Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Wainy. Weedy. Weaky.

I've argued often on the merits of restored classical pronunciation and have just stumbled upon the best defense:

si 'sub aqua sub aqua' ranae 'cecinere querelam',
    cur sessineere velis dicere, cur sub akway?
balat ovis 'be be', vocem effert noctua 'tu tu'?
    haec bee bee, tew tew posse sonare putas?

-- T.F. Higham, 1958 (cited in L.P. Wilkinson, Golden Latin Artistry p. 5)

Keep in mind that that's a short e. 'Bay bay' is no better than 'bee bee' (and for a great discussion on the pronunciation of Greek eta -- with this very same example -- check out Edgar Sturtevant's Pronunciation of Greek and Latin).

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