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Things I hate (pronunciation and spelling)

Philip Newton

Member

Location:
Hamburg, Germany
I just watched an instructional DVD (produced in Germany) called Armilla which tells a story in 26 chapters, each focussing on a specific grammatical point, starting from the basics (2nd declension) and getting progressively more complex (passive).

Things that bugged me about their pronunciation was the universal use of [E:] for ae by the main characters; presumably influenced by the sound of German ä, and the occasional use of [z] for s (especially word-initially as in sed, which sometimes sounded like an English word "zet" would).

Interestingly enough, some of the minor characters (in particular Mercury) pronounced his ae with a diphthong as I would have expected. (And there was a group of three people who used something closer to ecclesiastical Latin, with "ch" for c before front vowels. They were older men, so this may have reflected the school Latin pronunciation of their time; not sure.)
 

Abbatiſſæ Scriptor

Senex

  • Civis Illustris

There is a very good caſe to be made for pronouncing 'æ' as in 'æroplane', on the aſſumption that the change in ſpelling from 'AI' to 'Æ' at the beginning of the claſſical period reflected the collapse of the original diphthong into a monophthong intermediate between 'A' and 'E'. Why elſe would the ſpelling have changed in favour of a form more cumberſome to write?
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

  • Civis Illustris

Location:
Grand Rapids, Michigan
There is a very good caſe to be made for pronouncing 'æ' as in 'æroplane', on the aſſumption that the change in ſpelling from 'AI' to 'Æ' at the beginning of the claſſical period reflected the collapse of the original diphthong into a monophthong intermediate between 'A' and 'E'.
But 'ae' isn't a monophthong in 'aeroplane', is it? So what can you mean by this?
Why elſe would the ſpelling have changed in favour of a form more cumberſome to write?
Perhaps to distinguish it from the āī.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis

  • Aedilis

  • Patronus

Location:
England
But 'ae' isn't a monophthong in 'aeroplane', is it? So what can you mean by this?
It probably is for me, and quite a few other speakers I know, a lot of the time.
I'm not saying anything about the rest of A.S.'s thesis.
 

Abbatiſſæ Scriptor

Senex

  • Civis Illustris

But 'ae' isn't a monophthong in 'aeroplane', is it? So what can you mean by this?
A ſingle, ſimple vowel without any glide, ſimilar in poſition to the ſhort 'a' in 'hat', but with more ſtreſs, and longer duration, indeed with about the ſame value to that for which the 'æ' character was borrow'd for uſe in writing Anglo Saxon. Being a long, and likely ſomewhat tense vowel, it would have been very easy for 'æ' to cloſe to 'e:' in moſt Mediæval pronunciations of Latin.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

  • Civis Illustris

Location:
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Is that really how you pronounce aeroplane, Scriptor, with the first vowel like in 'hat'?
 
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