Lucus wrote:Let me explain my general principle for Latinity, then specifically we'll look at the scena/plodere matter.
My general principle is to utilize Classical Latin as the massive foundation it is for my own Latin. But if I thought Latin had lived and died with Cicero (or his aera), I wouldn't be so interested in Latin spoken today, or be a minor author of Latina recentior, ut aiunt. To converse today, with all our modern technology, history, and terminology, we cannot use only the words of Cicero. We use them first, then neologize as necessary.
So then, on to scena/plodere. I was first informed of this discrepancy through Vox Latina by Allen, which notes how urban Romans in the Classical aera were aware of the "rural" vowel shift of ae->e and au->o, which took hold in much of Italian and Spanish, as we know. (Really, this vowel shift was strongly influenced by Italians who came from Umbrian or Oscan speaking regions; in these native languages, the vowel shifts ae->e and au->o had already occurred, so they superimposed this upon Latin, and helped to shift it going into Vulgar Latin.) So, Roman grammarians were keen to correct letus as laetus and orum as aurum.
But the original verb was indeed plodere. This can be seen in its compounds: explodere, implodere, etc. "Plaudere" cannot be the original, writes Allen on page 61, since then the compounds would be "explÅ«dere," "implÅ«dere," as in con+claudere = conclÅ«dere. Quintilian also mentions that old comedies would invite applause with "plodite." Suetonius relates that Vespasian said "plostra," and Metius Florus instructed him to say "plaustra." The next day, Vespasian called him "Flaurus," which I think is hilarious.
So it must be "scena" as much as it must be "sceptrum," not "scaeptrum," another hypercorrection. I seek to imitate the Classical Romans â€” but I will not ape their errors.
Back in the general view of Latinity, I certainly advocate and speak of the Latin standard today as Classical Latin and the Classical Latin Pronunciation. Similarly, we may say that Standard Italian can be called Classical Italian, Classical Italian being from Petrarch to some unmarked period in the past â€” really, it's just Standard Italian. This is different from Italian dialect, such as Neapolitan â€” much as I enjoy but do not cultivate the Vulgar Latin dialects of Mediaeval Latin, like German Latin (Carmina Burana, for example), I will take pleasure in Italian dialect, but for comedy's sake mostly, which is how Italians view dialect as well.
A great example of the Standard versus Classical Italian can be seen in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the libretto for which having been written in Classical Italian by the illustrious Lorenzo da Ponte. Lorenzo da Ponte, in the aria known as the "serenata," wrote "il zucchero." But as any modern Italian will tell you, one says "lo zucchero" â€” all masculine words beginning with "z" take the article "lo," and not "il." And if I said "il zucchero" in Italy today, I would be politely corrected, for "il zucchero" is quite impossible.
Da Ponte did not write "il zucchero" as a hypercorrection, but as an acceptable variant at that time, so in this way the case is different from plodere/scena. However, I will not force "il zucchero" on modern Italians just because it is Classical Italian, even based on Da Ponte's usage. In modern Standard Italian, it is incorrect to say "lo zucchero" based on the rules of the language as they have been organized. And since I benefit from knowing that "scaena" and "plaudere" are hypercorrections, I do not used them either.
Amadeus wrote:I think the question revolves around whether plaudere is still a hypercorrection today, after many centuries of common usage.
Hypercorrectionâ€”let's discuss it.
De hypercorrectione disputemus.