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  • jzdro posted an update in the group Group logo of S.P.Q.RatburgerS.P.Q.Ratburger 1 month, 1 week ago

    Question from one in the Slow Class: Is there supposed to be a vocal stop between two successive consonants?

    W6, page xlii explains that the Romans pronounced such as “two separate consonants.” So I started practicing that, for example with “currant.”

    (They do so in Polish, by the way, quite clearly in the audio lessons I’ve heard.)

    @10 Cents kindly recommended the Wheelock Official website pronunciation help page: http://www.wheelockslatin.com/chapters/introduction/introduction_consonants.html

    There an instructor says “currant” and also “admittent” with no stop between the double consonants, while giving English samples as two separate English words for each. With “cur ran” he gives a stop; with “admit ten” he does not.

    I’m guessing no vocal stop but take the time to say the consonant twice. Is this guess correct?

    • The way I think about it, though maybe not correct, is that it matters where the double consonant is accented.

      Roman poetry was rhythmic: each syllable had a time value. A long value had twice the length of a short one. And in verse, if a short vowel came before a double consonant (well, most double consonants), even if the second consonant was the beginning of the next word, then that vowel was promoted from short to long.

      So, think of it this way, the u in currant, in verse would be long.

      If you say curr-ant, then both vowels sound short.

      But if you say cu-rrant, then the u sounds long.

      I think that this is more natural than repeating the consonant (cur – rant) and probably more to the point.


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