Pronunciation of Io, as in Io Saturnalia


New Member
Dear everyone,

How does one pronounce "io" as in the phrase: "io! saturnalia"?

I have always understood to be pronounced as two syllables, given that io is not a Latin dipthong. Thus, I have heard it pronounced as "ee oh", with the "oh" being long.

In contrast, I heard a Youtube video pronounce it "yo" as in "yo yo".

At least in the classical Latin sense, I don't think it would be treated as a consonant j pronounced y.


Cívis Illústris
Well, in Vergil at least, you're right:

clāmat: 'iō mātrēs, audīt(e), ubi quaeque, Latīnae:
(- u u - - - - - u u - u u - -) Aen. 7.400

I suppose there might be a glide between the /i/ and the /ō/, just to ease pronunciation, but given that the /i/ is stressed it seems unlikely that it would be lost.


Civis Illustris
It's usually two syllables, u -, in Ovid, too:

tempora Phoebea lauro cingetur 'io' que
miles 'io' magna voce 'triumphe' canet.
(tris. 4,2,51f.)


New Member
Thank you very much for the helpful replies. The Virgil and Ovid quotations settle the matter quite well!