[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Pronunciation Database

Oh... this typical English discussion... it's not like it were all unambiguous in German, but almost all we can quarrel about is where to put the stress. :-P In French they even get around that (by mercilessly emphasizing the last syllable), though the results are sometimes rather painful to listen to.

The graphic combination <ae> in Classical Latin
corresponds to the diphthong [aj].

Here http://www.kirshenbaum.net/IPA/faq.html is the home of IPA-ASCII; as http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/jbr/ranto/ explains, the various brackets mean <normal spelling>, /phonemic/ and [phonetic]. The difference between the latter two is... I'll take the most prominent example: In <keel> and <cool> the /k/ sound is not identical, but this never matters in English -- in English it's all the same phoneme --, while in for example Arabic two words can have totally different meanings if they just differ in which of those two sounds they use; they are different phonemes there. That's all the <k> versus <q> business; <Kuwait> starts like <keel>, <Qaida> starts like <cool>.

Now for the higher nitpicking... it certainly wasn't [aj]. That's not a diphthong, it's a vowel plus a consonant. I'd guess /aI/. Indeed there's an Old Latin inscription somewhere which actually uses <AI>. For Classical Latin I'd rather say /aE/, based on the spelling... small difference, though!

The "softening" of <c> to [s] before <i>, <e>, <oe>, and <ae> is pretty well
established English usage.

And French, and most kinds of Spanish, and so on, and similar "softenings" occur in many other languages. In other words, people expect it. :o)

The position of the stressed in Latin is usually
maintained in words like this and so would go on the third-to-last syllable
(the antepenult).

I think so... but stress in Latin has complex connections to syllable length... and Greek stress isn't something that could be guessed by outsiders anyway... :-(