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The Alphabet and Pronunciation of Latin

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					The Alphabet and Pronunciation of Latin

The Latin alphabet is just like the English, except there is
no j or w.

Vowels in Latin, just like in English, are either long or
short.

VOWEL Long - Sounds like:           Short – Sounds like
a         father                    idea
e         obey                      bet
i         machine                   h it
o         note                      omit
u         rule                      p ut
 * u sounds like w when it folllows q, g and sometimes s

Diphthongs are combinations of two vowels that are
pronounced as one sound. There are six of these in Latin.

Diphthong                      Sounds like:
ae                             eye
au                             now
ei                             they
eu                             ay-oo pronounced together
oe                             joy
ui                             queen
Consonants are pronounced like English with the
following exceptions:

c is always a hard sound and is pronounced like cat it
is never a soft sound like city.         campus

g is always a hard sound and is pronounced like get it
is never a soft sound like gem.          gaudium

ch is pronounced like character         pulcher

i when it appears at the beginning of a word and is
followed by a vowel or when it appears in the middle of
two vowels within a word is considered a consonant
sound and is pronounced like y in youth Iulius
                                           cuius
ph is pronounced like an f                 Polyphemus

s is always soft as in suave it never sounds
like a z                                   persuadeo

v is pronounced like a w                via
Syllabification (or how to divide a word into syllables)

Latin words have as many syllables as they have vowels
or diphthongs. There are no silent letters
ae di fi ci um = aedificium
vi a =              via

A consonant between two vowels is pronounced with the
following syllable.
nu me rus
o cu lus
iu be o

Exception: the consonants x and z go with the preceding
syllable.

aux i li um

In a group of two or more consonants, only the last
consonant is pronounced with the following syllable.

dif fi cul tas              tem pes tas

There are some exceptions, but we will not go over them
now.
QUANTITIES

1. A syllable which contains a long vowel or a diphthong
   is said to be long by nature.

2. A short vowel in front of a consonantal i becomes a
   diphthong and so is treated as long.

3. A syllable in which a vowel is followed by two
   consonants is long by position.

4. All other syllables are short



ACCENT

1. A word of two syllables is accented on the first
   syllable.
2. A word of three or more syllables is accented on the
   penult (second to the last syllable) if the penult is long.
3. If the penult is short the accident falls on the antepenult
   (or syllable in front of the second to the last syllable).

ca la mi tas           fa cul tas     ge nus      oc ci do

oc ci do

				
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posted:11/9/2011
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