Latin tips and tricks

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Postby Quintus Marius Primus on Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:11 pm

Caldvs wrote:Gratias Omne!
Im still confused as to where the S sound of C's come from that we have in the European languages.. C's were pronounced like K in the Germanic tounges as well, hence we have Kaiser and King and Knight(originally pronounced K-night). So if C's were pro. like K in both languages,where did we get the S sound of them in SOME of the Germanic and Romance Languages of today?I heard that we that speak English get the s sound of c's from French,thats understandable but were did they get it since BOTH Latin and Germanic languages pronounced it like a K?
And if Im not mistaken the Celts pronounced it like a k also..thats why the words Cornish,Celt and MacDonald are Kornish,Kelt,and MakDonald today and not Sornish,Selt, and MasDonald.


The Latin letter 'c' being pronounced as an 's' in front of 'i' or 'e' came about through a process called palatisation. In producing the 'k' sound the tip of the tongue rests either behind the top teeth or just behind on the alveolar ridge. To produce the 'i' and 'e' sound the tongue is a little further back in the mouth, so with the 'i' or 'e' also being uttered after the 'k' sound there is often a certain amount of slurring the sound as the tongue rapidly moves back from the 'k' position to the 'i' or 'e' position. Over time this produces a change in sound written as /Ç/ in the Interanational Phonetic Alphabet (that is the 'ch' sound in the German word 'ich'). Over even more time this sound in northern France changed by moving further the tongue further back in the mouth to produce the 's' sound. This is how modern French (and consequently English) have this 's' sound for 'c' before 'i' and 'e'.

A similar process happened in Latin with 't' or 'd' followed by 'i' or 'e'. That's how we get a 's' sound in French on words ending in '-tion' (and consequently the 'sh' sound in English in the same words) and where the Italian 'dz' sound for their letter 'z' comes from. It's a process that's happening with modern English too (in England at any rate) - the pronunciation of the 't' in the word Tuesday is often pronounced as a 'ch' sound, so we say "Choosday" (although there is no 'i' in the spelling, there is an 'i' sound after the 't').
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Postby CALDVS on Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:52 pm

Quintus Marius Primus wrote:
Caldvs wrote:Gratias Omne!
Im still confused as to where the S sound of C's come from that we have in the European languages.. C's were pronounced like K in the Germanic tounges as well, hence we have Kaiser and King and Knight(originally pronounced K-night). So if C's were pro. like K in both languages,where did we get the S sound of them in SOME of the Germanic and Romance Languages of today?I heard that we that speak English get the s sound of c's from French,thats understandable but were did they get it since BOTH Latin and Germanic languages pronounced it like a K?
And if Im not mistaken the Celts pronounced it like a k also..thats why the words Cornish,Celt and MacDonald are Kornish,Kelt,and MakDonald today and not Sornish,Selt, and MasDonald.


The Latin letter 'c' being pronounced as an 's' in front of 'i' or 'e' came about through a process called palatisation. In producing the 'k' sound the tip of the tongue rests either behind the top teeth or just behind on the alveolar ridge. To produce the 'i' and 'e' sound the tongue is a little further back in the mouth, so with the 'i' or 'e' also being uttered after the 'k' sound there is often a certain amount of slurring the sound as the tongue rapidly moves back from the 'k' position to the 'i' or 'e' position. Over time this produces a change in sound written as /Ç/ in the Interanational Phonetic Alphabet (that is the 'ch' sound in the German word 'ich'). Over even more time this sound in northern France changed by moving further the tongue further back in the mouth to produce the 's' sound. This is how modern French (and consequently English) have this 's' sound for 'c' before 'i' and 'e'.

A similar process happened in Latin with 't' or 'd' followed by 'i' or 'e'. That's how we get a 's' sound in French on words ending in '-tion' (and consequently the 'sh' sound in English in the same words) and where the Italian 'dz' sound for their letter 'z' comes from. It's a process that's happening with modern English too (in England at any rate) - the pronunciation of the 't' in the word Tuesday is often pronounced as a 'ch' sound, so we say "Choosday" (although there is no 'i' in the spelling, there is an 'i' sound after the 't').


Gratius Tibius for the wonderful explaination..You have been a big help..

Vale
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Postby Quintus Marius Primus on Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:22 pm

Always happy to oblige, although I did make a bit of an error with my explanation. :oops: I said that in making the 'k' sound the tongue goes to behind the teeth, well this isn't exactly correct. The 'k' sound is produced in the velum area in the mouth further back at the top of the mouth. Otherwise my discription is correct in that the sounds get slurred.
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Latin tips

Postby Anonymous on Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:51 am

Avete Omnes,

I am rather new at this but I would like to thank all who have placed there post's regarding the latin tips & tricks. This information is very useful and I look forward to seeing and learning more.

Vale, L. Servilius
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De Discendo Latino

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:11 am

Salvete omnibus -

For those of us (myself included, of course) who are trying to become Latina in Lingua Competentes, but who feel uneasy since they're less than proficient:
I. An injunction: Never feel bad about not being fully and smoothly functional in the great tongue of the West - just keep at it;
II. A personal remark: I think it's a precious thing that anyone is trying to peer behind the mask of pop culture, to get a better view of this universal heritage; and
III. A round of applause: Because we're pursuing it.

In sententia Iaponica: Ganbatte, kudasai!

Valete bene.
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Gender of "dies"

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:09 pm

Salvete, omnes -

Scholars and Students,

What's the deal with the gender of the word dies? Nominally it's masculine, but occasionally shows up as feminine. My dictionary has, "occasionally feminine when referring to a fixed day or time in general".

What's your experience with this? Is there any handy rule of thumb?

Valete.
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Postby cepasaccus on Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:00 am

cepasaccus valerio s d

My Georges says:

"dies, ei, c. (doch bei Cic. als fem. nur vom Termine u. Zeitraume u. wenn es das Datum des Briefes), im Plur. nur masc."

So in case of an appointment or a time range and in the date of a letter it is feminine. Otherwise it is masculine. And in plural it is always masculine. This is not much more information. I would use feminine in case of e.g. "court day" or "the whole day".

vale
kitty mea felis dodeviginti annos nata requiescat in pace. me per pleramque meam vitam comitabat. laeta gaudiumque meum erat. desiderio eius angor.
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I Cruce Male !

Postby Formosus Viriustus on Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:43 pm

Salvete Omnes !

Looking through this thread, in order to polish my Latin up somewhat, I came across this gem from a little while back that I think deserves an encore.


Re: The Local Lingo
by Horatius Piscinus on Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:18 pm

A couple other things. Salve bene, bene vale means "be very well," salve optime, vale optime means "Be of best health." And the opposite is "Salve male." Or you could just say I cruce male which means "Go nail yourself on a cross in a poor manner so that it really hurts."

Does anyone know if there is more information on Latin swearing and cursing available ? (Since that is one of my favourite pass times.) I have used that expression in the negative form 'Non i cruce male' as a very informal valediction already somewhere else (couldn't resist the temptation). I hope this is not only correct Latin but is also appropriate : something like the present day 'Go break a leg'.
Any help on that ?

I also saw that there has been some discussion about how the 'V' in the word 'salve' and similar ones should be pronounced : as a 'W' or as a 'U'. I've no authority on such subjects at all, but I do lean towards the 'U' pronunciation : pretty much as it is pronounced in present day French and Spanish.
There is also the name of the first Frankish king : 'Clovis'. I have never heard that pronounced otherwise than 'Klovis' with a 'K' and a 'V', but I think it should probably be pronounced pretty much the same as the French 'Louis' or better still the English 'Lewis' with a soft 'CH' in front and a distinct 'S' at the end : ' Chlouis'.

Valete optime bene !
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Re: I Cruce Male !

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:29 pm

Formosus Viriustus wrote:I also saw that there has been some discussion about how the 'V' in the word 'salve' and similar ones should be pronounced : as a 'W' or as a 'U'. I've no authority on such subjects at all, but I do lean towards the 'U' pronunciation : pretty much as it is pronounced in present day French and Spanish.
There is also the name of the first Frankish king : 'Clovis'. I have never heard that pronounced otherwise than 'Klovis' with a 'K' and a 'V', but I think it should probably be pronounced pretty much the same as the French 'Louis' or better still the English 'Lewis' with a soft 'CH' in front and a distinct 'S' at the end : ' Chlouis'.


Since <V> in Latin was used for [u], and we only make the distinction in classical transcriptions between <v> and <u> for practicality's sake, there's no real reason to assume that <V> was ever pronounced [v] in classical Latin. Your assumption about approximating the sound when it precedes another vowel with a very rounded French [u] seems about right to me.

Now, as for Clovis, two things should be considered here: (a) he was of Frankish descent, and I don't know if by then the upper class still spoke Franconian or early French, and (b) Ecclesiastical Latin in fact did have [v] as do modern French and Italian. I have no idea whether the <C> was a true [k] or a heavily aspirated one closer to [x], but I'm inclined to intuitively believe the former, as [x] was an alien phoneme to Latin and it's also not present in French.
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Clovis & Louis

Postby Formosus Viriustus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:14 pm

Salvete Omnes,

Thanks for the information Gnaeus,

The 'Klovis'- 'Louis' thing only rather recently occured to me : I have not heard anyone else's ideas on that yet. Since their is an almost endless line of French Louis', I thought they might just have taken their name from the first King of the Franks, only in a more phonetically correct spelling. And the 'C' or 'K' or 'CH': the Franks were 'Chermans' and the 'Chermans' are rather famous for that, no ? :wink:
And if I'm correct the Ancients weren't all that strict in distinguishing the 'G' from the 'C' either. (cfr. Caius / Gaius ; or is that something different all together ? )
Any more views on that ? And on the swearing front ?

Valete Optime
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Re: Latin tips and tricks

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:43 pm

Salve mi Formose,

Let me start off by saying I was once known as the dreaded "Latin Inquisition" here, although my Latin is mainly leftovers from secondary school (six years of Latin) and there have been/are socii whose Latin is much better than mine. The reason for this nickname is that I had a habit of tirelessly correcting misuse of Latin whenever I spotted it. So - if you speak to me directly, it's best to call me "Gnae", in the vocative case. When you're speaking about me, "Gnaeus" is fine (unless you're truly speaking Latin, but that's another matter altogether).

Unfortunately I can't help you on the swearing, apart from the occasional MEHERCULE, which isn't dirty or vulgar. Maybe if you look into the Roman graffiti of Pompeii, you might find something.

I had to look it up to see if Clovis is related to Louis, and apparently, it is! In its original form, the [k] was probably aspirated as you thought, as the first part of the name stems from the Proto-Germanic *hlud. Over time however, in all its cognate forms the aspiration was dropped along with the first letter.

Optime vale,
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Curses!

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:45 am

Salvete omnes!

M Horatius Piscinus has got quite the collection of R-rated Roman cuss-words. [Un?]fortunately, I don't use any of them. But we do have a selection of authentic curse-expressions on the site: http://www.societasviaromana.net/Colleg ... curses.php . Most of them are cribbed from Plautus' plays. >({|;-)

In fide,
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Re: Latin tips and tricks and blanagrams ?

Postby Formosus Viriustus on Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:25 pm

Gratias mi Mari,

The examples given here will probably well have fitted in Plautus' plays, which I only vaguely know about from reputation. But they are either variations on the crucifixion theme or invoke the gods rather explicitly to bring harm to someone. Even if you're an unbeliever you shouldn't do that too gratuitously. I am more looking for curses that can be used in a more light hearted way. So there's a bit less there than I had hoped for but there must most likely be more around if I do bother to look for it.

On a different note : infected by the (bl)anagramming bug I couldn't resist having a go at our 'Catulla'.
(That kid does need a Roman name, you know, you can't keep putting it off indefinitely.)
So here's the best I could come up with : 'Maria Danaos Lol'. It's not a proper Roman name yet, but there is maybe something there. And it's an exact anagram, wouldn't want to risk myself in too deep.
So maybe we should ask our expert blanagrammer Nephele to have a go ? She knows as much about Roman names as she does about zombies and vampyres. And that's a lot.

What say you ?

Vale bene et nil desperandum,
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Re: Latin tips and tricks

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:32 pm

Salvete, Docti atque Indocti -

Me indocto, until I see better proof this is my folk-rendition of the "Clovis" story -

[x]lofis => [x]lovis (vowels either side working on the "f" and vocalizing it).

Then, the Latin transcription: chlovis

Next to go is the [x] being Latinized and simplified to a mere [k] sound, thus: "Chlovis" pronounced klovis.

Next, since the Frankish nation is overlaid on a Romano-gallic nation, and the "v" tends to be an unstable phoneme, especially between vowels, I think that [v] => [u], thus klouis [klowis].

And then the [k] is reduced by usage to a mere [h]: hlowis

At which point the vowels simply take over: hlow => lou or luu ; and the wis => wi[h] => wii, and so:

we get: luuii. But due to inconsistent conservatism in spelling, we get Louis - the [x] forgotten or 'fixed', but the 'is' retained in its silent-s form, as with a number of other French words.

I'm sure that's completely at odds with the scholars, but as I said, it's only a layman's guess.
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Nomenclatorial Matters

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:05 am

Salve, mi Formose, et Salvete omnes!

> (That kid does need a Roman name, you know, you can't keep putting it off indefinitely.)


Of course she does, and if she were my daughter she'd have had one from the get-go! But Na, she's my niece, so Soror got first crack, and she thinks I'm a crackpot for wanting to learn (and spread) Latin at all. Pués, no Roman name. I'll just have to give her one on the sly. And, while "Darla Ana" conjugates nicely enough, I'm going to bestow upon her a proper tria nomina, and not one of those NR "nearest tolerable equivalents" of her mundane name either. (I'm pretty sure those people would admit a "Goldendelicius" and a "Curius Odus" if they presented themselves...) I feel confident in my ability to come up with something more appropriate; after all, I wrote the rules for creating our SVR names, and I've been coining authentic Roman ones for RPG characters for eighteen years. >({|:-)

Once more unto the breach!
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Re: Latin tips and tricks and blanagrams ?

Postby Nephele on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:47 am

Formosus Viriustus wrote:
On a different note : infected by the (bl)anagramming bug I couldn't resist having a go at our 'Catulla'.
(That kid does need a Roman name, you know, you can't keep putting it off indefinitely.)
So here's the best I could come up with : 'Maria Danaos Lol'. It's not a proper Roman name yet, but there is maybe something there. And it's an exact anagram, wouldn't want to risk myself in too deep.
So maybe we should ask our expert blanagrammer Nephele to have a go ? She knows as much about Roman names as she does about zombies and vampyres. And that's a lot.


I see my name has been invoked and, like a summoned demon, here I be. :)

That's an interesting anagram you came up with, Formosus!

Allow me to supply a blanagram for a likely Roman name for the young lady:

Salonia Mariola
= Maria Danaos Lol -d +i

She was born into the Salonia gens, and given the cognomen of "Mariola" (a feminine diminutive of "Marius") in honor of her uncle.

-- Nephele
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Re: Latin tips and tricks

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:29 am

Cn. Dionysius Valerio Claudio SPD,

Valerius Claudius Iohanes wrote:Salvete, Docti atque Indocti -

Me indocto, until I see better proof this is my folk-rendition of the "Clovis" story -

[x]lofis => [x]lovis (vowels either side working on the "f" and vocalizing it).

Then, the Latin transcription: chlovis

Next to go is the [x] being Latinized and simplified to a mere [k] sound, thus: "Chlovis" pronounced klovis.

Next, since the Frankish nation is overlaid on a Romano-gallic nation, and the "v" tends to be an unstable phoneme, especially between vowels, I think that [v] => [u], thus klouis [klowis].

And then the [k] is reduced by usage to a mere [h]: hlowis

At which point the vowels simply take over: hlow => lou or luu ; and the wis => wi[h] => wii, and so:

we get: luuii. But due to inconsistent conservatism in spelling, we get Louis - the [x] forgotten or 'fixed', but the 'is' retained in its silent-s form, as with a number of other French words.

I'm sure that's completely at odds with the scholars, but as I said, it's only a layman's guess.


Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

I do wonder, however, why you brand the [v] as an unstable phoneme, as it is concurrently present in all major Romance and Germanic languages (Slavic languages, too, I think, but I'm not entirely sure). Latin seems to have been an exception rather than a rule, unless the [v] is an innovation of more recent language evolutions in Germanic and Romance languages. If you mean to say the spelling of [v] is inconsistent and unstable - so much is true.

Di te ament,
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Re: Latin tips and tricks

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:14 am

Salve, Draco -

Actually, i think you're right, and I have the cart before the horse - perhaps other phonemes wind up as [v] more often than [v] itself fades out.

Still, a vocal between two vowels - it might well get absorbed, it seems to me.

Bene vale.
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Re: Klovis & Louis & Ludwig & Roman names

Postby Formosus Viriustus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:54 pm

Salvete Omnes !

The question really was : ''was 'Clovis' ever pronounced like 'Klovis' or was it always more like '(Ch)lewis' and is 'Klovis' a modern mispronunciation ? (The German equivalent is 'Ludwig'). That is : was it maybe just, or mostly, the spelling that changed and not the pronunciation ?''
We'll never know for sure, I guess.

Excellent work with the blanagramming again, Nephele. We expect nothing less from you. Now we'll have to wait a few months to see what the young lady herself thinks about it.

By the way, our Nephele has written a few very interesting essays on Roman names. Their history and their meaning, their evolution over time, and so on.
Read them at :
http://www.unrv.com/culture/roman-naming-practices.php
http://www.unrv.com/culture/surnames-of-the-julii.php
http://www.unrv.com/culture/surnames-of-the-cornelii.php
http://www.unrv.com/culture/surnames-of-the-sempronii.php


Valete bene,
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Re: Latin tips and tricks

Postby Nephele on Sat May 02, 2009 3:34 pm

Gnaeus Dionysius Draco wrote:Titles and Further Comments

[snip]

Examples (male variety comes first, plural is in the second column):

Senator/Senatrix ------ Senatores/Senatrices (senator)
rogator/rogatrix ------ rogatores/rogatrices (vote counter)
tribunus/tribuna ------ tribuni/tribunae (tribune)
praetor/praetrix ----- praetores/praetrices (praetor)
censor/centrix* ----- censores/centrices* (censor)

[snip]

* "centrix" and "centrices" are fictive female forms based on the most likely path of linguistic logic. Because there were no female censores (or any other female magistrates) in Rome, these forms have been made up later. Some contend that we should use male forms throughout.


If you're looking for a non-fictive, feminine equivalent of "Censor," may I suggest "Censorina"? "Censorina" is an attested feminine cognomen that might double as your feminine magisterial title.

-- Nephele
P.S. Thank you, Formosus!
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