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 Post subject: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:09 am 
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When I took Latin in high school 35 years ago, we had the choice to either learn all the macrons, or only learn the ones that really mattered, such as over the infinitive and ablative. I chose the easier way and am glad I did because I became very fluent in the language. Unfortunately, I don't have any notes and now don't remember those that were essential to learn.

Here's the problem. I want to re-study the language with my new Wheelock's, but the macrons just throw me for a loop. Do I have to memorize every single word with drawing long marks over vowels? This will really interfere with my learning process. What is the prevailing wisdom about annoying macrons. Obviously the Romans didn't use them. It could be an intellectual deal breaker! Maybe someone could review those "essential" macrons for me...
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:55 am 
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I don't think you need them, strictly speaking- most Latin editions are printed without them. Off the top of my head, inflectional endings with long vowels, marked by macrons in Latin textbooks, beginning with noun declensions, are:
1st declension (a-stems): ablative singular, the 'a of the accusative plural, the 'a' of the genitive plural, and the 'i' of the dative and ablative plural.
2nd declension: (o-stems): genitive singular, dative and ablative singular, nominative plural, the 'o' of the accusative plural, the 'o' of the genitive plural, and the 'i' of the dative and ablative plural.
3rd declension: (consonant stems and i-stems) the 'i' of the dative singular, the 'e' of the nominative and accusative plural
4th declension: (u-stems) -the 'u' of the genitive singular, the 'i' of the dative singular, and the 'u' of the ablative singular, and the 'u' of the nominative and accusative plural.
5th declension: the 'e' of the nom. acc. sg., the 'e' and 'i' of the gen. dat. sg., and the 'e' of the abl. sg. The 'e' is long in all cases in the plural.

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Rashbold--thanks so much! I'm printing out your helpful replies.

How about the verbs? Would it be first person singular and 3rd person plural, or are there more/does it vary?

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:52 pm 
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The liturgical books aren't printed with them either.

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:40 pm 
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For verbs, it should be noted that a long stem-vowel will become short before the endings -t and -nt. The -ō of the first person singular, present active indicative in all conjugations is long (not always in poetry, but that needn't concern us now). In Conjugation I, the stem vowel 'ā' has dropped out, leaving us with only 'ō' in the 1 pers. sg., but 'ā' in all other persons and numbers. So the final stem vowels are long throughout Conjugations I, II, and IV, except before -t or -nt. The tricky conjugation is III/III-iō, where the 'i' is a weakening of an earlier 'ĕ' (short 'e'), and in Conj. III, the only long vowel in the present active indicative is the -ō of the 1 pers. sg.

For the future active indicative, the only ending with a long vowel is the -ō of the 1 pers. sg. You see the same long stem vowels in Conjs. I and II. Conjs. III, III-io, and IV are different here. The endings for all of these are -am, -ēs, -et, -ēmus, -ētis, and -ent.

For the imperfect active indicative, things are nice and easy; the endings are -bam, -bās, -bat, -bāmus, -bātis, -bant. The stem vowels are long in every conjugation. Note that this means you will have 'ē' in Conj. III, and 'iē' in Conj. III-io and Conj. IV in the imperfect active indicative.

The perfect indicative active is trickier. Here, you'll simply have to memorize the 3rd principal part for each verb; it really is the quickest way of proceeding. There are some basic patterns, though, which are helpful. The endings in the perfect are: -ī, -istī, -it, -imus, -istis, -ērunt. Conj. I verbs will always end in -ā in the perfect stem, and Conj. IV always ends in -ī. Conj. II verbs end in -u (again, with exceptions, but that's another story). And you attach the endings to the perfect stems of the Conj. III/III-io verbs. The same thing about stem vowels applies to the future perfect and pluperfect active indicative tenses- the endings for these are -erō, -eris, -erit, -erimus, -eritis, -erint (fut. perf.) and -eram, -erās, -erat,-erāmus, -erātis, -erant.

The active imperative endings in Conj. I are -ā, -āte, for Conj. II, -ē, -ēte, for Conj. III/III-io -i, -ite, and for Conj. IV -ī, -īte. The active infinitive endings are -āre, ēre, -ere, -ere, -īre. I'll hold off on participles for now. For the moment, that takes care of the active indicative tenses. I'll work up the passive indicative, then move on to the passive indicative and passive subjunctive, and deal with participles.

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Bless you, Rashbold--you are certainly no longer "Mr. Rudeness", if you ever were!

Thanks so much--I will keep these notes with my Wheelock's for future reference. :)))


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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Honestly? You can read (as opposed to pronounce) Latin with next to no ambiguity without having a clue where the macrons are. It's possible to get confused sometimes with case endings (female nominative and ablative singular look alike, for example), but generally the context of the sentence makes it clear enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:13 pm 
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That's kind of what I was figuring--that it should be basically clear from the context. The real pain is, while working through a program (like Wheelock), I have to make a real decision about whether to *memorize* the stupid macrons or not. It's a real challenge to one inclined to OCD!


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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:57 pm 
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I'd recommend learning with the macrons, as it helps to create distinctions in your mind between various words, usages, &c. You should be able to function without them when it comes to reading or translating a text, and if you do practice with them enough, you'll almost begin to see them in your mind where they should be. That sounds kinda Zen, but it's not. :) If you'd like to continue Latin beyond the level of language learning courses, like Wheelock's or Moreland and Fleischer's- which text I'd highly recommend- you'll likely have to do so without macrons.

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:19 am 
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Originally Latin was written in all capitals and no macrons.

But macrons help you learn to pronounce vowels...

PAX CHRISTI

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:19 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:18 am 
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I thought macrons would only be useful for Classical rather than Church pronunciation?

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:49 am 
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That brings up another thought--how *do* you pronounce Church Latin?


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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Apparently like Italian :) Mine tends to sound like Spanish with the c's done wrong because it looks like Spanish e non parlo italiano.

Here's a link, I don't know how accurate it is because someone complained that Americans pronounce their e's as /ay/ (cray-doe instead of cre-doe) but I picked it because it compares the two systems.

But as someone said, who wants to say "Veni, vidi, vici," as /wenee widee wikee/?

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:58 pm 
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dachsiemama wrote:
That brings up another thought--how *do* you pronounce Church Latin?

There is an official pronunciation, known as the Roman (there have been various variants and many books still are inconsistent)

The Liber Usualis gives the pronunciation the Church herself requests

A -as in Father
E- as in met, or men, not as in ray.
I- like ee in feet, not as in ti
O- as in for, not as in low
U- oo as in moon not as in custom
Y- Is like the i

With double vowels in general each vowel is pronounced separately and distinctly with its own syllable. Diei is di-e-i. ́ait it a-eet.
Ae and Oe are usually dipthongs, always pronounced a E. However in some words they are separate vowels (in classical Latin a silent h was often used to divide them in these cases). Michael is Mee-ka-el. Sometimes an ä will symbolize this. This only really shows up often with Hebrew words like Israel, Michael, Raphael.

Au, Eu, Ay are pronounced as one syllable, but where both vowels are heard (with the first getting the emphasis)

Ei is the odd case. Normally it is like most double vowels. Me-i, for mei. But in interjections, like Hei, it is one syllable

U when it comes after a q or ng also becomes one syllable with the vowel after it. Qui is one syllable not two. But Cui is two syllables, cu-i

C is soft and a "ch" sound (as in church) if followed by an e, ae, oe, i, or y.
CC when between the same vowel (as in ecce) is tch, so et-che. But if it were ecca, it would be ek-ka
Sc when between the same vowel is a sh sound. Miscit is mee-sheet. But otherwise they are pronounce separately
C is in all other cases a K sound, as in caritas, ka-ree-tas.
Ch is always a K sound.

G before an e, ae, i, or y is as in generation.
G otherwise is a hard G, as in gasp
Gn though is just like in French or Italian. Signor, monsignor.. Approximately an "ny" sound (though not exactly). Regnum is reh-nyoom.

H is silent, except in mihi and nihil and words that contain these (nihilominus). In those two cases it is sound as a K. This is because these words were written once as michi and nichil.

J or I as a consonant is a Y sound as in Yeah

R is slightly rolled.

S is hard as in sea, but softened when between two vowels

T is just like English, except Ti when followed by another vowel (unless it comes after a T, S or X) is tsee. Natio, na-tsee-o
Th is just like a T. Thomas and Tomas would be said the same way

X is a ks sound. But XC before an e, ae, oe, i, y is a KSH sound. Excelsis, is Ek-shel-sees. Otherwise, XC is two sounds like excussorum, eks-coos-so-room

Y is always a vowel
Z is a dz sound

Accenting is the same as classical Latin

The difference between long and short vowels is only that of quantity not quality (you just hold them longer)

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia--thanks for the detailed answer! Philothea, did you mean to add a link? And Pro--may I copy your signature to show my husband--he teaches property law.

God bless!


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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:16 pm 
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dachsiemama wrote:
Pro Ecclesia--thanks for the detailed answer! Philothea, did you mean to add a link? And Pro--may I copy your signature to show my husband--he teaches property law.

God bless!

I did mean to post a link to a site which said that there are long and short vowels in Ecclesiastical pronunciation, and there it is :) Unfortunately I had a computer problem in betweentimes....

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 Post subject: Re: Macrons a stumbling block
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Philothea wrote:
dachsiemama wrote:
Pro Ecclesia--thanks for the detailed answer! Philothea, did you mean to add a link? And Pro--may I copy your signature to show my husband--he teaches property law.

God bless!

I did mean to post a link to a site which said that there are long and short vowels in Ecclesiastical pronunciation, and there it is :) Unfortunately I had a computer problem in betweentimes....

I trust the Liber more...some things here were off and weird

"Note: ae is different from æ"

Well most people, most ROMANS and most Latin books do not use the typescript æ for ae. So this note will lead to confusion. More common is that the diphthong is written ae and if it isn´t a diphthong it is aë with the umlaut ¨

And accent marks are not the best way to mark long vowels Accents can fall on shorts syllables.

Ei is not a diphtong (and in fact ei outside interjections forms to syllables), nor au...Yes I am being nitpicky...but it isn´t that hard to get right when you are specifically looking for that mode of pronunciation explicitly recommended by St. Pius X and Benedict XV

I can just imagine my ears cringing when people say mei as ...may rather than me-ee. Or Dei as Day rather than De-ee

But yeah, he did get it right that the difference is quantity not quality between long and short

I found this page. It is basically a copy from the Liber, though it lacks some of the detail that was helpful for chant

http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/eccl ... _latin.htm

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