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Question about key

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:06 pm
by Ravi

I just started with Latin and I use Latin For Beginners and the key. I have the feeling you get into detail with this book right from the start. I really like it and the key is a good help!

But I have a question concerning the key. Some words, such as 'pugna, -ae'; 'pugnáre'; and 'magnus, -a, -um', are not written with a long vowel in the book, although in the key they do have a long vowel ('púgna, púgnáre and mágnus). Is there an explanation for this? Or is it just a mistake?

I hope one of you could answer the question as to which one I should follow.

Thank you,


Re: Question about key

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:57 pm
by Interaxus

I notice that the Key is inconsistent, sometimes marking the u in pugna/pugnare/oppugnavit, etc, as long, sometimes as short. IT'S SHORT.

But note that the SYLLABLE containing the short u vowel (pugn-) would be considered long in reading (especially important in reading poetry). Check D'Ooge's paragraphs 8 and 13.

If the Key and D'Ooge differ, trust D'Ooge.

Also, to get a feeling for 'double-sounded' consonant clusters, listen to the TTs and LLs in Lorenzetti, Botticelli, Giotto, etc, in this Italian snippet: ... re=related


Re: Question about key

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:14 am
by Ravi
Thank you for your response and clearing things up, Int.

At first I thought the differences between the book and the key might have been based on linguistic research that was carried out after the book had been released. But after posting my question I came across *inópia and inopia within the same exercise (in the key) so I already got the feeling I'd better stick with D'Ooge.

I understand the difference between the length of a vowel and the length of syllable, but thank you for reminding me and I like the movie you gave (it was taken in the Uffizi, right?). It's a really great help to hear how those consonant clusters are to be pronounced.


Re: Question about key

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:30 pm
by ingrid70
Nice to see a fellow countryman here :-).

As one of the compilers of the key, let me explain: I tried to put macrons on vowels as faithfully as possible, as I think vowel length is important. I often checked with a recent dictionary (Pinkster's Woorden­boek Latijn/Nederlands 2003) which has pugna with a long u (magnus, I admit, has a short a). Besides some grammars state that vowels before gn are long by nature.

Any inconsistencies are probably just typing and/or thinking errors (inopia has indeed a short o; I probably had copia in my mind with a long o by contraction).


Re: Question about key

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:13 am
by Ravi
@ingrid70: I just bought the Pinkster dictionary (2008) yesterday and pugna doens't have a long vowel in this edition. The preface says that all the vowels were checked by some Dr Wolfgang de Melo and some changes were made. So it probably is a mistake in the older editions.

And I'd like to thank you (and the fellow compilers) for the key! It's been a great help to me! Superhandig!