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 Post subject: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:18 am 
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Paladin
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I have read online and in these forums that the ecclesiastical Latin "H" is silent except in two words where it has a "k" sound.

However, the Latin text book I have states that "h" is pronounced always and sounds like the "h" in hat.

My text is A primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by Collins.

What gives here?

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:41 am 
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Not pronounced. It is pronounced as k in nihil and mihi, I can't remember if it is pronounced like k in other words now.


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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:01 pm 
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So Collins is wrong.
Wonder why he teaches it in this book?
Does classical Latin pronounce "h"?

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:13 pm 
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It might be that the H is pronounced as an H in the ecclesiastical latin in the english speaking world. I guess the test is: how would an italian pronounce it?


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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Found this on Wikipedia:

"⟨h⟩ is silent except in two words: mihi and nihil, where it represents /k/. Of course, the medieval spellings 'michi' and 'nichil' are now considered incorrect. However, the silent ⟨h⟩ is regional, as ⟨h⟩ is fully pronounced in North America in all cases, e.g., in the phrase da nobis hodie from the Pater Noster.[29]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_spel ... nunciation


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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:17 pm 
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FWIW, when I was taught ecclesial Latin in high school hace muchos años, I was taught to pronounce aitches.

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:59 pm 
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I like to pronounce "h" as a voiceless consonant except in aspirate consonants ph, th, ch (borrowed from Greek). The Latin consonant name for "H" is ha (like "hah").

I completely agree with Collins textbook that there are no silent consonants in Latin.

The real Latin alphabet did not have J, U, and W. Collins textbook claims that the Latin alphabet does not contain K or W. Latin does have few words Kalendae as well as Karthago.

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:40 pm 
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If you want to be Classical about it, the Romans dropped their 'h's in the classical era. They simply stopped pronouncing them, even in careful speech and in the classical dialect of Latin. The vulgar dialects of Latin, by which I mean the dialects of Latin that 99% of Romans spoke and which evolved into the Romance languages, didn't have them at all. So Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese and so on, don't pronounce their hs.

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Proper ecclesiatical Latin, in modo Romani, does not pronounce h's period. Wikipedia is also wrong about the general practice in "North America" Not only do Mexicans rarely pronounce h's in Latin, Americans generally do not anymore either (the Liber Usualis simply repeats the official instructions given by the pope himself on pronunciation, you do not pronounce h's, except as in mihi and nihil)

Canadians often do, but the also mess up the vowels something awful. Sank-toose---sank-toose...urghhh

Anyhow the proncunciation the Church herself desires does not pronounce h's. To that there can be no argument. It is simply fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:52 pm 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Proper ecclesiatical Latin, in modo Romani, does not pronounce h's period. Wikipedia is also wrong about the general practice in "North America" Not only do Mexicans rarely pronounce h's in Latin, Americans generally do not anymore either (the Liber Usualis simply repeats the official instructions given by the pope himself on pronunciation, you do not pronounce h's, except as in mihi and nihil)

Canadians often do, but the also mess up the vowels something awful. Sank-toose---sank-toose...urghhh

Anyhow the proncunciation the Church herself desires does not pronounce h's. To that there can be no argument. It is simply fact.


There's an 'h' in 'Sanctus'? ...


side question ... about "th" ... I've always pronounced his as simply "t" .... "Bethlehem" is rendered Bate-Leh-Em when I chant it... yes or no?


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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:00 pm 
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-No "h" is sanctus.

-"th" is just "t".

-If you chant "Bethlehem", all you should really hear is "e" through the whole thing, except a quick "b" in the beginning, quickly drop the "t" in there, and the "m" shouldn't be dragged out a the end. You shouldn't hear either "h" in "Bethlehem" in the chant nor when speaking it.

Well, I'm not sure about the last "h". It seems like if you dropped it quickly when chanting it, it wouldn't sound bad. But, technically, I guess you shouldn't pronounce it anyway.

I can take any corrections on this one. But I'm 95% sure about the Bethlehem question.

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:28 am 
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H has a history as a neglected letter in Latin. Catullus wrote a famous poem about a certain Arrius whose pronunciation of H was worthy of ridicule.

Quote:
Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias.
et tum mirifice sperabat se esse locutum,
cum quantum poterat dixerat hinsidias.
Credo, sic mater, sic liber avunculus eius,
sic maternus avus dixerat atque avia.
Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures:
audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter,
nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba,
cum subito affertur nuntius horribilis,
Ionios fluctus, postquam illuc Arrius isset,
iam non Ionios esse sed Hionios.


You can see a later example from St. Augustine, where he speaks of the rule of pronouncing H imposed by his grammar teachers contrary to the local custom. Evidently, H was natively a silent letter for Augustine.

Quote:
Behold, O Lord God, and behold patiently, as You are wont to do, how diligently the sons of men observe the conventional rules of letters and syllables, received from those who spoke prior to them, and yet neglect the eternal rules of everlasting salvation received from You, insomuch that he who practises or teaches the hereditary rules of pronunciation, if, contrary to grammatical usage, he should say, without aspirating the first letter, a uman being, will offend men more than if, in opposition to Your commandments, he, a human being, were to hate a human being. As if, indeed, any man should feel that an enemy could be more destructive to him than that hatred with which he is excited against him, or that he could destroy more utterly him whom he persecutes than he destroys his own soul by his enmity. And of a truth, there is no science of letters more innate than the writing of conscience— that he is doing unto another what he himself would not suffer. How mysterious are You, who in silence "dwellest on high," Isaiah 33:5 Thou God, the only great, who by an unwearied law dealest out the punishment of blindness to illicit desires! When a man seeking for the reputation of eloquence stands before a human judge while a thronging multitude surrounds him, inveighs against his enemy with the most fierce hatred, he takes most vigilant heed that his tongue slips not into grammatical error, but takes no heed lest through the fury of his spirit he cut off a man from his fellow-men.
(Confessions I, par. 29)


You can also see examples from the Vulgate. "Israhel" for the English "Israel" (addition of a silent letter) and "Raab" for the English "Rahab" (dropping an H where it would not be pronounced in Latin.

The pastor of my church, who is very knowledgeable, does uniformly pronounce H's in the liturgy, but it seems the prevailing attitude in the Latin Church is that they should not be pronounced.


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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Note, that the h between ae, in all era of Latin, can be seen as a symbol to mark that ae is not a diphthong there, Is-ra-el. Also, with no spaces h's were often written as separators to make words clearer. In many Latin books they standardize spelling. In real Latin manuscrips many names and words are written with or without h's. Editors made guesswork oer which really "should" be pronounced and which shouldn't and edited words accordingly.

But to use a classical example, Horace, his name is often spelled Oratius, rather than Horatius

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:24 pm 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSZEI0bPVw8 (NAR)

:fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Latin "H"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:38 pm 
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I don't especially care for Collins's book.


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