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Quoth Steg Belsky:
> On Thu, 21 Jan 1999 22:01:18 -0500 Don Blaheta <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> >Empire it was starting to become a distinction of quality as well; by
> >about the fourth century CE certain mergers had occurred to reduce
> >the system to seven vowels (/aeEioOu/, iirc).  The vowels are: AEIOV;
> >once lower case started popped up you had AaEeIiOoVu---much later,
> >when that last one was separated into vowel and consonant, you saw Uu
> >and Vv.
>
> The long vowels are the ones that are usually represented in writing with
> macrons over them, right?  So originally the vowels were /a a: e e: i i:
> o o: u u:/ ?

Yes.

> I don't know that much about Roman history...the Empire began around the
> time of Julius Caesar?

Yes.

> >> Also, in order to test out this system, i'd like to know how to say
> >> "Judean" in Latin, so that i can mutate it into the name of the
> >> conlang itself.
>
> >Well, "of the Jews" was "Iudaeorum", so "Iudaeus/Iudaea" (Jew, Judean)
> >would be what you're looking for.
>
> How is Iudaea pronounced? /judaea/ ? /judaEa/ ?  Are any of the vowels
> long?  Is the normal Latin suffix for language/nationality/etc.  _-a_?

The first part is pretty definitely /jud/.  The diphthong "ae" I'm not
positive about; in my Latin class we said /aj/, but I'd imagine it was
originally as written: /ae/.

Also, I think I was misleading in the way I gave a translation:
"Iudaeus" and "Iudaea" both mean "Jew" or "Judean"; the former is
masculine, the latter feminine.

> >Here's a chart of vowel changes in Vulgar Latin (IIRC):
> >short or long a         > /a/
> >short e or ae           > /E/ (later diphthongized to /'i.e/>/je/)
> >long e or oe or short i > /e/
> >long i                  > /i/
> >short o                 > /O/
> >long o or short u       > /o/
> >long u                  > /u/
>
> So originally it was just short and long versions of /a e i o u/ ?  What
> did the {ae} and {oe} sound like, originally?

Like I said, in my Latin class we said /aj/ for "ae"; we also said /E/
for "oe".  I'm not sure what the accepted "correct" pronunciation was.

> I remember someone saying that the Latin plural ending was _-i:_, so (if
> that's correct) in Judean it'd be _-i:n_, because of the Aramaic
> influence.

Ack.  Really, I think you need to learn a bit more Latin if you're going
to do a romancelang. ;)  -i: was one of _very many_ plural endings;
specifically, it was the masculine, second declension, nominative plural
ending.  Here's as much as I remember of the paradigms for first (fem)
and second (masc/neut) declensions, the most common ones:

     1s     1p      2s     2p
nom  -a    -ae    -us/um  -i/a
gen  -ae   -arum   -i     -orum
dat  -ae   -is     -o      -is
acc  -am   -as    -um     -os
abl  -a    -is    -o      -is

The point is, there are a _lot_ of endings you'll have to deal
with---and this is just the first two declensions; there are three more.
:)  And that's to say nothing of the conjugations...  Look, go out to a
used bookstore and find yourself a good Latin grammar.  It's pretty
cool---rather regular for a natural language---and books are always good
investments, no? ;)

--
-=-Don [log in to unmask]<http://www.cs.brown.edu/~dpb/>-=-
Condense soup, not books!