiores</b> and <b>etiam</b>.

Does that make sense?

<pre> </pre>


Your words make sense, yes; however, they do not stand up to the test with real Latin. You state, "My point is that as a general rule, one may trust that the vowels do go together and they do have the consonantal quality ("ia" in iacio, not "i-a"), and that words such as iambus where they are pronounced seperately are an exception." However, I demonstrated that to be false (20 against, 11 in favor). In reality, vowels do NOT go "together" very often. This has been shown above.

As long as one learns and remembers that the consonantal quality generally happens <i>between</i> vowels, he shall have no difficulty interpreting the pronunciations of words such as <b>maiores</b> and <b>etiam</b>.


Again untrue: CONIECTVS, PERIVRATIO, PERIVCVNDVS, CONIVNX,
right next to PERIENS and ETIAM.
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Postby Essorant » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:55 pm

My first point was about the semivowel in initial position with the following vowel in words such as iacio, the examples you yourself had brought up earlier. You didn't respond to that but gave examples from Cicero with the semivowel in other positions. How was that even addressing my point?

Again untrue: CONIECTVS, PERIVRATIO, PERIVCVNDVS, CONIVNX,
right next to PERIENS and ETIAM.


I don't understand. The majority still seem to follow the rules:

1. Word initial semivowel followed by vowel is consonantal: (majority)

<b>iudex, ianua, iacio</b>, (con)<b>iectus</b>, (per)<b>iuratio</b>, (con)<b>iunx</b>, <b>iuxta</b>, <b>Iulius</b>, etc.

2. Medial semivowel between vowels is consonantal: (majority)

<b>maiores</b>, <b>huius</b>, <b>cuius</b> etc.

Exceptions (minority):

<b>iëns, etiäm, iämbus</b>, etc.

Is that correct?

<pre> </pre>
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