Translingual Shiritori

This makes me think – if you wanted to come off aridae, would you have the choice of:

  • Classical pronunciation, eg. eyeshape
  • English pronunciation, eg. eels
  • Secondary English pronunciation, eg. alehouse

That would make it a very flexible ending.

Likewise, if you want to come of filii, could you choose between the classical i: and the English “eye”?



I’m confused about your choices. I was taught 2 options:

  1. Standard Latin (now sometimes called Ecclesiastical Latin) - - > aridae would end in the same sound English epoch would start with

  2. The fancy new pronunciation some scholars have claimed is closer to golden age Latin (now sometimes called Classical Latin pr .) - - > aridae would end with the sound that Italian aeroporto starts with.

Neither option agrees with any of yours it seems.
And yes, I’m old

1 Like

Well then, just choose one of those words to continue with. You came up with the words.

When looking at how Latin takes loanwords from Greek, it always transforms αι into ae, suggesting that the two sounded the same to latin ears. Etymologically, words that ought to have an /ai/ in Indoeuropean also turn that into a latin ae. So yes, it is one syllable and I think aero is three; but you know that better than I do.

@cleinias I will check my Kennedy’s Latin Primer (1960s edition).

Also, I would pronounce the “e” in “epoch” as i:
Like the ee in bee. An ee sound.

I would say e: (like in “bay”) is the dominant pronunciation in the taxonomic community.

@cleinias @Sanonius

The sound of ae is:

Kennedy’s Latin Primer (1962): “Nearly as ai in aisle, French email.”

Oxford Latin Desk Dictionary (2005): “As igh in English high.”

Is someone going to actually give another word, or is this topic turning into a letter sounds lesson. It is important, but can we get on with the game at some point. I feel someone else who has been actively participating in the lesson should go. We’ve heard examples. Just someone needs to choose one of the examples to use. Please :no_mouth:

1 Like

Why don’t you go? aridae is on the board.

I just heard a guy on Time Team pronounce it with a schwa.

So we have all these interpretations:

  1. Classical: /aɪ/
  2. English, primary: /i:/
  3. English, secondary: /eɪ/
  4. English, tertiary: /ə/

And then cleinias’ two pronunciations, whatever they are, which he’s communicated unclearly.

Well you guys all put examples out there, and also I am looking at your helpful diagram and getting myself confused with the upside down letters. I will still try though.
Evil? - English
Does this work? I looked at the epoch/bee example.

Yeah, that’s fine by me c:

And ofc letter-transmission is still allowed as well, eg. to aerial.

villa (Italian)


mandibles (English)

estudiante spanish

1 Like

antecedit (it precedes) – Latin

This is honestly cool and I like to read over the post I’m replying too. Very poetic to me, in an erratic sense. Or in the sense of errata. I dunno. It’s just cool. I’m impressed.


Pronunciation fascinates me, forgive me if I keep this going. Just to clarify my previous points:

  1. My first point was that I was actually taught the Classical (and at the time still far from being accepted) pronunciation of -ae as a /ae/, not as /aɪ/. I wonder if regional differences played a role—my teachers were Italians, not English native speakers.

  2. The second point was that the (then) “standard” Latin pronunciation of -ae (and -oe as well) was taught to me as /e:/ and I do believe (please correct me if I’m wrong), that this is still the case for the majority of Latin active speakers (i.e., mostly, the people in the Vatican)

I was surprised to see neither options listed—and Ia m actually curious to see if my surprise is just a function of my age, the country where I was schooled, or both. Or something else, possibly


Sorry, what sound is /ae/?