Existential macron crisis

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Barry Hofstetter
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Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:23 pm

I mean macron. In the textbook Latin for the New Millenium the -e- in eius is marked long, ēius. I said to myself, "Self, that doesn't look right," and checked a couple of other standard teaching texts (Jenney, Latin for Americans), neither of which marked it as long. I then spot checked some poetry, Ovid 8.16 and Tibullus 6.25. In both cases the -e- scans as long. So, it's long and for whatever reason these other textbooks missed it, or am I missing something obvious?

Fun fact: eius does not appear at all in Vergil.
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by bedwere » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:35 pm

Apparently both long and short scannings are acceptable

Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
is , ĕa, id

I.gen. ējus (old form eiius, C. I. L. 3, 1365 et saep.; v. Prisc. 1, 4, 18, p. 545; “also etius,” ib. 2, 1276 al.; “scanned ĕius,” Plaut. Poen. 4, 2, 60; Ter. Eun. 1, 2, 51; v. Lachm. ad Lucr. 3, 374; “also Cic. poët. N. D. 2, 42, 109: eius, monosyl.,” Plaut. Mil. 3, 1, 206; Ter. Eun. 4, 1, 7

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:58 pm

Now why didn't I think to check L&S? That's the obvious that I was missing, the old "Long when we want it to be, short when we need it to be" syndrome. Multi-thanks.
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Timothée » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:20 pm

In the classical times it’s trochaic, i.e. [ej-jus], as e.g. [maj-jor], [aj-joː], [traj-jaːniː]. As we generally write one -i- for [-jj-], the length of the first syllable is often marked with a makron, which is admittedly misleading. Quintilian says in 1,4,11 that Cicero wrote aiio, Maiia (“sciat etiam Ciceroni placuisse aiio Maiiamque geminata I scribere”).

The pyrrhic pronunciation mentioned by Bedwere is sometimes used by the playwrights, but it’s hardly the common form. Also that Lewis & Short entry can be misleading. Better to use other sources.

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:50 pm

Timothée wrote:In the classical times it’s trochaic, i.e. [ej-jus], as e.g. [maj-jor], [aj-joː], [traj-jaːniː]. As we generally write one -i- for [-jj-], the length of the first syllable is often marked with a makron, which is admittedly misleading. Quintilian says in 1,4,11 that Cicero wrote aiio, Maiia (“sciat etiam Ciceroni placuisse aiio Maiiamque geminata I scribere”).

The pyrrhic pronunciation mentioned by Bedwere is sometimes used by the playwrights, but it’s hardly the common form. Also that Lewis & Short entry can be misleading. Better to use other sources.
Which sources would be?
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Timothée » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:14 pm

Good grammars, and dictionaries better than the L&S.
Last edited by Timothée on Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Timothée » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:45 pm

The vowel e is short, but the syllable is heavy. Poets have different forms, also monosyllabic (e.g. Ter. Haut. 453 [iambic senarius]: “Amator numquam sufferre eius sumptus queat”). Did this correspond the pronunciation of the colloquial everyday speech?

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:19 pm

Timothée wrote:Good grammars, and dictionaries better than the L&S.
Aside from the OLD, what dictionary might be better than the L&S?
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Timothée » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:29 pm

ThlL

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:46 pm

Timothée wrote:The vowel e is short, but the syllable is heavy. Poets have different forms, also monosyllabic (e.g. Ter. Haut. 453 [iambic senarius]: “Amator numquam sufferre eius sumptus queat”). Did this correspond the pronunciation of the colloquial everyday speech?
Normally a heavy syllable is a long syllable. What do you mean that it is both heavy and short?
ThIL
The Handbook of Illegitimate Latin, got it, thanks.
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by mwh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:26 am

Barry, That’s not an I but an l. :) If you didn’t recognize the abbreviation you could have asked, and rather more politely. It stands for the Thesaurus linguae Latinae, a work you’d do well to acquaint yourself with.

Likewise if you really don’t understand what’s meant by a short vowel in a heavy syllable, you could seek elucidation a little less belligerently.

Timothée provided all that great information about eius and this is how you respond?!

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:33 am

mwh wrote:Barry, That’s not an I but an l. :) If you didn’t recognize the abbreviation you could have asked, and rather more politely. It stands for the Thesaurus linguae Latinae, a work you’d do well to acquaint yourself with.

Likewise if you really don’t understand what’s meant by a short vowel in a heavy syllable, you could seek elucidation a little less belligerently.

Timothée provided all that great information about eius and this is how you respond?!
I'm sorry, I should have used the smiley emoji to indicate humor, and of course I knew what the abbreviation stands for, but my pun control filters have always been weak. And what's wrong with prefacing it with "Normally...?" That certainly wasn't intended "belligerently," but simply as an indication that a) I have not heard it so used (at least not that I can remember) and that anyone who looks it up will find the same definition, that in Greek and Latin poetry heavy=long and light=short. Now, my guess would be that it is a short syllable receiving the actual ictus, but I want to make sure that's what was intended. Timothée's comment on what this indicates for actual pronunciation was also intriguing to me, since that is one of my interests with regard to the actual use of the language outside of the literary environment.
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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by mwh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:03 pm

It’s true the shift in terminology can be confusing. As you evidently know, what used to be called long and short syllables, and probably still are in some textbooks, are now generally called heavy and light. This is in aid of keeping clear the necessary distinction, fundamental to Latin prosody, between vowels on the one hand (with long/short quantities) and syllables on the other. Timothée was pointing out that in eius the e itself is actually short, not long as its regular scansion might lead one to think. It’s the syllable that’s heavy (long if you prefer). The medial –i- of eius actually represents a doubled consonant, as he’d explained in his first post, comparing maior, aio, etc. So your guess about its being a short syllable with ictus is misguided.

The occasional occurrence of monosyllabic eius in Old Comedy is a quite different matter. I expect Timothée is right. There’s the evidence of the other inflected forms, but of course it’s a larger question that that.

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Re: Existential macron crisis

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:31 pm

mwh wrote:It’s true the shift in terminology can be confusing. As you evidently know, what used to be called long and short syllables, and probably still are in some textbooks, are now generally called heavy and light. This is in aid of keeping clear the necessary distinction, fundamental to Latin prosody, between vowels on the one hand (with long/short quantities) and syllables on the other. Timothée was pointing out that in eius the e itself is actually short, not long as its regular scansion might lead one to think. It’s the syllable that’s heavy (long if you prefer). The medial –i- of eius actually represents a doubled consonant, as he’d explained in his first post, comparing maior, aio, etc. So your guess about its being a short syllable with ictus is misguided.

The occasional occurrence of monosyllabic eius in Old Comedy is a quite different matter. I expect Timothée is right. There’s the evidence of the other inflected forms, but of course it’s a larger question that that.
Thanks, very clear and helpful.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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