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Re: Re: phonetic pronunciation


Actually, Anner, quite a lot is known about how Latin in classical times was
pronounced.  Poetry in latin used certain metrical rhythms and other poetical
devices, well known because there are extant treatises about the matter,
written in Classical times.

In addition, as Edmundas pointed out, the Latin alphabet was used
phonetically to record many other languages, from which comparative study can
determine the common elements.

 One of the strongest pieces of evidence for how the sounds were made comes
from how the Etruscan alphabet, adopted by the Romans as our "Latin" alphabet
derived from Phoenician partly via Greek developed and evolved.  Again,
comparative studies of extant languages and ancient documents, as well as
comparative studies of those languages directly descended from vernacular
Latin as spoken in classical times shows what common elements underlie current
day rhythm, values of vowels, and forms of consonants that share the ancestral
common tree.

The Latin I studied was the Classical form.  I had never been around iris folk
and read about species, found them in pedigrees and so on, so I got abruptly
"corrected" when I pronounced "pallida" with Classical Latin rhythm and vowels
as "pahl-LEE-dah."  The accent on strong vowels in most Latin/Spanish and
related languages is penultimate (second from last) unless certain
characteristics are evident in the ultimate (last) syllable.  Even worse, I
got haughtily corrected by a rather stuffy person when I pronounced
"variegata" with similar rhythm and vowel equivalents as "vah-ree-e[as in
egg]-GAH-tah."

I cringe at most pronunciations.....

One area where Latin is still used and studied is in the Roman Catholic
Church.  Two thousand years of use, however, has brought with it a rather
strong drift away from the Latin of Julius Caesar (which, incidentally, was
transliterated into German as "Kaiser," which rather faithfully records its
Classical pronunciation).  Official Roman Church documents have their basic
expression in very carefully developed Latin.  Translation then proceeds into
the various vernaculars where ever the document is intended to apply.  Those
translations are rigorously studied to make certain the "Official" original is
rendered transparently so that the common meanings are equally understood.  In
cases of dispute, such as in elements of Canon Law, the Latin original always
prevails.

The copies I have of the U. S. and Canadian publications of the rather recent
revision of the church's Canon Law have parallel publication of the Latin and
the English on facing pages.  Similarly, many ancient canticles and hymns are
often printed both in Latin and English, and both are actively used, and by
some of us, even somewhat understood

Neil Mogensen  z 7 western NC mountains  (where the indigenous language
resembles the English of the north-east rather remotely).

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