Answer key: ei-us or e-ius?

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Answer key: ei-us or e-ius?

Post by balindsey » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:33 pm

In the very first exercise, which involves division in to syllables, the answer key shows eius divided as ei-us.

Why not e-ius? Isn't i consonantal here?

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Re: Answer key: ei-us or e-ius?

Post by metrodorus » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:34 pm

It is actually ej-jus. That macron is very confusing, it signifies a doubled consonantal i. There are a few places macrons do this job: e.g. huj-jus.
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Re: Answer key: ei-us or e-ius?

Post by lsanger » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:13 pm

Isn't "ei" a diphthong? If it is, the "i" in "ei" can't be treated as a consonant (can it?).

Sorry, I don't mean to pretend to know anything about this. I'm just confused, that's all.

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Re: Answer key: ei-us or e-ius?

Post by Xystus » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:37 pm

Isanger, the answer given by Metrodus is correct. It is not necessarily the case that one Latin letter always corresponds to exactly a single sound. In this case, the single i actually stands in for a double i, meaning that the i makes both the preceding vowel a diphtong and serves as a consonant for the second syllable (so, e.g., ei-ius). From Allen and Greenough:
Between consonant i and a preceding a, e, o or u, an i was developed as a transient sound, thus producing a diphthong ai , ei , etc., before the consonant i. In such cases but one i was written: as, âiō (for † ai-iō ), mâius (for † mai-ius ), pêius (for † pei-ius ). ... smythp%3D6

Also note that having two vowels together that could form a diphthong does not mean that in 100% of words that they are pronounced as a diphthong, even if that is usually a safe assumption.

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