LINGUIST List 5.774

Mon 04 Jul 1994

Sum: Latin vowel quantity

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  1. Deborah Milam Berkley, Sum: Latin vowel quantity

Message 1: Sum: Latin vowel quantity

Date: Sun, 3 Jul 1994 19:20:12 -Sum: Latin vowel quantity
From: Deborah Milam Berkley <>
Subject: Sum: Latin vowel quantity

A few weeks ago I posted a query about whether Latin vowel
quantity was contrastive, and if not, whether it was predictable.

The unanimous response was that vowel quantity in classical Latin
is unpredictable and contrastive.

Many people supplied me with minimal pairs, which can be grouped
into two types:

lexical contrasts, e.g.:

malus `bad' vs. ma:lus `apple tree'
populus `people' vs. po:pulus `poplar'
occidit `falls' vs. occi:dit `kills'

contrasts in inflected forms

venit `comes' vs. ve:nit `came'
flamma `flame' vs. flamma: `flame' abl. sg.

The most commonly mentioned reference was the following:

William Sidney Allen. 1965. _Vox Latina_. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.

Here are the other references that were suggested:

B.L. Gildersleeve and G. Lodge, eds. 1986. _Latin Grammar_, 3rd
ed. St. Martin's.

Hale and Buck. _A Latin Grammar_.

R. Armin Mester. 1994. "The Quantitative Trochee in Latin."
_NLLT_ 12:1-61.

M. Ostwald & T. Rosenmeyer. _Greek and Latin Poetry_. Johns Hop-

Edgar Sturtevant. 1940. _The Pronunciation of Greek and Latin_.
Philadelphia: Linguistic Society of America.

Nigel Vincent. 1988. "Latin". In _The Romance Languages_, ed. by
M. Harris and N. Vincent. London: Routledge.

Following are the people who responded to my query, for which I
thank them.

Leo A. Connolly Tom McCreight
John Cowan Craig Melchert
Patricia Donegan Jeanne Mier
Peter Gebert Geoff Nathan
Edmund Grimley-Evans Bert Peeters
Hartmut Haberland Marc Picard
Jill Hart Tim Pulju
Mike Job J. A. Rea
Michael Kac Max Wheeler
John Kinder

Deborah Milam Berkley
Northwestern University
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