Latin Language Blog

More Pronunciation Rules: Vowel/Syllable Length Posted by on Mar 14, 2009 in Latin Language

A vowel is short before another vowel or h. An example of this is in the word po – ē – ma, which means poem in Latin.  Another example of this is in the word ni – hil, which means nothing in Latin.

A vowel is pronounced with a short sound before nt and nd. You can see this in the word a – mant.  In Latin this = they love. It’s also true for words like mo – nen – dus. In Latin this word = to be advised.

A vowel is also short before a word ending in a final l or r. The words a – ni – mal (animal) and a – mor (love) have this trait.

A vowel is pronounced long before nf, ns, j and gn. Here are some examples: cōn – fe -rō (bring together), mēn – sa (table), hū – jus (of him), and mā – gnus (great).

A syllable is long when it contains a long vowel or a dipthong: vō – cēs (voices), ae- dēs (temple).

A syllable is long when a syllable ends in a consonant followed by another consonant like cor – pus (body, corpse).

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