pronunciation used at LATINUM PODCAST

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Lucus Eques
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Re: Pronunciation of CUI and CUIUS

Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:22 pm


L. Amadeus Ranierius

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Cui and Cujus

Post by metrodorus » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:51 pm

Although I personally do not follow Bennett on this, I do generally regard him as authoritative. I am curious as to your reasons and proofs from the authorities for rejecting his interpretation.

I am also curious about your rejection of the gloss of the Venerable Bede quoted in the above ref. and the reasoning of Richardson.

How, by the way, do you generally pronounce the words cui and cujus in restored classical?

-Evan.

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Post by adrianus » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:46 am

Bennett is just pronouncing after the English model "cui" pronounced as in the English "quick" (or "qwik"). When he says "may" be pronounced, he is recommending it to English speakers. The evidence against Bennett's way of pronouncing as "un-classical" is summarised by Sturtevant (1940, Pronunciation of Greek and Latin) who argues (as many others have done before) that the "ui" in "cui", "cuius", "huius", "alicui" (and, interestingly, in "fluitat", "fluitant") is a diphthong. This is what Lucus is arguing (as I understand it). As a diphong, both letters are sounded (and hearable) within one syllable. Erasmus discusses this, also, in De Recta Pronuntiatione. The evidence that the "u" isn't a consonantal "u" (or "w" sound) is better described by Sturtevant, who points out how, historically, those words can also operate as disyllables. This dovetails with what you are saying, Metrodorus (Evan) on cuius...cuiius...quoiius, but by being more adamant that, classically, "cui" was not pronounced "qwi".

Totally disagree with you, Luce, about the Nuntii Latini accent. For me, it definitely is to be emulated (apart from "qui" = "qvi"). Just because I detect Finnish twangs, doesn't mean those speakers don't give great expression and care to vowel lengths, accenting, and other examples in the Erasmian, late-Modern, best-practice model.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:40 pm

Thank you for clarifying my position, care Adriane.

As for Nuntii Latini, I'll listen to a news story and criticize accordingly:

Errors.............Corrections
ph = f.................ph ≠ f; ph = p + h
ae = e................ae ≠ e; ae = a + e
oe = e................oe ≠ e; oe = o + e
v = English 'v'......v = English 'w'
qu = qv.............. qu ≠ qv; qu is as in "quest"
final -m distinct ... final -m is nasalized
no vowel elision ... vowel elision
annoying glottal stops between vowels ... no glottal stops between vowels

And, in the end, it sounds flightfully artificial, more than a typical news broadcast should. Other than that, the scansion is generally good, except between words where there should be elision.
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Post by adrianus » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:09 am

Luce care. You're describing how differently they speak compared to a classical Roman. However, I like that they pronounce in a manner that was general in Europe for the last fifteen hundred years as regards:
ph = f
ae = e
oe = e.
And I love the clarity of:
final -m distinct
no vowel elision.
Personally, I would find it hard to imitate what glottal stops between vowels there are and don't seek to. I think insistence on vowel elision is a pretension that should be left to those who have complete fluency and who insist that their listeners must have a total fluency, too. It facilitates speed of delivery but the danger of elision in the mouth of a learner like me is to encourage muddy delivery. Clarity should come before speed. And clarity presumes the hearer's ability, also. In the current state of spoken Latin, you can seldom assume that fluency and the ear's easy ability to disambiguate. You have a spoken fluency, perhaps, that a tiny minority of others have.
To my ear, Nuntii announcers don't sound particularly artificial at all, just particularly careful and clear for the broadcast medium. I appeal to a sense of fair play ("fair say") and that one respects differences in practice. Modern-day English speakers aren't in "error" because they don't pronounce as Shakespeare did. I just find the Nuntii model particularly fine for practical and historical reasons, and say the same about ecclesiastical Latin (which is different and fine, again, although I prefer the Nuntii model).

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Post by Kyneto Valesio » Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:31 pm

This has been a very informative discussion. Thanks to everyone who took part, especially to Evan from the Latinum Podcast, who is doing so much to further the study of latin viva voce.

Gratias ingentes tibi persolvo magister ob praelectiones praestantes. Quae spero te perrecturum elaborare saltem donec omnia capitula ex libro Adler conficiantur. Haec conamina digna esse laudis magnae puto. Iterum, gratias meas accipe.

As for myself, I think I will try to split some of differences between the classical and the various received traditions of pronunciation.

ae - as in aisle
oe - as in boy
cui - as in kwee
ph - as in Fred
final m - with slight nasalization because it sounds cool

As for elision, I won't attempt it for now: too hard!!

What about the combination UE? I understand that the letters are to be sounded distintly (inform me if I err). I find however as I read aloud, which I am doing a lot of, I seem to want to create a single sound with a w sound. Example

tenuerim

Sometimes I pronounce like ten-U-e-rim; at other times as if i where saying ten-WER-im . Ille quattor syllabas habet, hoc tres.

Best to everyone.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:10 pm

4 syllables, distinct, like the first.

You would be ill advised to go mixing pronunciations, and should best understand the pronunciation at the height of the Classical period — this includes knowing Greek pronunciation as well in that period (as easy matter). Understanding this intuitively will give you every advantange and luxury in choosing a pronunciation that came later.

Why is this so important? Because it is critical to comprehending etymology. If PH is reduced to F, then the whole of antiquity is misunderstood, and the same for TH and CH. You should know, Adriane, that the Ancient Romans made clear the importance of nasalized final -m and its elision just as a vowel. If you spoke Italian with no elision, you'd sound downright awkward. Not only are these natural aspects of the language, they are essential.

One you have mastered these skills, then move foreward to other times. The times that came later, and the language and litterature themselves, can only make sense if you understand their origins.

The analogy to Shakespearean English is rather specious. You, good sir, being an Irishman, speak in an accent nearly identical to that of Shakespeare's times in England. Nor can the excedingly mild divergence from Shakespearean to Modern British or American be compared to the complete structural divolution of the mispronunciation of final -m or the loss of all elision or all aspiration.
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Post by adrianus » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:57 pm

I agree on this, Luce, that understanding Classical literature is deepened by understanding (or trying to understand) pronunciation. But then understanding the literature of the next fifteen hundred years requires an understanding of alternate accent(s). If you spoke Latin c.-100 to +100 to Latin speakers after AD 500, say, "you'd sound downright awkward", too. It's all relative.

Also, I, an Irishman, speak with an unusual accent (as I've been told many times by people here) and yet I am an Irishman. And did Shakespeare (coming from near Birmingham) speak with an Ulster, Munster, Connaught or Leinster accent? Because they are quite different. The fact that some have written that Shakespeare spoke in a way that, in some respects, sounds closer to certain contemporary Irish dialects than some contemporary English dialects doesn't mean Shakespeare spoke in "an accent nearly identical" to an Irishman. His contemporaries might have noticed that and said something about it, surely. (That's not totally facetious, by the way, because it draws attention to the question "did Tudor English people sound like Irish people" and to the answer "surely not".) Have a listen to the recording (not that it's definitive but it's a serious experiment) of "The real sound of Shakespeare?"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4694993.stm
and say that sounds like any contemporary Irishman. Some sounds have an echo but generally you have to say, "not really". There are some Irish accents speaking English and I guarantee you would not be able to understand a word of them. My wife is from the West of Ireland and has great difficulty understanding the way some of my friends in Belfast talk and Belfast is only 190 miles from Galway. My point is that, if you imagine a notional standard (such as Shakespearean English), you soon discover that not only does it change in time, but at any one time there are huge divergences from the norm, and there's no good complaining that people have got it wrong. And the beauty of language and literature is that, to their users and audiences, they don't "only make sense if you understand their origins". These are immersive experiences and language shift is usually imperceptibly slow, so most people (apart from linguists) don't need to concern themselves with origins, and where and how the changes occur.

It is right, generally, to recommend a classical model of pronunciation to someone who is learning Latin and aspiring to an understanding of classical literature (although, personally, the Renaissance is my thing). I love classical Roman models, too, precisely because they can be helpful in understanding classical Romans!! but the academic uncertainties over details in classical Roman accent are significant, too!! I just think you can't tell centuries of people and big bunches of those around today that their Latin accent is "wrong" when they don't sound like a classical Roman (unless they are trying to, of course). Because accent, in conversation at least, isn't set by rule but by conventional practice, and that varies from group to group -- and it even varies within the Reformed classical notional camp. Millions have been beaten around the head in schools for centuries to encourage them to lose their "common" or "country" accents because they are hard to understand when you're not used to them. (It's not that long ago historically that schools stopped beating elision in written and spoken English out of pupils.) Accent differences have always been big. They've also been beautiful. Save the differences.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:24 am

I'm reminded of Arrius in this discussion. Though I prefer Classical Golden pronunciation, I often do not emulate it exactly, particularly in the laryngealisation (is that the right way to describe what's happening? I'm not sure... I know I've heard it called nasalisation as well, but it seems slightly different than the gamma-gamma of Greek...) of gn, as in magnus. And I only nasalise the final -m if I'm reading poetry. I'm also prone to say benest, or homost. I don't find it hindering if you know what the correct pronunciation is for such and such author. It seems to come down as a personal opinion. I mean, is Lucus Eques really saying that the 5th century Gallic Romani were wrong in how they pronounced their Latin?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:50 am

I think the main problem in our discussion is a lack of communication between us. You refer, bone Adriane, to the pronunciation I advocate first as an "accent." It is not an accent, but an order of magnitude greater in significance. Naturally I accept and adore the variety in English language accents, and thoroughly enjoy emulating them. We can classify the difference between Shakespearean and modern variants as an accentual divergence.

Elision, on the other hand, is an entire order of structure. It is a fundamental component of the Latin language, and has not only transcended every accent and dialect of ancient, natural Latin, but also has established itself prominently in all the Romance languages and their dialects. This is structural, and essential.
His contemporaries might have noticed that and said something about it, surely.
Maybe then my indication was unclear. (And this is trivial to our discussion, but interesting.) The modern Irish accents (all 30 or so of them) for the most part retain an older pronunciation of English, and most bear a distinct resemblance to Shakespearean. There are similar old traits to be found in Welsh and Scottish English as well.

What is this English elision you speak of? The only example that comes to mind is Elizabethan "in th'afternoon."
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