Let us hear and analyse each other's Latin pronunciation

By Godmy, in 'Pronunciation, Spelling and Listen to Latin', Jan 8, 2015.

  1. pmp000 New Member

    My native language is indeed a Romance language.
    I don't pronounce h because by the time I tried to improve the way I speak the language, I had read that it might already have been mute during the classical era (But then I guess it depends on what we call classical latin). Since I have no difficulty pronouncing it, I will probably henceforth add it.

    You are right to point out that I tend to stretch the preceding vowel when trying to pronounce double consonants.
    But funnily enough, I do hear a short e followed by two l in my recording of bellum, which seems not to be your case.
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  2. Quasus Civis Illustris

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    I wanted to say that a textbook of Spanish (or Portuguese) as a foreign language might very well not mention that synalepha is very common in ordinary speech: the vowels blend somehow without being completele elided. Why? Perhaps because it’s not considered crucial.
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    I think this is one of the things that may betray non-native speakers of any language even if their pronunciation is overall good: they tend to pronounce things too fully and with too clear separations between words.

    Cf.

  4. Quasus Civis Illustris

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    The last step before sounding like a native. :)
  5. pmp000 New Member

    I do not really understand your point :

    - You seem to say that elisions and contractions are secondary. But Latin and Spanish are different languages, and the comparison does not stand. As I said I am no professional latinist, but considering what I read on the subject (that is everything I could find) I am very confident in the fact that Romans did make elisions when speaking (although naturally less than in poetry).
    If I were to conjecturate as to why there were elisions in classical latin, I would say that they are probably linked with vowel lenght, as a few months of practise showed me that hiatus after long vowels are most difficult to pronounce (Didn't the two systems disappeared at the same time by the way (lenght / elision) ? Please correct me if I am wrong)

    - Maybe synalephas are not important to beginners. I am a non-native speaker of Spanish (and I base a lot of my Latin pronunciation on it) and, though I never realized that synalephas existed, I probably use them whenever I speak Spanish.The thing is that in a living modern language, it is possible to start with a bad pronunciation and gradually get better by listening a lot of recording made by native speakers. Since there are no 50 BC recordings of Latin, the best strategy might be to try to get the best pronunciation from the start.
    It would be wasting a lot of time to continually add new features to the pronunciation of Latin as we learn to speak and read it, wouldn't it ? It would mean having to update old recordings rather than making new ones and re-learning words whose pronunciation would then be deprecated.

    That is my opinion anyway. ;)
  6. Godmy A Monkey

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    Ok! :) So maybe I wasn't that off with that "g" between two consonants; I think that in other positions (not between two consonants) it was a true stop. I suppose you could trace that rule in your maternal phonology... (in some detailed phonetical treatize of it)

    Btw. welcome to the forum! I hope you'll stay with us for years :)


    I haven't heard of that one... but I suppose it would be probably [currently] one hypothesis (albeit convenient for those whose native phonology doesn't contain the consonant directly...) against the mainstream view in respect to the classical dialect? Well, who knows.

    Yeah, sure...

    I wondered about that (whether you were actually able to do it if wanted), since I suspect you must be (and also given your age) quite proficient in English and there the "h" comes quite in handy as we know... so, ok!

    Perhaps it was what I had in mind at the moment, that instead of bellum bēllum came out (a long vowel followed by the geminate cons. as we know from nūllus/ūllus or nārrō...).

    Have a good time on the forum! :) If you wish a better welcoming (and I think you deserve it!), you can make a thread in the "Latin introductions" thread ;)
  7. Godmy A Monkey

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    Btw. guys ( Quasus pmp000), if you somehow get into a longer discussion about the theoretical stuff you're discussing, could you make a separate thread in the phonetic section? I'm watching this one and I get a notification when someone posts here and this thread should be really only about recordings and their reviews...

    (But then, of course, I appreciate the interest you have in issues questions very much!)
    Last edited by Godmy, Aug 4, 2018
  8. Godmy A Monkey

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    I didn't do this one did I? :D If you're still interested, I could do it tomorrow...
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Only if you have time and you fancy it. :) Otherwise, it's been a long time and I know I must have made some mistakes, many of which I could probably hear myself if I listened to it again, as usual... and speaking Latin is only a secondary concern to me, so, not pressure.
  10. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    The presenter is Canadian and Canada's largest city has many idiosyncratic pronunciations, right down to the name of the city.
  11. Godmy A Monkey

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    Since it's been a long time I sent any reading of my own, I'm sending my own take on Catullus CI (Multās per gentēs):

    Multās per gentēs / et multa per aequora vectus
    adveni(ō h)ās miserās, / frāter, ad īnferiās,
    utpostrē / dōrem nere mortis
    et tamquīqu(am) alloquerer cinerem,
    quandoquidem forna mi / tēt(ē)abstulit ipsum,
    heu miser indig / frāter adempte mihi.
    nunc tamen intere(ā h)aec, / prīs quae re parentum
    trādita sunt trīs / ner(e) ad īnferiās,
    accipe frāter / multum *mānantia flētū,
    atqu(e) in perpetuum, / frāter, av(ē) atque va!

    (elegiac couplets; the syllable in bold receives stress, the syllable underlined is a beginning of a foot (the ictus), but receives no phonetic prominence in my way of reading - see more in the introductory post; the slash “/” is my proposed caesura)



    And also a response to the version by Pacifica
    (btw. I don't know if I mentioned it in the recording, but quite a good job on most of the long vowels! That dōnārem was really well done for example :)!)

    - btw. I might be doing the "uu" in perpetuum a little bit less discernibly in my own recording than I have done it later on while correcting it in yours. But I think time-wise it should be still correct (double the time, although with a lessened distinction of two short monophthongs vs. a long diphthong)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by Godmy, Aug 4, 2018
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  12. Godmy A Monkey

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    Addendum:
    - maybe connect the "per aequora" next time, so you don't insert the "glottal stop" before "ae" as if said in isolation (glottal stop is the sound we often make when beginning an isolated/initial word with a vowel a kind* of little "throat" explosion), I think it's reasonable to think Romans would mostly connect in poetry (just like the reasons they do there the elisions* = a word connection also).

    -> for the "real" pauses there are the caesuras
    Last edited by Godmy, Aug 4, 2018
  13. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Yes, that's an instance of this issue again...
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Belgium
    Thanks for the feedback, and I like your reading.
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  15. Godmy A Monkey

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    I have edited that post (#272) a bit (again), I realized I wasn't entirely accurate in some wording.


    ^ Ah, so that's what the video is about :) I have to confess I still have to watch it... (as I usually put all my "forum-time" to these posts/responses)
  16. Alatius Member

    Location:
    Upsaliae
    Very well done, which, considering your professed and demonstrated attention to phonetic details should not come as a surprise to anyone, of course. ;) There are some things, however, that I believe you should work on a bit, mainly the length of syllables long by position, which, seeing that you are reading a poem, are quite important.

    Multas per gentes: don't be afraid to rest a bit longer on "per" here. In your recording, you rush through it, disturbing the rhythm of the verse.
    miseras: undue stress/accent on the last syllable, as if you are stressing the ictus. ("Inferias" is of course much better, in comparison.)
    ut te postremo: debatable maybe, but I would have rested a little bit longer on the first syllable ("ut"). It is not as if you say a plain short /t/, but I think you could lengthen it a bit more, to make the rhythm of the verse clearer.
    nequiquam alloquerer: you stumble a bit on the elision, I think, which makes you a bit irregular in the following syllables. The problem with "all-" is similar to the issue with the long /t/ in the previous line, made the more noticeable because of the contrast of its relative shortness with the very long /ī/ in the syllable before the elision. What is mainly wrong here though is that you lengthen the stop in "q", as if you are saying "allocquerer".
    quandoquidem: again, I think you lengthen the stop a bit, as if saying "quandocquidem". (Not as much as in the previous line, but still noticeable.)
    miser indigne: I think you should run them together more, instead of making the "-er" syllable closed (and hence longer than what the verse calls for). Try "mĭ-sĕ-rin-dig-nē". Of course, this is if you want to bring out the rhythm clearly; at the same time, it is of course proper to also pay attention to the meaning, and perhaps adjust the rhythm based on that. If that is what you intentionally want to do here, then fine, but I think they could be run together even then.
    interea haec: way too long /r/; you are effectively saying "interre-". I suppose this is because you mentally prepare for the elision?
    quae more: I would say "quae" a bit slower, but my comment about adjusting to the meaning is of course relevant here too.
    sunt tristi: similarly, I would rest a tiny bit longer on "sunt", to make the three syllables all equally long.
    inferias: why the rising voice at the end? Similarly, the inflexion of the voice in the following "fraterno" sounds odd, as if you are not really thinking of what you are saying, but only reciting the meter.
    multum manantia: you are making a pentameter out of this line, when it should be a hexameter, by saying "multum manantia" as two dactyls. The first "a" in "manantia" is properly long (you have an error in the text you are reading from, so that explains it). With this in mind, I'm sure you will also pronounce the -m m- double (not so short as you do now).
    perpetuum: you are unquestionably saying "perpettuum".
    ave atque vale: with respect to the meaning, I'm not sure I understand the decision to stress "atque" so much, instead of trying to make "av(e)" a bit more prominent?

    What are your thoughts on the caesuras? In my opinion, they should not be fully so clearly realised (if at all! -- but that is a discussion for another thread), at least not when they are in conflict with the meaning. Specifically, I would avoid producing such a clear pause in "indigne frater adempte", since "indigne" connects with "adempte". Similarly, I would not pause so long in "tristi munere" and "fraterno multum".
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  17. Godmy A Monkey

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    Thank you very much for the answer! I really appreciate it and from all the people I know how long it takes to make a really good and constructive written criticism (I gave up on it, as you can see... I do it differently now, and some things are lost with it, some are gained...).

    I will try to react now just quickly. I cannot listen to my recording again at the moment, although I quite remember it since i listened it 'post factum' many times and have it in my "ear" so I'll speak from my memory, or just refrain fron any comments :p

    Haha, thanks ; P I would really appreciate some day if you join with a recording too, you are certainly one person in the online Latin word of phonetics I truly respect :)

    Very probably! I usually take sometimes even hours to make a recording of this sort until I'm content with it, but this time I didn't want to spend too much time on that since I had too many tasks to do (=write the bold/underlined version, make the recording, edit the recording, make a review of another recording... etc. etc.), I'm the first to say it's far from perfect even when it comes just to the "acoustic effect" (I mean, I think that at some points I can just generally "sound better" than I did here or there, if I try more, work with my voice and so on and so forth...).

    In fact, this is our point of contention from the day 1, so we will get back to it :) We have a philosophical difference here...

    Ok, I think this might be a problem. If I linger on it, I either create a long "e" which I absolutely refuse to do, or create an unnaturally long "r", which I refuse to do either. No, I don't think there should be any "trick" of that sort to make the syllables long by position sound long to us, non-Romans, who have no idea how Romans themselves listened to it. I respect the length of the individual phones, that's it, pertty much :p I know we don't agree in this, since we already had this discussion on the beginning of this thread in 2015... but well, ok. I accept your criticism given your view of things :)

    Perhaps I raise my voice, I can't decide whether I add an undue stress too, in the former case I wouldn't mind, in the latter case I would consider it a mistake, yeah. Thanks for pointing that out though. I wasn't affected by ictuses, it was rather that a pause followed and I raised my voice (whther it had other consequences, I don't know)

    Well, that's the same problem again. If I heard anybody else doing it the way you imagine it, I would mark it as mistake on the basis of phone/phonemes lengths... and you say that this is because a special phonetical prominence is to be given to the syllables long by position. Well, I simply don't think so, but ok.. we just disagree :)

    I don't think I stumbled: as I remember it, I lowered my voice on the elided "quam" (or in my case "quall" after the elision), on the other hand, I might have lingered there longer given the "ll" when I think of it again. On "lo" I raise my voice again, maybe that combination sounded to you as stumbling? It's possible.

    I both stressed it and as I said earlier, I raised the tone here, but I don't think I actually doubled the velar stop there, because there would be then the typical pause before the release and I do that quite religiously, I don't think it can be found here. But yes, there is a stress/pitch dissonance with what followed immediately before (which I don't think is a problem per se) which may create this effect of disonance or for you even doubling. But I don't think personally there is undue doubling...

    I don't think there will be the pause I do before releasing a stop, when doubled, it's rather just that the syllable is stressed... but ok, I will relisten to that.

    That's our basic problem. To me, to how I think about Latin phonetics and poetry, it's not closed unless I make distinctly a double consonant a distinctly long vowel. I just don't believe in these tricks modern Latinists would help themselves to hear the metre. And I don't say I hear it, but am I the arbiter of what is phonetically a meter to a Roman or not? Are some of us? I sure value the opinion of historical phoneticians, but I don't think we find any advice there, it's just hypotheses.

    The same as I refuse (although it sounds nice too) to stress the ictuses, I refuse to make these artificial phonetical differences between closed and open syllables. The closedness and openedness is emergent from the sound consecution = as I see it (and I think it's the more economical solution where we miss the data, it's the Occam's razor).

    Edit: after relistening the "r" is too long on my taste, yes, I didn't notice it, thanks for pointing that out.

    Ok, it's your view: I think it shouldn't be done so ; -)

    I take the criticism about the voice tone and not always thinking about what I'm saying while focusing my mind on the phonetics... and me being in hurry. That surely is debatable and can be ameliorated, but to me it's not really important. But I take it!

    This only works, again, if you induce artificial length markers to short/vs.long open vs.closed syllable distinction. I don't subscrive to that view at all... but fine.

    Edit: this problem has been re-addressed in the later post. I missed you pointing out the error in the text too while quick-reading.

    That's possible, I would have to listen to it again...

    Edit: after relistening, there is a short pause after the stressed "e", but it's not long enough to make a "tt" nor the pause is initiated after the vowel as one would expect with the sudden interrupton of onset of the stop, THEN a pause, then the release. So, I didn't do "tt" phonetically/orally (it wasn't articulated, nor I see a reason mentally why I would have done it consciously or not), but there is a small pause which you "unequestionably" interpret that way. If anything, I would say it's questionable... but whatever, I don't want to fight over this word, since I had some other problems with it of my own I mentioned somewhere above...

    But again, I thank you for trying to catch even these small details, just as I always do, I appreciate it, even if we part in the conclusion!


    I was recording this one like 6 times, then I chose the least problematic version in the editation (the rest of the poem, save one place, was done on the first try), since I wanted to be done with it and not spend another 30 minutes... there were some problems there both with my intonation and stresses... I'm sure it can be heard in some aspects :)

    Well, in fact, if I read it the way I think is most ideal (and if I remember correctly, it's also what Wilfried Stroh proposes), I would read the whole thing as a prose with all those elisions that need to be done in poetry (whether they were appliclable outside or poetry or not).... that is maybe without the caesuras too. My current reading is some kind of compromise between not inducing artificial phonetic markers but both trying to perserve what I think was clearly thought as a phonetical marker by the Romans: the caesura (I can't see how it could be interpreted differently) although this clashes with what i just said before. I'm a little bit torn on caesuras.

    Sure!


    Thanks again.

    I know we have some basic disagreements about the way poetry should be read which lead to maybe 80% (or more?) points in your criticism (that is: open vs. long syllables phonetically). I wouldn't like this thread to be abducted by this discussion (and the last time we didn't come to any conclusion either), I would like to keep this thread simply for recordings and reviews, but then I'm sure you will want to discuss and debate that probably, if that is so: if we are to have a long back and forth discussion, can we create another thread in the phonetic section? I didn't want another long response from your side by me giving an almost point by point reaction to your point by point reaction, I don't know if it's inevitable, but if it is, then I propose a new thread. Although I do believe that if we remove the basic disagreement we have on reading the short vs. long syllables, we are left with whether I doubled or didn't double some consonant, which would come to relistening and measurements... which can be surely done too, but it's not a priority at this point. But I'm glad there is somebody who will provide me some feedback and dissects it bit by bit, I truly appreciate it, again. Don't interpret my disagreement in any negative or hostile way.

    So, please, consider creating a new thread if we should get to a longer debate, please.

    Thank you again!
    Last edited by Godmy, Aug 12, 2018 at 10:19 PM
  18. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Alatius's point here is that the first "a" in manantia is long (by nature, not by position or anything more complicated). Both the OLD and L&S agree that the "a" in mano is long.
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  19. Godmy A Monkey

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    Good point, I missed that and I missed that also while hastily responding to Alatius (my apologies), but you can see the problem right in the bolded version of the poem I sent: I had missed this while "scanning/editing it" and then I read it the way I'd prepared and written for myself with a short vowel... so now I would probably need a moderator to edit it for the future readers... ok, thanks!
  20. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Indeed; Alatius had noticed that as well:
    Cinefactus, could you add a macron to the first "a" of manantia in this post?
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