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Character Ɛ

argie01

New Member

I am currently researching on the family name "Bacca", with apparent origin in northern Italy (Tyrol).
In birth records ranging from 1615 to 1632 I have seen that this surname is also spelled this way: BachƐ / BacchƐ. In one case above this letter "Ɛ" there is a dot, but in the rest of the cases there is not.

If please someone can help me, I am interested to know if it can be considered a Latin origin for this surname written that way, and also how that letter "Ɛ" was pronounced in that word.

Thank you very much for the help.
 

Pacifica

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Would it be possible for you to share pictures of those records?
 

Pacifica

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It seems those characters simply stand for ae. Bacchae is the genitive form of Baccha. (The genitive form conveys possession, like "of Baccha").
 

Pacifica

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And they aren't really Ɛ but more like e with a cedilla (a common way to abbreviate ae).
 

argie01

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I understand. I some records the surname is "de Bachis", and I guess this is the dative of "Bacha", meaning also "of the Bacha". Is that right?
Anyway, according to your interpretation, I assume you confirm the origin of the surname is Latin, right? Because I also considered that the original could be Eslovenian due to that Ɛ with the dot on top.

Another theory I have is this BachƐ / BacchƐ could be an evolution of the German word "bach" (torrent).

How this Bacchae sounds? is there a way to listen it?

Thank you for all your help.
 

Pacifica

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I understand. I some records the surname is "de Bachis", and I guess this is the dative of "Bacha", meaning also "of the Bacha". Is that right?
Bachis could be dative plural in a different setting but after de it must be ablative plural (the forms look the same). If de Bachis is used as a name, then it's equivalent to "of Bachas" as in "of [a certain place]".
Anyway, according to your interpretation, I assume you confirm the origin of the surname is Latin, right?
I don't know what the origin of the name is. The fact that it's found in a Latin document in a Latin grammatical form doesn't mean it's originally Latin. Foreign names were often given Latin endings for convenience, to make them work within the Latin grammar of official documents.
How this Bacchae sounds? is there a way to listen it?
I can't tell for sure how people in that time and place would have pronounced it. Possibly something like "Bach-ay" (roughly).
 

Pacifica

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"Bach-ay" (roughly)
Sorry, that was confusing; I mean the "ay" like in "day"—not quite, though, but there isn't really an English equivalent.
 

argie01

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Regarding to "de Bachis", it's used as a surname such as "Paulus Bachis". Forget about "de": it's only "Bachis". But before "Bachis" they usually use a symbol similiar to a "t", that I guess it means "belong to".

The normal way it's used is on bith registers, where there texts like this: Dominica filia Joannes Baptista "t" Bachis (see the attached picture).
 

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Pacifica

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The t-like thing must be an abbreviation for de.

And it's Joannis Baptistae (genitive again; "of John Baptist...").
 

argie01

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Sorry, that was confusing; I mean the "ay" like in "day"—not quite, though, but there isn't really an English equivalent.
I understand. There is a nice debate about the pronunciation to ae in English, here:

.

I like the comment #17, and the three comments below it. Problem is at the end that post is too much confusing and also I try to guess the right pronunciation not in English but in Latin (or old Italian).
 

Pacifica

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In classical Latin it was pronounced something like "I". But later it turned into something more like in "day" (or more exactly like é in French, if you know what that sounds like).
 

argie01

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The t-like thing must be an abbreviation for de.

And it's Joannis Baptistae (genitive again; "of John Baptist...").
Yes, and for this reason in my (totally Latin and grammar ignorant) opinion, "the declension of the dative of the Latin words ending in “a” is “is” --> that is the text I wrote in a book I'm writing when I tried to explain why some registers use "Bacca" and others "t Bachis".
 

argie01

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In classical Latin it was pronounced something like "I". But later it turned into something more like in "day" (or more exactly like é in French, if you know what that sounds like).
It's curious than almost 300 years after the surname was written using this "e" and the end (that in English sound like "I") some of them have inmigrated to Argentina. And there the surname was misspelled as "Baccay". And this "y" at the end sounds exactly the same as "I" in English :)
 

Pacifica

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Yes, and for this reason in my (totally Latin and grammar ignorant) opinion, "the declension of the dative of the Latin words ending in “a” is “is” --> that is the text I wrote in a book I'm writing when I tried to explain why some registers use "Bacca" and others "t Bachis".
-is is the dative plural and ablative plural ending of Latin nouns of the first declension—that is, nouns that end in -a in their nominative singular form (i.e. the most basic form). After de, Bachis is ablative, not dative.

-is can be a few other things in different contexts, but that would be too much to explain here without even knowing if it's relevant to any of your texts.
 

Pacifica

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"e" and the end (that in English sound like "I")
Ae sounded like I in classical Latin. Classical Latin means Latin of the time of Cicero... many centuries earlier than your texts.

Also note that the name ended in ae only in the genitive form.
 

Pacifica

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Anyway, if what you're trying to find out is the origin of the name, the various Latin endings that it took are fairly irrelevant.
 

argie01

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Anyway, if what you're trying to find out is the origin of the name, the various Latin endings that it took are fairly irrelevant.
On the one hand I am actually trying to explain the variations of the surnames in the records, and on the other to understand if this could help me to discover the origin.

Thank you very much for all your help!!!
 
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