Re: R: Re: Droppin' D's Revisited
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 27, 2000, 19:09|
At 8:59 pm +0100 24/11/00, Mangiat wrote:
>The question is now: where is the Classical Latin orthography from?
Lost in the midst of time. It seems to have been one of the many things
that the Romans were indebted to the Etruscan for, as they seem to have got
their version of the alphabet from them, tho it was apparently modified to
some extent by southern Italian Greek usage.
>represent the lang as it was at the time of Cato (Cato Maior, not Uticensis,
>obviously), or even that of Ennius.
Caertainly it seems to have become largely fixed by Ennius time, i.e.
before the end of the 3rd cent. BC.
>Probably the writing system used in the
>Annales Maximi was picked up and retained as traditional even in the future
Quite possibly - the Romans were conservative in so many things.
> Another question: if CL had /i:fa:s/, why do we have Italian
Well, I did say the evidence for non-pronunciation of -n- is lacking or
circumstantial at best. It's that the lengthening of the vowel before -n-
needs explanation and the most credible is that Vnf- was developing in the
same way as Vns-. But it may well be that as there were far less
occurrences of this combination, the effect of the traditional spelling and
of schoolmasters kept the -n- pronounced. At any rate, the Italian form
does attest a long /i:/ in Latin. The Gaulish /Infant-/ looks like a later
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]