Pronunciation of alpha with subscript iota

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
At the time of Plautus and Terence was this still pronounced as a diphthong or just as a long a?
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
And what about pitch accents. The teacher seems to encouraging us just to use a stress accent. It seems like heresy!
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
At the time of Plautus and Terence was this still pronounced as a diphthong or just as a long a?
I think monophthongisation of iota subscriptum already started in classical times and continued through Hellenism... it may depend on the dialect, but I'd assume there is a good chance that most speakers did not pronounce it as a diphthong anymore by that time.

And what about pitch accents. The teacher seems to encouraging us just to use a stress accent. It seems like heresy!
If you can do a pitch accents, by all means, go for it.
Usually the teaching of ancient languages does not pay much attention to pronunciation.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I refuse to believe that any attempt at a pitch accent would be likely to sound anything but weird and incomprehensible to a native speaker in an environment that used a pitch accent. OK, a stress accent probably would have sounded odd as well, but at least that's what happened to the language in the end, so it must have been a natural development, and perhaps the hypothetical native speaker would have heard foreigners talking like that, even if native speakers hadn't yet begun to.
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Are the accents similar to tones in Chinese? How certain are we of their values?
It seems to me that the easiest way to remember them is to pronounce them.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
What's the difference between pitch and stress accents?
 

Big Horn

Active Member
What's the difference between pitch and stress accents?
Stress is just emphasis. An example of pitch is the rising tone at the end of an interrogative sentence. I know that this isn't much of a response, but I hope that it will help a bit.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Thanks for clearing this up.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but English teachers who work with students whose native language has a pitch accent are warned about listing irregular plurals. If you take a list and read it out, you'll realise that without thinking about it, or probably even noticing before reading this, that you'll naturally put a rising tone on the second element: man-men, goose-geese, tooth-teeth and so on. This can be picked up as significant by tonal language speakers, who will henceforth pronounce the words in this way wherever they occur in a sentence.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Atticists within themselves (=to talk) often use pitch accent without any problem. It all depends whether you embrace the restored pronunciation or not. Just like with Latin. And just like with Latin, there is a backlash from the old conservatives... but who cares, seriously. If you give your phonetical training any effort, it's no problem. At the end, it comes to how lazy one is to acquire something that sounds foreign to him and unlike his own native language (most often), but that's what a foreign language pronunciation should be about, no? It shouldn't sound familiar to the learner.

If you are into the restored pronunciation, @Cinefactus, then don't mix it with stresses and not pronounced iota subscriptum etc., it's then quite half-assed...
 
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Godmy

A Monkey
Are the accents similar to tones in Chinese? How certain are we of their values?
It seems to me that the easiest way to remember them is to pronounce them.
Read Vox Graeca... I might have shared a link for it somewhere. But it is an accepted feature of the restored model in practical use if you care at least about any consensus at this point in time.
 
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