Latin regional pronunciation

Latin regional pronunciation

Latin pronunciation, both in the classical and post-classical age, has varied across different regions and different eras. Latin still in use today is often pronounced differently in various regions of the world.

While it is impossible to know exactly how Latin was pronounced centuries ago, singers and choirs in especially Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music often use what little is known to produce as authentic Latin as possible.

The following table shows the main differences between different regions with the International Phonetic Alphabet. This is far from a complete listing and lacks the local variations exhibited through centuries, but should give an outline of main characteristics of different regions.

In ecclesiastical use, these regional varieties were, and to a great extent still are, in use, although the Italian model is increasingly advocated and usually followed even for speakers of English, sometimes with slight variations. The official version is that given in the "Liber Usualis". This book prescribes a silent "h", except in the two words "mihi" and "nihil", which are pronounced /miki/ and /nikil/ (this is not universally followed). Some English singers choose to pronounce "h" as /h/ for extra clarity.

ee also

* Authentic performance
* Ecclesiastical Latin
* Latin spelling and pronunciation


Two examples of Franco-Flemish pronunciation of Latin:
* Listen|filename=10_Missa_Ave_Maria_Agnus_Dei.ogg|title=Agnus Dei|description=From Pierre de la Rue's Missa Ave Maria, performed by Capilla Flamenca. "Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi".|format=Ogg
* Listen|filename=GregorianEplurareEtGaudere.ogg‎ |title=Epulare et gaudere|description=Example of Gregorian plainsong, performed by Psallentes. "Epulare et gaudere oportebat, quia filius meus Jesus mortuus fuerat"|format=Ogg

References/further reading

* Benedictines Of Solesmes, ed. "Liber Usualis with introduction and rubrics in English". Great Falls, Montana: St. Bonaventure Publ., 1997.
* McGee, Timothy J. with A G. Rigg and David N. Klausner, eds. "Singing Early Music". Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1996.

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