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Latin Lesson2

Latin Lesson2

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Published by A52372
Second lesson(out of three in all that are available)for learning Latin.
Second lesson(out of three in all that are available)for learning Latin.

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Published by: A52372 on Jan 13, 2009
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09/24/2010

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Lesson 2Pronunciation rules and guidelines
1. The vowel
i
– pronounced as /i/ 
(example:
latinus
/la'tinus/ = Latin)
but in the beginning of the word before a vowel or between two vowels – as /j/ (as in English yes /jes/). Examples:
ius
 /jus/ = law;
Ianuarius
/janu'arius/ = January. It's also pronounced as /j/ in compoundwords, before a vowel, but after the prefix of the compound word. Example:
coniungo
 /kon'jungo/ = connect, join.2. The vowel
u
– generally pronounced as /u/, but in the following cases it has the sound valueof /v/:
qu
/kv/. Example:
aqua
/'akva/ = water
ngu
ŋ
gv/ before a vowel. Example:
lingua
/'li
ŋ
gva/ = language
su
/sv/, but only in the following words:
suadeo
/'svadeo/ = suggest, persuade;
suavis
 /'svavis/ = sweet;
suesco
/'svesko/ = get used (accustomed) to;
Suebi
/'svebi/ =Swabians, a people of Gaul - in Caesar's “Gallic War”.3. The diphthongs
ae
and
oe
are generally pronounced as /e/, but in a few words they'repronounced separately – as /ae/ or /oe/. In these cases above the second vowel in thediphthong, the letter
e
, there is a special sound, called
“trema”
or
diaeresis
or
umlaut 
– twodots above the letter. Example:
po
ëta
/po'eta/ = poet.
4.
The consonant
c
is generally pronounced as /k/, but before the soft vowels
e, i, y
and also before the diphthongs
ae, oe, eu
it's pronounced as /ts/.
Short way to remember: pronounceas /ts/ before /e/ and /i/ sounds
. Examples:
causa
/'kausa/ = cause, reason;
cultura
/kul'tura/= agriculture, cultivation, training;
disciplina
/distsi'plina/ = discipline;
Caesar
/'tsezar/ =Caesar.
5.
The consonant
s
is generally pronounced as /s/, but between two vowels it sounds as /z/.Examples:
statua
/'statua/ = statue;
rosa
/'roza/ = rose.
6.
The syllable
ti
before a vowel is pronounced as /tsi/, but only if it's not preceded by
s, t
or 
x
.Examples:
natio
/'natsio/ = nation;
lectio
/'lektsio/ = lecture; but
mixtio
/'mikstio/ = mixture;
bestia
/'bestia/ = beast, animal
7.
Lots of Greek words have migrated to Latin. Some sounds in these words wereunconventional for Latin and for them the following letters and combinations were adopted:
ch
/h/ -
chorus
/'horus/ = choir 
y
/i/ -
cylinder
/tsi'linder/ = cylinder 
ph
/f/ -
sphaera
/'sfera/ = sphere
th
/t/ -
thema
/'tema/ = theme
rh
/r/ -
rhythmus
/'ritmus/ = rhythm
z
/z/ -
zona
/'zona/ = zone
 
LatinCast.orgLesson 1, 04/28/07, page 2/3
Syllables
Words consist of syllables
A syllable consists of either a separate vowel sound or of a vowel sound with one or moreconsonants.
Thus a word has as many syllables as there are vowels or diphthongs in it (remember: thediphthong is pronounced as one vowel sound)
Examples:
bes-ti-a; na-ti-o; Cae-sar; sua-vis
Long and short syllables
Syllables can be either short or long.
A short syllable contains a short vowel, a long syllable contains either a long vowel or adiphthong.
So obviously there's a distinction: vowels can be either long or short. Diphthongs are alwayslong, because they consist of 2 vowels blended together.
To be able to distinguish between short and long vowels, you need a lot a advancedhistorical grammar knowledge – you need to know whether a particular vowel hasdeveloped from the merging of two vowels, in which case it's long. So you need to knowhow the language developed through the centuries. This task is much beyond the scope of a beginner learner, but fortunately you won't have to make this distinction for yourself – atleast not soon.
The difference between short and long vowels has to do with the stress (accent) in Latin – asyou'll see in the following section.
Accent (Stress)
1.
The stress always stands either on the second or third syllable
counting from the end of theword
.
2.
If the second syllable (counting from the end of the word) is long, the stress is on it.Examples:
natura
/na'tura/ (na-tu-ra) = nature;
festino
/fes'tino/ (fes-ti-no) = hurry
3.
If the second syllable (counting from the end of the word) is short, then the stress is on thethird syllable (counting from the end of the word). Examples:
natio
/'natsio/ (na-ti-o) =nation;
bestia
/'bestia/ (bes-ti-a) = beast, animal;
For a beginner learner it's impossible and actually unnecessary to distinguish between shortand long vowels, unless a diphthong is used (diphthongs are always long, as mentionedabove). So it's much more easier and convenient to memorize the stresses of Latin words.Fortunately there only two possible legitimate positions for it.

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