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  5. "Bubones itinera faciunt."

"Bubones itinera faciunt."

Translation:Owls make journeys.

September 17, 2019



Pronunciation question: The reader for this question seemed to stress the second "i" in "itinera." Why? Is that an accident of his pronunciation (which is generally enjoyable), or is there reason to highlight the antepenultimate syllable there? Does classical Latin usually do this, or just for that word, or... what? is it a long "i"? How much of this pronunciation is known, and how much is our best guess after 2000ish years?


From what I remember there are few rules for stresses (of course likely from what they reconstructed):

  • In two syllable words, the stress is always on the first syllable.
  • In three or more, if the penultimate syllable is long, then the accent goes there, otherwise it goes on the antepenultimate.

Of course, there maybe something I am missing.


No you're correct, the 'e' in itinera is short, so the antepenultimate rule is in force.


As you suggest, the stress is on the antepenultimate syllable, but that should not compel that syllable to be pronounced with a long i rather than a short one. It's itinera, not itīnera, which is how it is being pronounced in the audio for this sentence. I have reported this as "The audio does not sound correct".


I knew the stressed syllable was correct because being a fluent Italian speaker I just have a 'feel' for it. However, all this talk about long and short vowels is beyond me. Also, and here I admit my ignorance so no need to get fired up, in my opinion this whole "classical" pronunciation" is a construct invented by Anglophone scholars for or by their convenience. Admittedly it is easier, but imo there is no way the soft c's and g's in both Italian and Spanish came out of nowhere. Scholars should learn Ecclesiastic pronunciation, it's not so hard, and supposedly they are intelligent, right? "Classical pronunciation" should not even exist. Or if and where it does, it should have a different name: "Wrong."


Not "anglophone" I think, since there's a third way to pronounce Latin, called the "traditional" English pronunciation. It is very different from the "Reconstructed Classical" pronunciation. This course is based on the Reconstructed Classical pronunciation.

A great deal of scholarship has gone into reconstructing the pronunciation of Latin during the classical period. At that time "c" was most definitely pronounced "k", even before "e" or "i".

1) Greek regularly transcribes Latin "c" with "κ" (kappa), even when the "c" appeared before "e" or "i". If the Greeks had heard a "s" sound, they would have used a sigma, not a kappa.

2) Borrowings from Latin into Celtic and Germanic likewise preserve the "k" sound of Latin "c".

3) Roman grammarians wrote about the sounds in Latin, and they consistently describe "c", "k" and "q" as having the same sound.

The first evidence of the softening of "c" before "e" and "i" comes from after the Classical period.


Is Duo leaving?!


Of course - take a look at the Duo goes to series, such as Duo goes to the Basque Country https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7736533 :-)

  • 1368

What about "Owls travel"?


I think "to travel" in Latin is rather travehere/transvehere (alternative form).

Checking in the Lewis & Short for "iter", and they tell us that is a journey (= going to a distant place):

going to a distant place, a journey; and of an army, a march

So, not a trip (a trip is short), it could be travelling, but to a very distant place. Just "to travel" is not descriptive enough.

Journey is from French journée, meanin a day (jour) and the events occurring in a day. Because this travel's length was one day. (or more "journées"). It started to mean a long travel.

Travel is oddly not from Latin "travehere" even if the forms are very close, it's from French "travail", meaning "to work, a work". Etymonline tells us it was because travels were very difficult at that time.



When is Itinera vs iter used?

  • 1368

Itinera is plural (joruneys), iter is singular (a journey)

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