stress in 'impigrum'

By Siegfried Zaytsev, in 'Latin Beginners', Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Should it be pronounced as ['impigrum] or as [im'pigrum]?
  2. Mafalda Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Siegfried Zaytsev likes this.
  3. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    So they say. I wonder what the evidence is for it. I don't mean to sound as though I'm doubting it, I just wonder what the basis for that statement is.
  4. Continuing with the topic of atypical placement of stress in Latin words, is 'afferre' pronounced as ['afferre] or as [af'ferre]?
  5. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    Presumably scansion in poetry?
    I would have guessed that the second syllable would be stressed, as it is heavy. It seems to scan as such in Plautus (although Plautine scansion isn't my forte).
  6. Iáson I wouldn't even have questions about where the stress in these words should go if I hadn't heard them pronounced by Orberg in the audio files for LLPSI.
    He pronounces them as ['impigrum] and ['afferre] (p. 142), but I was not sure if he did that just to attract attention to the fact that the first part of these words was a suffix. His diction is not very natural, in the sense that he tries very hard to enunciate every syllable.
  7. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    Neither is it the forte of those who are experts in Plautine scansion.
    In the case of 'impigrum', this is plausible, as the Latin medial 'r' very probably had a semi-vocalic nature (specially as a regular reflex of earlier medial s = /z/, as in flos, floris), and ancient authors were not in agreement that a sequence of this kind constituted a long syllable or short. If I remember right, Greek has some instances of this also.

    But in the case of 'afferre', there is no reason to suppose that it was not accented in the regular way (that is, upon the 'penult' as you have: af-'fer-re). The exact quality of the geminate 'r' is a greater mystery, but it was undoubtedly long.
    I suspect you're right, at least about the latter.
  8. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Coimbra, Portugal
    What’s so special about impigrum? It fits into the general rule ‘stress the penult if it’s heavy and the antepenult otherwise’. Normally, a muta cum liquida group belongs to one syllable, so the syllabification is im.pi.grum. (In poetry this is sometimes violated for the sake of metric.)

    As for áfferre, it’s an obvious slip of the tongue.
    Siegfried Zaytsev likes this.
  9. Quasus You are right about impigrum not being an exception. Just found the rule in my textbook that a mute + l/r after a short vowel do not make a syllable long.
  10. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    You sort of answered your own question there. The fact that it confused the OP means there's some exceptional, special quality about it. He thought, as I imagine most learners do, that 'g + r' is two consonants, and therefore '-igr' is a long syllable.

    Well, yes, but like most rules of this kind it isn't without exception. If I were a more industrious fellow, I'd find out some quote of Varro to prove my point.
    Siegfried Zaytsev likes this.
  11. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Coimbra, Portugal
    I think it’s a reliable rule (for normal speech), I’ve always taken it for granted. For completeness, here is a synopsis of Vox Latina on syllabification (pp 89, 90, 83):

    Rule 2. A single consonant between two vowels belongs to the following syllable.

    Rule 1. Of two or more successive consonants (double consonants are counted as two consonants), at least the first belongs to the preceding syllable: pĕc-tus, pāc-tus, an-nus.

    Exception. In normal spoken Latin the group plosive + liquid invariably (emphasis mine - Q.) belongs to the following syllable: pă-tris, tĕ-nĕ-brae.

    Exception to exception. When a group plosive + liquid is grammatically divided between two parts of a compound word, the group is always divided phonetically, the plosive going with the preceding syllable: ab-lego, ab-ripio.

    Poets do whatever they want (VL, p. 90).
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  12. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    That makes sense. Of instances of impigr- in poetry there are several cases in Lucretius, where the second syllable is heavy, and one instance in the Priapea, where the second syllable is light.
  13. In a later chapter (#XXIII, p. 184), the author does pronounce 'afferre' as [af'ferre].
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Lol. That made me smile.

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