latin dipthongs "ai" and "oi" ??

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tedexter
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latin dipthongs "ai" and "oi" ??

Post by tedexter » Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:16 pm

How do you pronounce the Latin words maior and troianus?
Are ai and oi dipthongs in Latin?
If so, why are they not listed in the pronunciation guide of my Wheelock text??
There's no information about the pronunciation of these letter combinations in any of the grammar books I could find!!!!!

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Turpissimus
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Post by Turpissimus » Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:38 pm

Basically, pronounce the intervocalic (that's the word for a sound between two vowels) i like a y sound in English. Its not a diphthong and the two vowels either side of i should be pronounced as they are normally.
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Timothy
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Post by Timothy » Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:11 pm

Change order for clarity.
Are ai and oi dipthongs in Latin?
No.
How do you pronounce the Latin words maior and troianus?

There's no information about the pronunciation of these letter
combinations in any of the grammar books I could find!!!!!
Most books give you the general guidelines on how to pronounce
words by sounding them out. My copy of Wheelock's (5th) follows
this practice as well, but I find the Allen and Greenough's
has a bit more detail arraigned more conviently.

As a general rule, do the syllabification then sound out the
word slowly. In these two words there are a few more things
to look out for but after a short while you pick this up.

1. Break the word into syllables.

maior : 3 vowels, but the i here is the consonat i (§ 5)
so there we have only two syllables:

ma-ior

troianus : 5 vowels, but again we have the consonent i
before a vowel giving 3 syllables:

tro-ia-nus

2. Mark the vowel lengths and accents.

ma-ior is easy because it is two syllables so the accent
falls on the first:

MAH-yor

tro-ia-nus accent on the anitpenult, becomes

troh-YAH-noos
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benissimus
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Post by benissimus » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:57 pm

The intervocal i in some words, including maior (not sure about Troianus) forms a dipthong with the preceding vowel and functions as a consonantal i with the following vowel - e.g. maior "mai-ior". This is made very clear in the pronunciation section of A&G and is further emphasized throughout the book. In addition, ai and oi are archaic diphthongs, so technically Latin does have them.
Last edited by benissimus on Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Timothy
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Post by Timothy » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:09 pm

benissimus wrote:The intervocal i in some words, including maior (not sure about Troianus) forms a dipthong with both the preceding and following vowel - e.g. maior "mai-ior". This is made very clear in the pronunciation section of A&G and is further emphasized throughout the book. In addition, ai and oi are archaic diphthongs, so technically Latin does have them.
You know you're right. It's the note in the next section, too. I don't know how I missed that! I guess I missed a significant emphasis in that book,
huh? Well, it's a good thing you pointed it out to me. Thanks. Suddenly, I have a ton of review to do.
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Post by tedexter » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:00 am

So how do you pronounce maior and Troi?!!???
maior = ma-ior = mah - yor?
or
maior = mai-ior = may(?) - yor (according to "double i" rule)?

Wheelock 6E confuses me because it lists maior (pg. xlii of pronunciation guide) as one of the words following the "double i" rule; this implies that ai is a latin dipthong, but there is no pronunciation info. about it!!
So how do you pronunce ai and oi when they occur as a result of this malicious "double i" rule? I'm studying Latin alone in the desolate boglands of western Ireland, so please help me before I lose my mind and head off on a kill-crazy rampage... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by cweb255 » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:01 pm

no, not "may" but more like "mah-ee-yor" although don't pronounce the "ee" heavily...actually, you shouldn't pronounce it at all.

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Turpissimus
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Post by Turpissimus » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:18 pm

Like "my - yore", I think. But keep those vowel quantities pure. They should, as Lucus has said, sound like Italian vowels.
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Post by Phylax » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:52 pm

In addition, ai and oi are archaic diphthongs, so technically Latin does have them.
Yes indeed: think of the earliest Latin inscription (on the Prenestine Fibula, 7thC BC) - "MANIOS MED FHEFHAKED NUMASIOI".
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Post by benissimus » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:05 pm

Phylax wrote:"MANIOS MED FHEFHAKED NUMASIOI".
:shock: I have no idea what that says, it almost looks Greek. I only recognize one word, might be able to guess the cases of the others. Manios could be a name, med is the ablative of me, fhefhaked... never seen anything like that but it could be a 3rd decl abl, numasioi... genitive or nom plur maybe...

Translation?
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Phylax
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Post by Phylax » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:25 pm

It does look Greek, doesn't it! It means "Manius made me for Numasius" ('Manius me fecit Numasio' ???? 'Fraid my Latin is very very rusty :oops: ). Notice the reduplication on the verb!
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Post by Deses » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:45 pm

Phylax wrote:
In addition, ai and oi are archaic diphthongs, so technically Latin does have them.
Yes indeed: think of the earliest Latin inscription (on the Prenestine Fibula, 7thC BC) - "MANIOS MED FHEFHAKED NUMASIOI".
BTW, there was a relatively recent publication raising doubts about the authenticity of this fibula.

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Post by Phylax » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:15 pm

BTW, there was a relatively recent publication raising doubts about the authenticity of this fibula
I didn't know that. Have you got any more details, Deses? I'd be really interested to find out more about it.

And to Tedexter, apologies for this thread hijack!

Phylax
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Post by Deses » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:52 pm

Phylax wrote:
BTW, there was a relatively recent publication raising doubts about the authenticity of this fibula
I didn't know that. Have you got any more details, Deses? I'd be really interested to find out more about it.

Phylax
Here is what I found right now. Most academic libraries probably have access to some database with this article.

The inscribed fibula Praenestina: Problems of authenticity (University of California publications : Classical studies ; v. 16)
by Arthur Ernest Gordon


Actually, I was thinking more of an Italian researcher's article. I saw it mentioned somewhere. Must be from around mid 1980s.

I guess, the evidence is quite strong:

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature
Book by Paul Harvey, M. C. Howatson; Oxford University Press, 1989:

"2. Latin. Latin inscriptions earlier than the third century BC are rare, and unfortunately so, since those we have provide valuable evidence of linguistic usage at a period earlier than that of most surviving Latin literature. (The earliest inscription was at one time thought to be a craftsman's label on a gold fibula from Praeneste dated to the late seventh century BC, but this has been found to be a forgery.) "

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Post by Phylax » Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:34 pm

I am much indebted to you, Deses. Your excellent info - and some googling I've done since - convince me that the fibula is the Piltdown Man of Classical archaeology, which banjaxes my example of Archaic Latin more than somewhat! :oops:

By way of small mitigation, I learnt about the fibula as a 13 year old at school in the early '60s, but have not revisited it since, hence my mistake. It was given to us as an example of early Latin by an inspiring and talented teacher who was keen that we should experience the whole breadth of Latin, Archaic and Medieval as well as Golden and Silver*. I was fascinated by it - even drew a picture of it and its strange backwards Western Greek Alphabet inscription in my exercise book, which is why I remembered it so clearly.

Gratefully, and with apologies for having been duped,

Phylax.

* His name was Mark Morford, and his text book New Latin Reader (I think) which we used in class, took this broad approach. He also taught us ancient history and instilled in me the enthusiasm for the subject I feel to this day. I wonder if any of our Latinist colleagues in this Forum know of him?

PS: You can tell I'm trying I'm trying to redeem my academic reputation by including a footnote! :lol:
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Post by Deses » Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:33 pm

Phylax wrote:I am much indebted to you, Deses. Your excellent info - and some googling I've done since - convince me that the fibula is the Piltdown Man of Classical archaeology, which banjaxes my example of Archaic Latin more than somewhat! :oops:
Don't worry, Phylax. I am sure that this fibula is going to be with us for quite some time. :) Nevertheless, there are examples of archaic Latin: the Duenos inscription, the Castor-Pollux dedication, Lapis Satricanus and, of course, the Scipio epitaphs.

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