pronouncing names (ae endings)

Guido Flamini flamini at FARM.UNIPI.IT
Tue Jun 25 07:57:01 CDT 2002

The discussion about the correct pronunciation of latin names is very
amusing. I was wandering how people without any Latin training can set
rules (each person his own rules!!!) about the correct pronunciation. I am
a phytochemist, so I am not able to teach i.e. genetics or philosophy!!!
But I have studied Latin for five years during high school. It is true,
there are no tapes or CDs from Latin speakers, but Italian language is
derived directly from Latin. During medieval times aristocratics and
scientists still spoke latin. Than this language was directly tranformed
(see Dante Alighieri) in a language called "dolce stil novo", very similar
to modern Italian language, with very similar sounds.
In latin the vocals ae and oe are pronounced as a single e (like in ten) in
fact often they are written as æ and ¦. I agree with Nico Cellinese when he
affirms that "the family Asteraceae is pronounced
A-ste-ra-ce-e: the a in -ra is an a as in apple, the -ce is -che, and the
final -e is another e as in che, two equal, but clearly separate sounds."
We could also decide to use a "technical latin", with new rules, but these
rules should be coded.

Dr. Guido Flamini
Dipartimento di Chimica Bioorganica e Biofarmacia
Via Bonanno 33, 56126 Pisa, Italia
Tel: +3905044074; Fax: +3905043321
e-mail: flamini at

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