OT Latin final -M
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 18:18|
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Checking the book again, I see I may have misinterpreted him. He writes, when
> discussing change is pronunciation during the late Empire, that final /m/ was
> lost "fairly early" - I took this to mean fairly early during the late imperial
> period, but there really isn't anything to tell relative to what the loss was
> fairly early. Maybe he meant fairly early in the history of spoken Latin.
If so, then I agree entirely.
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> So how far back must one go before the common pronunciation of Latin
> matches the CL prescription?
I doubt very much if there ever was a time. Classical Latin is
essentially a prescription, based on Greek models, of what the literati
thought Latin should be like. A bit like Sanskrit, I suppose, except
that the Romans never had a Panini to make a proper job of it :)
The reconstructions of people like Sidney Allen are reconstructions of
pronunciation the literate classes would have used in pronouncing the
'purified' language. I suspect people like Caesar & Cicero were
trilingual: Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, Koine Greek.
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