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Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

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Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby jamesbath » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:09 pm

Small question: In Latin, are the "C"s and "c"s in proper nouns like Caesar and Cicero pronounced hard or soft; that is, with the "k" sound (as the Latin textbooks suggest for regular nouns) or with the "s" sound that we are familiar with in our modern speech?
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby Lex » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:40 pm

Google is your friend. I found this http://www.ai.uga.edu/mc/latinpro.pdf with a Google search on "Latin pronunciation".
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby jamesbath » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:25 am

Lex wrote:Google is your friend. I found this http://www.ai.uga.edu/mc/latinpro.pdf with a Google search on "Latin pronunciation".


Very nice. Thanks. I've downloaded that to my Latin folder.
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby paulusnb » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:18 am

The answer is that C's are always hard. :D
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby adrianus » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:37 am

Except for a while (fifteen hundred years?) when it was pronounced soft in Latin there, of course,—and even unto our day by many (mostly clergy, I imagine) who do not follow the restored pronunciation model!

Nisi certè per spatium (quindecim saeculorum?) cum ea latinè ibi molliter sonabatur. Et sunt horum dierum multes (quorum magna pars clerici, cogito), pronuntiationis restitutae non consectatores, qui sic sonant.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby lombard » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:05 pm

According to the pronunciation guide in one work (Linney: Getting Started with Latin) it depends on whether you use the classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation. In classical pronunciation it is always hard. In ecclesiastical it is pronounced hard except when it comes before e, i, ae, or oe. In these cases it is pronounced like the ch in cheese. So, I guess Marc Antony came to bury /cheeser/ not to praise him. :lol:
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Re: Pronouncing Caesar and Cicero

Postby Essorant » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:09 pm

"Soft c" isn't a true c, but it is s or tsh. But letter c isn't truly a c either, but a g. The third letter was originally g as it still is in Greek known as gamma. But when the Etruscans took the alphabet in hand they didn't have "g"-sound, but used the same letter to betoken a "k" sound instead. Thence it went to the Romans and they used it for the "k" sound as well, a misused g.
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