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FOR PRONOUNCING THE VOWELS OF
GREEK AND LATIN PROPER NAMES
Abridged from Walker's Key.
1. EVERY vowel with the accent on it at the end of a syllable is pronounced as in English, with its first long open sound: thus Ca'to, Philomela, Ori'on, Pho'cion, Lucifer, &c. have the accented vowels sounded exactly as in the English words pa'per, me'tre, spi'der, no'ble, tu'tor, &c.
2. Every accented vowel not ending a syllable, but followed by a consonant, has the short sound as in English: thus Man'lius, Pen theus, Pin'darus, Col'chis, Curtius, &c. have the short sound of the accented vowels, as in man'ner, plenty, printer, collar, curfew, &c.
3. Every final i, though unaccented, has the long open sound thus the final i forming the genitive case, as in Magis'tri, or the plural number, as in De'ci, has the long open sound, as in vial; and this sound we give to this vowel in this situation, because the Latin i final in genitives, plurals, and preterperfect tenses of verbs, is always long; and consequently where the accented i is followed by i final, both are pronounced with the long diphthongal i, like the noun eye, as Achi'vi.
4. Every unaccented i ending a syllable not final, as that in the second of Alcibiades, the Hernici, &c. is pronounced like e, as if written Alcebiades, the Herneci, &c. So the last syllable but one of the Fabii, the Horatii, the Curiatii, &c. is pronounced as if written Fa-be-i, Ho-ra-she-i, Cu-re-a-she-i; and therefore if the unaccented i and the diphthong & conclude a word, they are both pronounced like e, as Harpya, Harpy'e-e.
5. The diphthongs œ and e, ending a syllable with the accent on it, are pronounced exactly like the long English e, as Cæsar, Eta, &c. as if written Cee'sar, E'1. &c.; al
like the short e, when followed by a consonant in the same syllable, as Daedalus, Edipus, &c. pronounced as if written Deddalus, Eddipus, &c. The vowels ei are generally pronounced like long i.
6. Y is exactly under the same predicament as i. It is long when ending an accented syllable, as Cy'rus; or when ending an unaccented syllable if final, as 'gy, 'py, &c.: short when joined to a consonant in the same syllable, as Lyc'idas; and sometimes long and sometimes short, when ending an initial syllable not under the accent, as Ly-cur'gus, pronounced with the first syllable like lie, a falsehood; and Lysimachus with the first syllable like the first of legion; or nearly as if divided into Lys-im'a-chus, &c.
7. A, ending an unaccented syllable, has the same obscure sound as in the same situation in English words; but it is a sound bordering on the Italian a, or the a in fa-ther, as Dia'na, where the difference between the accented and unaccented a is palpable.
8. E final, either with or without the preceding consonant, always forms a distinct syllable, as Penelope, Hippocrene, Evoe, Amphitrite, &c.
Rules for pronouncing the Consonants of Greek and Latin proper Names.
9 C and G are hard before a, o, and u, as Cato, Comus, Cures, Galba, Gorgon, &c.—and soft before e, i, and y, as Cebes, Scipio, Scylla, Cinna, Geryon, Geta, Gillus, Gyges, Gymnosophiste, &c.
10. T, S, and C, before ia, ii, io, iu, and eu, preceded by the accent, in Latin words, as in English, change into sh as, in English, iuto and zh, as Tatian, Statius, Portius, Portia, Socias, Caduceus, Accius, Helvetii, Masia, Hesiod, &c. pronounced Tashean, Stasheus, Porsheus, Porshea, Sosheas, Cadusheus, Aksheus, Helveshei, Mezhea, Hezheod, &c. But when the accent is on the first of the diphthongal vowels, the preceding consonant does not go into sh, but preserves its sound pure, as Miltiades, Antiates, &c. See the word Sutiety in Walker's Pron. Dict.
11. T and S, in proper names, ending in tia, sia, cyon, and sion, preceded by the accent, change the t and s into sh and zh. Thus Phocion, Sicyon, and Cercyon, are pronounced exactly in our own analogy, as if written Prosneun, Sishean, and Sershean: Artemisia, and Aspasia sound as if written Artemizhea and Aspazhea: Galatia, Aracia, Alotia
and Batia, as if written Galashea, Arashea, Aloshea, and Bashea and if Atia, the town in Campania, is not so pronounced, it is to distinguish it from Asia, the eastern region of the world.
12. Ch. These letters before a vowel are always pronounced like k, as Chabrias, Colchis, &c. but when they come before a mute consonant at the beginning of a word, as in Chthonia, they are mute, and the word is pronounced as if written Thonia. Words beginning with Sche, as Schedius, Scheria, &c. are pronounced as if written Skedius, Skeria, &c.; and c before n in the Latin prænomen Cneus or Cnaus is mute; so in Cnopus, Cnosus, &c.
13. At the beginning of Greek words we frequently find the uncombinable consonants MN, TM, &c. as Mnemosyne, Mnesidamus, Mneus, Mnesteus, Tmolus, &c. These are to be pronounced with the first consonant mute, as if written Nemosyne, Nesidamus, Neus, Nesteus, Molus, &c. in the same manner as we pronounce the words Bdellium, Pneumatick, Gnomon, Mnemonics, &c. without the initial consonant. The same may be observed of the C hard like K, when it comes before T; as Ctesiphon, Ctesippus, &c. Some of these words we see sometimes written with an e or i after the first consonant, as Menesteus, Timolus, &c. and then the initial consonant is pronounced.
14. Ph, followed by a consonant, is mute, as Phthia. Phthiotis, pronounced Thia, Thiotis, in the same manner as the naturalised Greek word Phthisick pronounced Tisick.
15. Psp is mute also in this combination, as Psyche, Psammetichus, &c. pronounced Syke, Sammeticus, &c.
16. Pt, p is mute in words beginning with these letters when followed by a vowel, as Ptolemy, Pterilas, &c.-pronounced Tolemy, Terilas, &c.; but when followed by 1, the t is heard, as in Tleptolemus. The same may be observed of the z in Zmilaces.
17. The letters S, X, and Z, require but little observation, being gcuerally pronounced as in pure English words. It may however be remarked, that s, at the end of words, preceded by any of the vowels but e, has its pure hissing sound; as mas, dis, os, mus, &c.-but when e precedes, it goes into the sound of z; as pes, Thersites, vates, &c. X, when beginning a word or syllable, is pronounced like z; as Xerxes, Xenophon, &c. are pronounced Zerkzes, Zenophon, &c. Z is uniformly pronounced as in English words: thus the z in Zeno and Zeugma is pronounced as we hear it in zeal, zone, &c.
Rules for ascertaining the English Quantity of Greek and Latin Proper Names.
18. It may at first be observed, that words of two syllables, with but one consonant in the middle, whatever be the quantity of the vowel in the first syllable in Greek or Latin, are always long in English: thus Crates the philosopher, and crates a hurdle; decus honour, and dedo to give; ovo to triumph, and ovum an egg; Numa the legislator, and Numen the divinity, have the first vowel always sounded equally long by an English speaker, although in Latin the first vowel in the first word of each of these pairs is short.
19. On the contrary, words of three syllables, with the accent on the first and with but one consonant after the first syllable, have that syllable pronounced short, let the Greek or Latin quantity be what it will. This rule is never broken but when the first syllable is followed by e or i, followed by another vowel: in this case the vowel in the first syllable is long, except that vowel be i: thus lamia, genius, Libya, doceo, cupio, have the accent on the first syllable, and this syllable is pronounced long in every word but Libya, though in the original it is equally short in all.
20. When a consonant ends a syllable, the vowel is always short, whether the accent be on it or not; but when a vowel ends a syllable with the accent on it, it is always long the vowel u, when it ends a syllable, is long whether the accent be on it or not, and the vowel i (3) (4) when it ends a syllable without the accent, is pronounced like e; but if the syllable be final, it has its long open sound as if the accent were on it: and the same may be observed of the letter y.
Rules for placing the Accent of Greek and Latin Proper
21. Words of two syllables, either Greek or Latin, whatever be the quantity in the original, have, in English pronunciation, the accent on the first syllable and if a single consonant come between two vowels, the consonant goes to the last syllable, and the vowel in the first is long; as Cato, Ceres, Comus, &c.
22. Polysyllables have generally the accent on the penultimate if it be long, as Severus, Democedes, &c.; if short, the accent is on the antepenultimate, as Demosthenes Aristophanes, Posthumus, &c.