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Roman names

Postby pster » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:04 pm

So when one is studying Latin, one uses a hard "c". But when one is studying Roman history in English speaking countries do they generally use a soft "c" for names? For example, "Cincinnatus". Do Roman history professors make the "c" soft generally?
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Re: Roman names

Postby thesaurus » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:19 pm

pster wrote:So when one is studying Latin, one uses a hard "c". But when one is studying Roman history in English speaking countries do they generally use a soft "c" for names? For example, "Cincinnatus". Do Roman history professors make the "c" soft generally?


The issue of pronunciation is a sticky one, but generally speaking, people in English speaking countries will use the anglicized soft "c". For example, Caesar and Cicero. This stems from the fact that people used to (and sometimes still do) pronounce Latin according to the rules of their native languages. For example, the English would read Latin as if it were English, and the Italians as if it were Italian.

The issue is sticky, however, because someone studying Roman history may opt for the restored (hard "c") pronunciation in order to sound learned/precise (I think it's pompous outside of a Latin class). At the same time, since so many people are accustomed to the anglicized names of prominent figures, even Latinists may opt for the soft "c". In my Latin class I would use the soft "c" version unless I was reading something in Latin that involved the name.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Roman names

Postby Hampie » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:31 pm

Kikero should only be said in Latin class and whilst speaking Latin. Sisero is how his name is pronounced in English and also by most professors of Latin when they speak English. When I say Paris there’s an s in there when I speak English although it’s silent in French.
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:29 am

I'm trying to remember a hundred or so figures from early Rome. Maybe it only seems like double work. But let's make this precise. Suppose you were in a graduate level Roman history class in classics at Oxford, Princeton, or Berkeley and the texts were half original sources, how do they pronounce the names? I strongly suspect there is only one answer to this question. What is it? So my question is about the current convention that those professors have and nobody else's convention or views on convention.
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Re: Roman names

Postby motchmaster » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:15 pm

When you're speaking in Latin, pronounce how it is in Latin. When in English, English pronunciation.

Hmm, Now that I think of it, I always pronounced "Cicero" with hard "c's," even in English.
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:01 pm

motchmaster wrote:When you're speaking in Latin, pronounce how it is in Latin.

It can be pronounced either way in Latin; those who use modern restored pronunciation one way, everyone else (for 1700 years) the other.
Utro modo latinè dicitur: uno modo ab eis qui ore restaurato utuntur, alio modo ab reliquiis septimum decimum saeculum.
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: Roman names

Postby beerclark » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:56 am

I'm not speaking from knowledge but opinion(mostly): I think in a history class, Cicero would be pronounced (in a USA school) with the soft c's. The point of history class would be well removed from the finer points of the language so they would use the commonly used form. I have generally always heard 'Sisero' as the way to say his name in english. A teacher may mention 'Kikero' as the way to pronounce his name in latin as a simple point of fact. But I don't see them bogging down a class with the language itself.
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:58 am

peter wrote:Suppose you were in a graduate level Roman history class in classics at Oxford, Princeton, or Berkeley and the texts were half original sources, how do they pronounce the names? I strongly suspect there is only one answer to this question. What is it? So my question is about the current convention that those professors have and nobody else's convention or views on convention.


Their conventions are the same as others. If you listen to this Harvard professor of law (Mary Ann Glendon) before an audience in Princeton (many of them Catholic clergy), she says "Sisero" for "Cicero" in English but "Kiwilis" for "Civilis" in a Latin book title, using restored pronunciation (uninfluenced by her period as US Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome where you might expect "Chivilis").

http://vimeo.com/20314829

Ut alii professores sonant. Huic legis professori (Mary Ann Glendon) universitatis Harvardianae ante auditores (ex quibus sunt multi clerici catholici) in universitate Princetoniense ausculta, quae anglicè "Sisero" pro "Cicero" at latinè "Kiwilis" (pronuntiatione restituâ) pro "Civilis" in libris titulo sonat, etiamsi fuit Apostolicae Sedis Legatus Romae ubi "Chivilis" dici solet.
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: Roman names

Postby pster » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:47 pm

Thanks adrianus. And I'm sorry to be so stubborn about this, but that isn't exactly the community that I'm speaking of. I'm just speaking of Anglo-American Romanists at the top dozen universities. It may that there is a variety, but I would doubt it. Now from time to time Cicero may get pronounced with a soft 'c'. But if someone has just completed a commentary on Livy Book Whatever and is giving a seminar on it at one of the top classics departments, my guess is that they would just use a hard 'c' throughout. I've been in such seminars for Greek subjects, just never for Roman.
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:28 pm

pster wrote: But if someone has just completed a commentary on Livy Book Whatever and is giving a seminar on it at one of the top classics departments, my guess is that they would just use a hard 'c' throughout.

It may sound harsh, pster, but if I had been at that seminar, honestly, I would think that speaker was a bit of a prat to speak so in English, regardless of his/her community; but he/she might think me a prat, too, for other reasons.

Fortassè severum id videtur, pster, at, si ego isto colloquio interfuissem, desipientiorem locutorem qui sic sonaret certè habuissem, gregem eius neglegens; sed locutorem aliâ de causâ me ipsum desipientem habere fieri potest.
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: Roman names

Postby pster » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:18 pm

Well, prat judgments may be more appropriate for mixed audiences composed of law professors, clergy, and ambassadors. In a tight small classics community I strongly assume there is just a convention that people follow because everybody does it. It is like if you say "Frisco". Anybody actually from Frisco would know that you weren't from there. Doesn't make you a bad person or even a prat. I just don't wanna blow my cover like that and reveal that I'm just an auto-didact. Hehe. It is just a factual question: What is their convention? I'll bet anybody that they have such a convention as I've seen similar conventions in other humanities departments.
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Re: Roman names

Postby Sinister Petrus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:13 pm

pster wrote:So when one is studying Latin, one uses a hard "c". But when one is studying Roman history in English speaking countries do they generally use a soft "c" for names? For example, "Cincinnatus". Do Roman history professors make the "c" soft generally?


I cannot imagine an American classicist saying Kinkinnatus, given the large American city of Cincinnati. Stretching my memory to Roman Civ in college (and generous phonetic spelling): Myushus Seevola, Verjil, Horus, Veea Uhrayleea, Rowm (not Roma), Cashus, etc. Or should I say ets.? Anyway, all pronounced as English when discussed in English at a small four-year liberal arts college in the midwest. All pronounced as Latin when using Latin in Latin class. (I'd tell you what other PhDs say, but conventicula are obviously not in English.)

A certain professor insisted on a-go-RA as the pronunciation for agora. I humored him when in his classes, but always considered him to be splitting a hair given that I heard much of the above out of his mouth.
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Re: Roman names

Postby thesaurus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:58 pm

pster, I understand that you are looking for a practical tip on how to proceed with your conference paper. However, I fear you're looking for a firm distinction where, as far as I am aware, there isn't one.

In a nutshell, I'd go with the English pronunciations as a default unless you've observed specific cases where others deviate from this and prefer other pronunciations.

Based on my experience with academia in the field of literature, the majority of academics will use the pronunciation of their native language (English) for foreign names. You will occasionally run into some who clearly take pride in pronouncing French, Italian, Latin, etc. with an authentic accent, but this usually feels like an idiosyncrasy.

Otherwise, people are going to be more concerned with what you're saying rather than which pronunciation you opt for.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:08 am

I've been to many history and classicist conferences and advanced research seminars and never heard anyone speaking English say "Kikero".
Multis colloquiis disciplinisque praestantioribus historicis et classicis interfui. Nunquàm unus qui anglicè "Kikero" sonuit.
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: Roman names

Postby pster » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:59 am

Sinister Petrus wrote:
I cannot imagine an American classicist saying Kinkinnatus, given the large American city of Cincinnati. .....All pronounced as Latin when using Latin in Latin class.


Aren't you contradicting yourself here? Or is Cincinnatus an exception? If they are reading Livy on Cincinnatus, don't they say Kinkinnatus?

@ ALL: OK, you've beaten me down. But here is what you want me to believe. In a seminar on Roman history in a classics department where passages are read frequently, the participants will use a hard 'c' when quoting the passage in Latin, but then switch to a soft 'c' when discussing the passage. I've never seen people switch back and forth between pronunciations regularly. Must be quite odd. But I take it adrianus you have seen such a thing? The convention is to actually have two conventions and to switch back and forth between them day in and day out??
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:01 am

adrianus wrote:I've been to many history and classicist conferences and advanced research seminars and never heard anyone speaking English say "Kikero".
Multis colloquiis disciplinisque praestantioribus historicis et classicis interfui. Nunquàm unus qui anglicè "Kikero" sonuit.


What about when they are reading about Cicero in Latin?
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:34 am

Restored pronunciation, but with non-English speakers and clerics sometimes not. As Hampie said, don't you say "Paris" and not "Parie" in English? We do this sort of thing all the time with proper names.

Pronuntiatio restitua, separatim saepe cum illis qui anglice non loquuntur vel clericis. Ut dixit Hampie, nonne anglice Paris non Pari sonas? Sic semper facimus nominibus propriis.

Post scriptum

Suddenly accents aren't working in Textkit editor!

Accenta per redactionis instrumentum in Textkit subito non denotantur!
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: Roman names

Postby pster » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:06 pm

pster wrote:
@ ALL: OK, you've beaten me down. But here is what you want me to believe. In a seminar on Roman history in a classics department where passages are read frequently, the participants will use a hard 'c' when quoting the passage in Latin, but then switch to a soft 'c' when discussing the passage. I've never seen people switch back and forth between pronunciations regularly. Must be quite odd. But I take it adrianus you have seen such a thing? The convention is to actually have two conventions and to switch back and forth between them day in and day out??


The Paris vs. Paree example is hardly analagous. If it were, we wouldn't be here. So I have repeated my question. (In fact, the Paris vs. Paree type examples support the possibility that people would just stick with the hard 'c' except for a few of the most famous people. Why do I say that? Because when speaking English, one doesn't anglicize most French names, just the most common ones.)
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:42 pm

pster wrote:But I take it adrianus you have seen such a thing? The convention is to actually have two conventions and to switch back and forth between them day in and day out??...So I have repeated my question.

Oh yes, pster. I have seen such a thing: historians and classicists switching language and switching pronunciation of proper names and anatomical and botanical names, and I've participated in such a thing. It never struck me as strange or arcane or a guilty pleasure, because I believe it's what people do naturally,—but there are still variations between speakers.

Iterùm, pster. Vidi quidem talem rem: historicos professoresque classicarum litterarum qui linguas alternabant et sonus mutabant in nominum propriorum atque anatomiae herbariaeque tractando; porrò ego ipse talem rem participavi. Nunquàm ut alienum ut arcanum ut sons voluptas id mihi visum est, immò ut naturale,—exstant autem quaedam discrimina inter locutores.

Post scriptum
Accents working again, surprisingly.
Accenta denuò se ostendunt, de improvisó.
Last edited by adrianus on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:54 pm

adrianus wrote:Oh yes, pster. I have seen such a thing: historians and classicists switching language and switching pronunciation of proper names ...


Thanks. No more questions your honor.
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Re: Roman names

Postby adrianus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:41 pm

Listen to the chair of the session introducing your paper whose English title contains a Latin name with "ci". Follow the lead. Problem solved, hopefully to your satisfaction.

Ausculta praesidi sessionis qui symbolam tuam introducit cuius titulus anglicus nomen latinum per "ci" continet. Vestigium persequere. Res obscura viâ quae tibi placet, spero, illuminata.
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Re: Roman names

Postby Hampie » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:02 pm

The Latin professor I had when I studied it switched between the two when we read De Bello Gallico. I don’t se why one would not, really. It’s not that it’s hard. It’s actually harder to fit in Cicero with a Latin accent into english than just to say Cicero the English way. Are you, pster, by any chance a native English speaker? See, I’m a Swede. When I speak Swedish I would pronounce Cicero as if it were a Swedish word. The capital of Denmark would be Copenhagen and the commentary you spoke about previously would be on Livy, and the stress in the word Paris is on the first syllable, when I speak English. When I switch to Swedish the capital of Denmark is Köpenhamn, the commentary is on Livius, and Paris has the stress on the last syllable. I even pronounce my own given name differently when I speak English. No matter how many times I switch languages, I still switch the pronunciation so that it complies with the language that I’m currently speaking, unless I’m giving someone an example word or explaining pronunciation.
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:54 am

Thanks all. adrianus has asserted that the convention that actually in fact now today in 2011 is followed in top Anglo-American classics departments is to switch back and forth during seminars. That was the answer to the question that I originally asked. I was just asking what the convention was in the small community of top Romanists. I wasn't claiming that it was something other than it was. And I was definitely not claiming that it should be other than what it is. It is funny how as the thread grew all manner of misunderstandings arose. I will clarify two matters:

1) I am not giving a paper any time soon and no where in this thread did I assert that I was.

2) Of course English speaking people say PARISS and French people say PAREE. But English speaking people do not anglicize most French cities and towns. Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier are pronounced in French by English speaking people even though in some cases, such as Montpellier, there are towns with the same names in the US that are angicized when prononounced! This is why the Romanists' convention is somewhat surprising when it comes to minor figures. We may switch between PARRISS and PAREE, but we don't switch between MONTPEELYOUR and MOHNPELLYAY. I'll say it one more time, we don't switch for the vast majority of names. And there are even more significant examples. Mont. Blanc gets pronounced in French. We don't say White Mountain, or even MONT BLANK. Or take all the French kings named Louis. In Anglo-American history departments, their names are pronounced the French way, LEWEE. They are not anglicized. We don't say Lewis XV !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, the Romanists' convention of switching back and forth is somewhat ANOMALOUS. Not wrong, just ANOMALOUS. But I wasn't even really that interested in whether it was ANAMOLOUS, I was just asking what the heck it was and most of the difficulty was due to the fact that nobody until the very end was directly answering that question.

So please reread the whole thread before adding to the misunderstanding and attributing to me things that I have not said!!!!!!!

But thanks for the input!
Last edited by pster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:48 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:01 am

Hampie wrote: I don’t se why one would not, really. It’s not that it’s hard....When I switch to Swedish the capital of Denmark is Köpenhamn,


Maybe you should contact the Swedish rail folks because they don't switch but rather prefer the Danish: Köbenhavn.

Just enter the city on their web site and see what spelling they use :
http://www.sj.se/

And here are the next biggest cities in Denmark:

Århus Odense Aalborg Esbjerg Randers Kolding Horsens Vejle Roskilde
Herning Næstved Silkeborg Fredericia Viborg Køge

How many do you Swedishize or Swedify? Let's put a % on it!

A N O M A L O U S

Come on you can say it!

A N O M A L O U S

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge ... rsq01W.jpg
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Re: Roman names

Postby Hampie » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:59 pm

pster wrote:
Hampie wrote: I don’t se why one would not, really. It’s not that it’s hard....When I switch to Swedish the capital of Denmark is Köpenhamn,


Maybe you should contact the Swedish rail folks because they don't switch but rather prefer the Danish: Köbenhavn.

Just enter the city on their web site and see what spelling they use :
http://www.sj.se/

And here are the next biggest cities in Denmark:

Århus Odense Aalborg Esbjerg Randers Kolding Horsens Vejle Roskilde
Herning Næstved Silkeborg Fredericia Viborg Køge

How many do you Swedishize or Swedify? Let's put a % on it!

A N O M A L O U S

Come on you can say it!

A N O M A L O U S

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge ... rsq01W.jpg

That’s because the name of the train station is Köpenhavn H, and, it would not really work with the computer systems to have several names. Though if you search for Köpenhamn it will show up Köpenhavn H.
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:38 pm

Hampie wrote:That’s because the name of the train station is Köpenhavn H


Isn't this just special pleading? Cities get switched but train stations don't? If switching is so natural and widespread, surely the programmers can accomadate it! Why are names of train stations exempt?

Hampie wrote:it would not really work with the computer systems to have several names. Though if you search for Köpenhamn it will show up Köpenhavn H.


This is a bit of a contradiction: It wouldn't work for the computer system to have several names, though it actually recognizes both names?

And what about all the other Danish names? Do you Swedify them? Yes or No?
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Re: Roman names

Postby pster » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:49 pm

And here are some French folks who like to (partially!!) translate airport names:

http://www.airportdesk.fr/airports/euro ... throw.html

Are airports different from train stations? Sorry, my intuitions about what conventions are most natural aren't that strong! Can somebody help me? Maybe somebody should send them the appropriate French for Heathrow! Or tell them that they are violating the no switch transportation hub rule! :lol:
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Re: Roman names

Postby thesaurus » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:01 pm

This thread seems to have derailed somewhat...
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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