Most beautiful ancient language

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What is the most beautiful ancient language?

Homeric Greek
2
11%
Attic Greek
0
No votes
Koinè Greek
0
No votes
Classical Latin
6
35%
Medieval Latin
2
11%
Another language
6
35%
None
1
5%
 
Total votes : 17

Postby Q Valerius on Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:53 am

Salve Draco,

As z is a voiced s, zh is a voiced sh. I believe the IPA has it here as the 's' in vision.
Gnæus Dionysius Draco wrote:Salve Scerio,

Why the 'h' after the 'z'? Is it pronounced like the second part of the first sound in 'journalist' then? Or something different altogether?

Vale!
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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:07 pm

Salvete iteum, Tergeste et alii

Concerning your question about the Taiwanese writing system, I might have some thoughts to share with you, Tergeste.

It is a complex history. In that way that, for starters, there have been and still are numerous indigenous dialects (wheather we should speak of languages is an ongoing debate), each with its own organisation. When it comes to the writing system, Taiwan is now mainly a Hancha- nation, like mainland China, meaning they use Chinese characters. But here, it becomes complex. It is certain that they use characters of Classical Chinese without simplifying them like the PRC has done. So this is an answer to your question.

The question in my view is how long will this situation continue? There is a tendency on Taiwan of strong relations with Mandarin Chinese now, through education etc. They are getting closer, and at a certain point in the future, a merger is not unthinkable. But it remains to be seen, because there will be nationalism involved... Where that would end with regards to the writing system, I can only guess. The logical thing would be to adopt the simplified characters. But maybe that is wishfull thinking on my part.
What is certain, is the fact that the best language education in and on Mandarin Chinese is on Taiwan, where it exists next to the many dialects spoken in Taiwan. But we can divide them into four major categories which are popular to most of Taiwanese. Apart from Mandarin, they are: Fukienese, Hakanese, and Cantonese.

I hope this was a usefull contribution. I don't know if my answer is as it should be, but it is a complex matter and I am only a student of limited knowledge.:roll:

Optime vale.
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Postby Aulus Dionysius Mencius on Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:14 pm

And let me add that I too believe Chinese sounds awkward to an non speaker. Japanese sounds so much better, doesn't it? After all, it is a differently constructed language...

But when you begin to understand a little, it can be fun. Or frustrating :wink: Mainly so when it comes to imported DVD or video. They are all in Cantonese :evil:, because most of the Chinese emigrants come from the soutthern coastal provinces and they speak Min dialects, amongst whom Cantonese has a standard role.

C ya!
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:51 pm

Salve Scerio,

Q. Valerius Scerio wrote:Salve Draco,

As z is a voiced s, zh is a voiced sh. I believe the IPA has it here as the 's' in vision.
Gnæus Dionysius Draco wrote:Salve Scerio,

Why the 'h' after the 'z'? Is it pronounced like the second part of the first sound in 'journalist' then? Or something different altogether?

Vale!
Draco


Ah, yes, that was what I meant. In my constructions of alien languages, I use <zh> for exactly the same sound. It has always bothered me how sf or fantasy writers insert q, h and y at random without it meaning anything, so I vowed not to make the same mistake.

Optime vale,
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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:50 pm

Salvete Amici,

I didn't vote for any of these languages since I don't know what makes a languages beautiful on one hand, on the other hand of those languages listed I know only Latin.

What I always wondered was if there is really a way to find out how Latin was pronounced. There are these discussions how to prounounce for example the names Caesar or Cicero.

When I watched this horrible Jesus movie by Mel Gibson (one reason to watch it was that the people spoke ancient languages, i.e. Aramaic and Latin) they pronounced the Latin like Italian. So I had problems in the beginning to understand the words, but got used to it after a while. Of course there might have been accents, that a person from Roma spoke differently than one from Pompeii etc., like nowadays we North Germans speak with a much different accent than the Bavarians.
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Pronouncing Latin (even Marius' way!)

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:34 am

Salve, Magistra Aelia...

The best serious attempt to reconstruct Latin pronunciation has got to be Vox Latina by W. Sidney Allen. This book is surprisingly slender and a pleasure to read even if one is not a hard-core phoneticist. And it is the one reference on the subject cited by nearly all the others.

Professor Allen first discusses the many ways Latin has been pronounced, including Church Latin, proto-Romance (iirc), and some of the gods-awful constructs heard in British boys' academies and similar settings. He then pieces together, as much as one can from ancient grammarians and other primary sources, just what sound elements most likely did make up Classical Latin. His schematic makes room for the development of Latin after its "Golden Age" (which is where Marius gets off with his Spanish V's!--Cicero would've been appalled, but they were trending that direction by Quintilian's time).

There are no final answers here, only best guesses--and as with so much else in Roman civilization, the "right" thing really depends on what year it was and which neck of the woods you were in. Find it used; it's worth the search...or check it out of your local Library, they're likely to have it.

Allen, W. Sidney. Vox Latina: The Pronunciation of Classical Latin. Second edition. London: Cambridge UP, 1965 (1978). ISBN 0 521 22049 1 (First edition ISBN 0 521 04021 3)

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