pronouncing names (ae endings)

Nico Cellinese ncellinese at FMNH.ORG
Wed Jun 26 09:37:19 CDT 2002

On Tue, 25 Jun 2002 15:06:22 -0700, Roger Burks <rogerburks at EARTHLINK.NET> wrote:

>Every Latin textbook I've ever read, including as I posted earlier, the
>American, British, French, and German books, as well as the Lingua Latina
>books from Swedish authors, represented -ae as rhyming with eye. Classical
>Latin as tought today *is standardized*, and does not vary from country to
>country. I agree with you about the hard c.
>Roger Burks

This is not how we are/I was thought Latin in my country (not so many years ago!).   When you say today Latin is standardized, do you refer to
the pronounciation?  That is because, for example, the soft c in -ceae is here pronounced like an s, in Italy like a ch, and in Germany it sounds
like a soft z.  I think Latin pronounciation do vary from country to country.  I am a little puzzled here, you mention American, French, German and
Swedish Latin books, but I thought Italian was directly derived from Latin, and we just don't pronounce -ae to rhyme with eye, and when we read
Latin we pronounce it like an e in ten.  Maybe these authors aimed at standardize the pronounciation in some way, which is fine, but that doesn't
imply their way is the correct way Romans used to pronounce their language.  I am not a linguist, and I plead ignorance, but I am not convinced I
am totally wrong.


Nico Cellinese
Botany Department
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605, U.S.A.
Ph. 1-312-665-7881
Fax 1-312-665-7158

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