Lingua Latina Pars I - Familia Romana

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:03 am

Thymie, your question is important:
For instance, with word like ěsse and strĭgo (it took me a while to find such a word in Latin), where I'm pretty sure that the first syllable of esse takes less time than the first syllable of strigo, why is es "long" but stri "short?"
Indeed, it does not take less time to pronounce the 'es-' of "esse" than the 'stri-' of "strigo." If you pronounce "esse" correctly, the 's'-sound will be quite geminated, twinned, lengthened such that the first syllable of "esse" will be at least twice as long as the first syllabe in "strigo." You may be pronouncing the 'i' in "strigo" a little too long (something that most Italians, for example, are not capable of doing since it runs counter to the above stressed-long-syllable rule of their tongue as I outlined above).

If you'd like, we might arrange a brief conversation on Skype; I'd be happy to show you a few things about Latin pronunciation that are quite difficult to perceive without a frame of reference, that is, without hearing a speaker speak them. That offer goes for anyone, actually.
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Post by Amadeus » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:24 pm

Ok, I apologize for returning to this subject, which I thought was already settled. But recently I've been obsessing about correct pronunciation, and the issue of long vowels will not let me sleep (just an expression, btw). I found the following quote here: http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... Verse.html
"Long by position" means long for verse, hence in verse the vowel must be of double length. But this does not mean that in prose the vowel is long, or that it must affect the STRESS accent. This curious double-standard is one of the things Romans lived with, with some unease. On the other hand a master like Vergil can make the verse-rhythm and the prose-rhythm work with and even against each other, creating a subtly moiré effect in verse.
And I had already begun to double all the vowels that were followed by double consonants. What a waste of time! :evil: So, the answer, if I got it right, to my original question is that the first "e" of esse (to be) is short, and is only pronounced long by position in poetry. In fact, the same source above reveals that rather than being long by position, it is long by convention in order to preserve the rythm etc.
(Actually the word "position" is a mis-translating of the Greek grammatical term "thesis" which means "convention, agreement"; ignorant Roman schoolmasters thought it came from the verb "ti-THE-mi" which can mean "place, put in position", hence the error.)
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Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:13 am

The assessment in that article that you point out, Amadeus, is incorrect. For example, the vowel 'e' in "lectus" is not long; however, the syllable is long because of the consonant combination that follows: "-ct-."

Latin meter is not an artificial bludgeon, as most tend to recognize it, pretending their scarecrow of an effigy be something beautiful when it is not. The meter of Latin poetry is the same as the meter of Latin prose. Latin poetry is the artful arrangement of the natural rhythms and measures that occurr in natural speech. The Romans said it so. Any arbitration to the contrary comes from fundamental misunderstanding of the tongue.
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Post by modus.irrealis » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:59 am

Lucus Eques wrote: Indeed, it does not take less time to pronounce the 'es-' of "esse" than the 'stri-' of "strigo." If you pronounce "esse" correctly, the 's'-sound will be quite geminated, twinned, lengthened such that the first syllable of "esse" will be at least twice as long as the first syllabe in "strigo." You may be pronouncing the 'i' in "strigo" a little too long
The way I pronounce es (that syllable alone) that s takes as long as the s at the start of stri, and tri is noticeably longer than e so that's why to me the syllable stri seems to take more time to say, even without lengthening the i, than es does, even though it's not "long" and es is. Hopefully that's clear. But I think you're suggesting that the s at the end of a syllable should be more prominent (not sure what the right word is) than at the beginning of the syllable?
(something that most Italians, for example, are not capable of doing since it runs counter to the above stressed-long-syllable rule of their tongue as I outlined above).
I thought you meant that Italians had a tendency to lengthen stressed vowels which is very similar to what happens in (Modern) Greek. I'm not sure I understand you here.
If you'd like, we might arrange a brief conversation on Skype; I'd be happy to show you a few things about Latin pronunciation that are quite difficult to perceive without a frame of reference, that is, without hearing a speaker speak them. That offer goes for anyone, actually.
Thanks for the offer. My computer though has its issues with microphones so I don't think I can get Skype to work on it.
Lucus Eques wrote:The assessment in that article that you point out, Amadeus, is incorrect. For example, the vowel 'e' in "lectus" is not long; however, the syllable is long because of the consonant combination that follows: "-ct-."
I also found the article odd, especially the comment that "'Long by position' means long for verse, hence in verse the vowel must be of double length." Would such problems occur if we said syllables are heavy by position? ;)

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Post by Amadeus » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:11 pm

Ok, here's another one:

On chapter XV verse 23, the school teacher says: «O, discipulos improbos...!» But then on verse 101, he says it differently: «O improbi discipuli!» In the first instance, shouldn't it be the vocative instead of the accusative? Or does one comma change everything?
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by nostos » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:34 pm

Amadeus wrote:Ok, here's another one:

On chapter XV verse 23, the school teacher says: «O, discipulos improbos...!» But then on verse 101, he says it differently: «O improbi discipuli!» In the first instance, shouldn't it be the vocative instead of the accusative? Or does one comma change everything?
it ain't the comma; it's just Orberg's way of showing you can use both. In one, he's saying that he thinks those damned discipulos are so improbos! In the other, he's addressing his discipuli (vocative) :)
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Post by Amadeus » Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:57 pm

Ok, this one definitely was slip-up: Cap. XXII, v. 92: "amabo te!" I could never figure out what that meant. "I will love you" didn't make much sense. Now I know it means "please". But, really, Ørberg should've used it a little more to make its meaning a little clearer. *scoff* I will love you... Hahahae :lol:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:11 pm

Well, what else would the tabellarius have said in that situation instead of "please"? "truck off"?
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Post by Amadeus » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:23 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Well, what else would the tabellarius have said in that situation instead of "please"? "truck off"?
He could've said a lot of things. My point is, however, that Ørberg should've used "amabo te" more than just once in order to leave no room for doubt. At least for me, the conection between "please" and "love" was not obvious.
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by bellum paxque » Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:21 am

One thing I love about learning other language is finding out how they express the common necessities of courtesy. So, "please," "thank you," and "sorry" often express the peculiarities of both the language and the culture that sired it.

Here are some pleases I've learned so far:

English: please (if it pleases you? it would please me if?)
French: s'il te plaît (if it pleases you)
Latin: amabo te (I will love you if...) or quaeso (I beg)
Spanish: por favor (as a favor - cf. English "Can you do me a favor?")
Korean: juseyo (honorific of give: something like, honorable sir, ma'am: please give); also, chom (a little, modifies requests)

I know this is off topic: what are some linguistic expressions of please?

(I apoligize that this is all in reference to English; this naturally biases the discussion, but I see no way around it.)

-David
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