Latin pronunciation

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Thu Feb 25 07:02:34 CST 1999

At 06:37 AM 2/25/99 -0700, JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE wrote:
>European botanists pronounce Latin according to medieval
>rules, or else according to the ecclesiastical pronunciation
>of the Catholic Church (which is basically Latin with
>an Italian accent).

Medieval Latin was far from monolithic. Pronunciation of the local language
affected Latin pronunciation, especially of the letter "c" and the "ti",
"ci" combinations followed by a vowel (and the vowels themselves varied,
depending on how much distinction the local language had between long and
short vowels). Modern musicians who sing "historically informed" Medieval
music learn several different types of Latin pronunciation. (No, there
aren't recordings from a millenium ago; the pronunciations are
reconstructed from such things as rhyming couplets, especially that combine
two languages, and latinization of local names.)

Many of these differences continue in modern European pronunciation of

Curtis Clark        
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

More information about the Taxacom mailing list