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Former good article Latin was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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If you have questions on the Latin language, please use Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language instead of this talk page

This Article Is Not Available To NON-SPECIALISTS[edit]

This article is written so that only specialists could readily understand it. Encyclopedias are usually written so that an intelligent motivated person can understand the subject matter WITHOUT a technical reference manual. I just wanted to know how Latin was prounounced - but these symbols are meaningless to me - and to most of those people using this site. At least provide a translation so I know what these symbols mean - otherwise this is NOT a encyclopedia article meant for general knowledge but a wank-fest for experts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:57, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Despite common belief[edit]

"Despite common belief, English is not a Romance language, but rather comes from the

Template Error[edit]

there is a template error - the template referring the reader to the Latin wikipedia obscures the picture above. I am unsure how to fix this. It looks unsightly. (talk) 09:29, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean the "Latin edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" link under See Also? Looks OK to me, which browser are you using and which picture is it obscuring?

Translation please...[edit]

Hello! IPA) [kylantha].

... to be continued Ūnus ē Latīnīs novīs (talk) 16:02, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Language Characteristics Section?[edit]

Should we just delete the language characteristics section? The information concerning Queen Elizabeth's education is unverified (I could only find small amounts of info related to her overall studies elsewhere) and would probably fit better in the section detailing Renaissance Latin, if anywhere. Also, the information regarding the understandability of Latin among different generations is also unverified and possibly only relevant at the beginning of the "History of Latin" section, if this info is actually true. Icountryclub (talk) 02:04, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

You didn't look very hard. But, contrary to what I said, I am getting back on this article. I will reevaluate the relevance of my example. If it still seems relevant I will revert you and add the reference. If not then we will go on to other things. Thanks for your thought. You can't expect agreement all the time, now can you?Dave (talk) 10:13, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

See Also Section[edit]

After looking at the See Also Guidelines and also some other language articles, I cut down the Latin "See Also" section, removing most of the links which would have already appeared at the top of the article and those which seemed to be not extremely relevant to the article, like "Pig Latin" or "Dog Latin". Did I cut too much, do you think? Icountryclub (talk) 00:16, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Read what I said below. But on this particular topic, see also is for additional material or related material. In a way, it is for material that is "not extremely relevant to the article." Material that is extremely relevant to the article would go in the article, so why would you want to repeat it as the see also? If relevant material did not fit in this article then you would use the "main" template or any one of its many brothers and sisters to achieve continuity of content. As I stated below, until you have more experience, I would put the see also back just as it was. Don't wait for someone else to do it. You did decide to discuss it. Maybe you want to wait a bit for more opinions. Better yet, put it back and then discuss it. Incidentally I usually make these lists 2-column or in some long lists 3 and 4. I can show you how to do that if you want.Dave (talk) 00:01, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Later. It looks as though I am going to pull a John Wayne scene here. I'm not going to get back on this article - I'm not going to get back on this article - the heck I'm not. It appears as though I am. I will put it on my list of parallel articles. Now, I went back to the original tagged see also (not very far back). True, most see alsos are shorter. I wouldn't agree with NO see also. I think you are definitely having trouble deciding what should go in. Maybe the difficulty is in the subject. I suppose we should cut it down to manageable proportions; still, who's to say that a large see also is not in order? As I said somewhere, I think part of the problem is that this see also was being really used for a disambig page. So, I'm expanding the disambig page to take them. I will be putting some back. We can then discuss those, right here if you want. This is a gradual process, don't expect any instant solutions.Dave (talk) 08:38, 20 June 2010 (UTC) PS just for reference here is the original list.

*AP Latin: Vergil This is now in the article in a sentence on the Latin College Boards
*Latin alphabetReferenced as a main article.
*Alphabets derived from the LatinThis is under Latin alphabet
*Latin characters in Unicode Placed this under Latin alphabet
*Latin-1Placed this under Latin alphabet
*Western Latin character sets (computing)Placed this under Latin alphabet
*List of Latin lettersPlaced this under Latin alphabet
*Latin encyclopedia This is a category so I put it at the bottom of the page
*Latin Wikipedia (Vicipaedia) This is a duplicate and has a box.
*Latin grammarReferenced as a main article.
*Latin conjugationReferenced as a main article>
*Latin declensionReferenced as a main article

  • Latin mnemonics
  • Latin school

*Golden line This went under Latin poetry
*Latin literatureThis is in the Ages of Latin box
*Latin translations of modern literature I put the under Contemporary Latin
*Latin poetry Went under Latin literature
*List of Latin language poets Went under Latin literature
*Panegyrici Latini I put this under Late Latin as that is its period
*Latin profanity This article is suspect so I am omitting it from anywhere for now
*Latin spelling and pronunciationIn this group of 3, the first is referenced as a main article here, so we don't need it here also. The other two are special topics of the first. They DO appear under the see also of the other article, so we are just repeating ourselves to put them here. That's what we have the other aricle for.
*Latin regional pronunciationSpecial topic under the above article.
*Traditional English pronunciation of LatinSpecial topic.
*LatinismThis went on the disambig page
*Greek and Latin roots in English This is a questionable article I think will be removed - see its discussion
*Latin honors disambig - not really about Latin
*Latin influence in English I used the main template with this in the article
*Latinization (literature)This went in disambig

  • List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents in English
  • List of Latin abbreviations
  • List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names
  • List of Latin phrases
  • List of Latin words with English derivatives
  • List of Latinised names
  • List of legal Latin terms

*List of songs with Latin lyrics This is under Contemporary Latin

  • List of Latin place names in Europe
  • Medical terminology

*National Latin Exam This is now in the article - I put it there
*Latin edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaLatin edition of Wikisource, the free-content library This has a box.
*Ancient Rome There's a whole box on this one at the bottom of the page
*Culture of ancient Rome In the bottom box

  • Romanization (cultural)

*Brocard This is under List of Latin Legal Terms
*Carmen Possum This is discussed and linked in Macaronic Latin. It sure does not go here. It isn't even Latin.
*Dog Latin Placed in disambig
*Pig Latin Placed in disambig
*Hiberno-Latin This went in the ages of Latin box
*Interlingua Not relevant, Latin not in name, not the immediate basis of its formation.
*Internationalism The topic is too broad to appear here; this is language
*Judeo-Latin Placed in ages of Latin box
*Latin liturgy This went under Ecclesiastical Latin
*Latin Mass This went under Ecclesiastical Latin
*Latin Rite This went under Ecclesiastical Latin
*Macaronic Latin Placed in disambig
*Latino sine Flexione Placed in disambig
*Loeb Classical LibraryThis is referenced in text as part of subject material of THIS article
*Orbis PictusThis is covered in New Latin
*Romance languages In the bottom box
*Romance peoples Not about peoples

We need a working principle here as the list of possible see also candidates is incredibly long when you do a search, much longer than this one. Let us say, anything for which a disambig entry might be made should not go here. Also, as has already been pointed out, things links in the article above should not go here. I think whatever supplements this article and is of general character should go here. I would keep most of the lists. Unless I hear otherwise from you editors, these are the principles I will follow. I wrote or heavily edited many of the articles in the footer box so I have an idea of what might be too specific for this see also. We just can't have an endless column of see also.Dave (talk) 22:23, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I finished checking these out. It appears as though I very nearly agree with Mr. icountryclub. What seems to be left are the lists, which are clearly supplementary material without any other natural home. Also there is nothing really on education in Latin. At this point I feel the ones that are left are fairly solid candidates for see also. I notice there has been practically an explosion of Latin articles. I can't really check them all; you will have to do that. Probably the coverage of these topics is going to change so see also will no doubt need further updating later. I did not check every possible article beginning with Latin or with Latin in the title to see if it might be linked in see also. So, what I say is by no means cast in concrete. My explanations in the cross-outs I believe reflect WP thinking so you can get an idea from that, or else investigating what I say will give you a better idea. Sorry this took so long; it is somewhat tedious work. One of the problems of WP is that on some topics the editors load it down with so much questionable material in such bad format that it takes a long time to address the article properly. Meanwhile they get to keep their advertising or their political opinions or whatever it is that motivates them. I'm going to make the interim see also conform to the survivor list and put it in the right location. Then I may go on to some of the other issues.Dave (talk) 17:02, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

PS. The situation has already changed and I changed it myself by putting some links in the article, so as to cut down on this list.Dave (talk) 13:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Mr. icountryclub![edit]

You seem to be doing your level best to get me back on this article. First you make these changes, then you send me a message. The first few changes I noticed I would revert. But, let me preface my remarks by saying, the convention is, unless you have a good reason, you leave what is there in place. Maybe not as such, maybe you are going to make some additions and you need to blend it in better or organize it better. Most articles have a "see also." It was there; I would have left it there. Your change is not going to fly, believe me. Others will be putting in see also items; they may even restore what you have done. You've just taken on the whole WP Latin-literate public! Do you remember what I said to you? If you do not know Latin, stay out of the content! You've chosen to ignore that. Now, do Dog Latin and Pig Latin belong there? Well, they are incidental to the topic. Such terms presume the existence of Latin and derive their meaning from legitimate Latin. I would either put them back or I would put them on a disambig page. Now, as to some of your other excisions, unfortunately you betray yourself as being somewhat scanty in general Latin knowledge. True, I did not put a reference in to Elizabeth's capabilities. However, it is pretty well known. Such a reference is quite easily obtained, probably on the first pass at the Internet. The reputation derives essentially from the written works of her tutor. What you should have done here, Mr. countryclub, is ask for a reference! I do not know fully what you have taken out of here. If I were you I would stop forthwith. Don't wait until someone labels you as a vandal and blocks your userid. By the way, what experience have you to be taking stuff out of here? I saw two months of experience on your site! You have the mark of a vandal and if I were you I would stop right now. You did not, as I suggested, start with the links and references. Despite your efforts to attract me, however, I am NOT coming back on this article right now! This is admission on my part that the article still needs a lot of work. A few reversions of your changes is not going to fix it. When I do come back it will be with the intent of turning this into a good article. I will not necessarily start with YOUR changes - there are still a lot of problems. You can be sure, I will be making the fur fly and if that is what you wanted you will be getting your wishes. I think you could better use your time studying up on WP policy and looking at some good articles. Prepare for battle, figuratively speaking. Excellence must be fought for. You can be sure, however, that I will give every idea and change of yours a fair break. Be assured, the Latin articles are in my agenda. I wanted to supply the historical and geographical background to the language and its cousins, so I am off doing that. You know how it is on WP, one thing leads to another, ad infinitum. That is its great advantage, but on the other hand sometimes you only half-finish things leaving them open to attack. I am making a note to myself: ATTENTION DAVE: when you get back on this article check all of icountrycub's excisions. Ciao.Dave (talk) 00:01, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I apologize for getting ahead of myself and making edits to the page which may not have been beneficial and were certainly done without the consulting of the editors of this page at large. Everyone is invested in the success of my page and it is not helpful to haphazardly make edits to the page when there are others here I can bounce my ideas off of before editing so that I could best improve the article. I have taken another look at the citation policies and will begin correcting the citations that I have placed into the article which apparently had not been in correct form. I do wish to contribute to this page and am not utterly ignorant in the realm of the Latin language, so I will do what I can and pass larger edits, if any by the community first.Icountryclub (talk) 01:15, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

The intro[edit]

Well it seems to have changed quite a lot since I worked on it. I'm not going to chase all the way back through all those changes. When I do work on this article I will be addressing the inaccuracies. For example, I don't know what on earth you mean by "two dialects" developing as early as the empire. It looks a though you have a medievalist as a source there. That was a mistake, unless you have misunderstood your source or read more into him than he said. Have you never heard of Plautus and Terence? Early Latin inscriptions? Gentlemen, vulgar Latin was the original language, and it goes back as far as the early republic. Classical Latin is an educated version developed in the late republic. This is what I mean about knowledge of content. Unless you know the period just about anything you might say is going to be wrong. That is true of any period, any language. If you don't know any Latin, if you don't know the civilization, do not work on the content of these articles! You can still work on the formatting and graphics. Now, if you will check the box at the bottom of the page on the periods of Latin, you will see such terms as golden Latin, silver Latin, medieval Latin. Just what did you think these words might mean? If there are only two dialects, what are all these phases? Moreover, the Roman writers themselves mention different dialects, of which little or nothing survives. And finally, vulgar Latin was not a dialect, it was a set of dialects spoken by the ordinary people, who varied widely in speech. You see what I mean, if you have not studied the topic you just do not know what sort of thing to say as introduction. You do as you please, of course, but my suggestion is to work on some topic in which you DO know what to say. The dead language idea - well you need to reference some definitions there. For a dead language it seems pretty lively. There are different arguments and different definitions and they are covered by WP articles. Was renaissance Latin dead? The intro must not make over-definite statements that can be and have been questioned but must be sufficiently general and abstract to cover the variants.Dave (talk) 00:36, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

The references, the references[edit]

Nice try but no fly. The whole point of the harvard ref is so you do not have to repeat the book title. You need to use "ref=CITEREFnameyear" in the biblio item, which is referenced in "harvnb". Also we have the named note to collect all the refs with the same page number under one ref. Those have the a, b, c, etc. While you are waiting for me to come back, why don't you try to format these properly? I'm over there on Vesuvius, Avellino eruption and Apennines and others if you want to look at my note formatting. It looks as though I will be there for a while, but don't despair, I promise you a good fight (figuratively speaking) when I get back. Get ready. Oh by the way for the links WP uses "cite web", "cite journal", "cite book" and the like, which standardize the reference information. Please use. Thanks.Dave (talk) 00:59, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Noun cases[edit]

Lead section says noun has 6 cases, one of which is locative. Section Latin#Nouns says (more correctly if I remember rightly) that locative is a 7th case. --Stfg (talk) 21:32, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Counting the locative case, it seems like there should be seven... Icountryclub (talk) 01:24, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Since this is what the Nouns section says, I've edited the lead to be compatible with it. --Stfg (talk) 13:28, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
All right. NIce catch. Hmmm. I think I have 10 fingers here - let me see - 1,2,3,6,4,8 ... blast it! Anyway what you are seeing there is the process of merging. The vocative had all but merged with the nominative and similarly there were only a few special cases of the locative. It was down really to 5 productive cases. However, you have to be consistent so 7 it is. The ablative didn't last all that much longer either but it was a collection of a whole lot of earlier hypothetical cases. Thanks.Dave (talk) 19:54, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
PS The scholars you see published on the Internet give a varying number, some 5, some 6, only a few 7. This is a matter that is subject to interpretation, however. I think we are justified in sticking to our guns on this since as you say we have explained what we mean in the grammar section. We chose one of the three numbers offered by the field and explained it so that seems good enough to me.Dave (talk) 21:47, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Oh my gosh, "Gaul is all divided"![edit]

This translation is to be found on the site, which is going to be listed for about 2 minutes more. It seems clear the site is all unencyclopedic. I've been saying, if you have no knowledge of the content, it most likely is not a good idea to be writing about it in full public view. You just don't know what to say! If you worked strictly from the sources it probably would not be so bad, but I don't see anyone doing that, either. This lower-than amateur site is not a kind of reference for anything. I've known amateurs who taught themselves Latin and became leading figures in the world of enthusiasts, and it did not take all that long either. It is a lot of work I dare say. If you are not willing to dance the dance, spare us from your trying to talk the talk, will you? Thanks.Dave (talk) 00:34, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The Ray Cui site[edit]

This is a personal site. Ray says, his teachers so confused him concerning Latin pronounciation he decided to do a web site to straighten us all out in case we were confused also. What I would like to know is, if his teachers could not straighten him out, how can he straighten us out? Be of good heart, no one except him needs any unconfusion. There's no confusion in the subject, all this ground was covered decades ago. As for his audio segments, he might as well not have bothered. He still isn't straight. Ray, if you are reading this, you need work on the accentuation, the vowel quantity and the consistency. Also, you STILL are not distinguishing system and time period. Are you going to palatalize before front vowels or not? Make up your mind. Also, for that wierd rythm, are you trying to adopt an Italian accent for Latin? Don't bother, the pronounciation is totally different. Moreover Italians don't really talk like movie actors giving us their best Italian accent in English. You make it sound like Roddy McDowell moaning "tofoodee" into a big sea shell. Well, this is an encyclopedia not an amateur student web site. Ray gives us no scholarship here only a bunch of moans, which he deems are better than those of his attempted teachers. I don't know what to do with this personal site. It isn't right, it isn't wrong. For the moment I left it in. What do you want to do with it? Remember, we are trying to build a good article here. Also, this is not the main article only related or supplementary external material. We don't vouch for any of that stuff, only cite it.Dave (talk) 04:39, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Unlike good English ...[edit]

"Unlike Classical Latin, Old Latin had a more complex system of inflection [9], and its existence is attested in old Roman inscriptions, like in the Praeneste fibula and in the writings of older Roman authors, as Plautus."

Unlike? But, classical Latin comes from Old Latin. It can't be unlike. More complex? I don't know what you mean. Maybe slightly. I think what you are trying to mean is, some forms are more archaic. Let me check your source. and its existence is attested - these independent clauses are whacked together with an and. Why? They aren't related in any way, and the moon is made of green cheese. The Praeneste Fibula is pretty consistently characterized as a fake so we don't want to use it. This sentence needs to be rewritten. One principle practiced by all the best writers is, edit your writing when you are done.Dave (talk) 22:28, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

PS. Oh-oh. No page numbers on Wordsworth, and he is readily accessible. Am I supposed to thumb the entire book here? I will give it a try, but it sort of looks as though you are talking the talk without dancing the dance.Dave (talk) 22:32, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
PS. Hmn. I stumbled through Wordsworth. I had some acquaintance with him before. He does not draw that conclusion. Here is what seems to me to be the case. When you say "more complex" you have some definite ideas in mind, I believe. You know what you mean; this is your summary. However, it isn't anyone else's summary and your English gives no clue as to what YOU mean by complex. I notice a certain tendency to stabilize; some forms get retained over others. And, the endings evolve. Also classical Latin is to a large degree standard, where Old Latin is not. I would not dare to present any of those hasty generalizations on WP. Even if I defended them they would still be original research. Your conclusion does not even defend itself but even if it did unless someone else defended it and you referenced that author you do not have the privilege of making the assertion or the defense on WP. Sorry. It has to go. I do apologize.Dave (talk) 23:02, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

The Germinality, the germinality[edit]

"Starting about the 5th or 6th centuries, Late Latin contains minor features that are germinal to the development of the Romance languages.[citation needed]"

This is actually the major topic of historical Romance language studies. The sentence purports to settle questions about which libraries of books have been written. I don't know who put it in - maybe it was even me, or partly me - and it isn't worth the time to find out. In any case the topic would need expansion and references. The sentence presents a model. It would be necessary to define the terms of the model. We need to know whose model it is and what their terms are. WP editorial conclusions are no good here. This would take a lot more space. The topic is surely covered in articles about the Romance languages, so the best article strategy seems to me to be to develop this conclusion somewhere else if it can be adequately referenced. This section in here is only an introductory outline. The topic is a large and debatable one. The two don't match.Dave (talk) 07:41, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Acceptable and unacceptable ways to condense[edit]

The original article here was off the wall - the total creation of students in any other field but Latin. I corrected the main myths and left it. Naturally what I said could be condensed and was. I am speaking now of the Vulgar Latin subsection. "Condensation" in that section went beyond the limits, which is amazing to me. All I can do is suggest you work elsewhere on the Internet if you cannot grasp the fundamentals of editing. Now, I'm keeping the condensation with a few exceptions. "(Even in Romanian there are only as many different case endings for nouns as there are for pronouns in the other languages; cf. Romanian endings i, lor with the Italian pronouns gli, loro)." I don't see any logic in this strange parenthetical expression. Examples go in the text not in parenthetical expressions. This is not a treatise in Romanian, only an example. The significance of "Even in Romanian" is totally obscure. This is English-seeming English, it looks like English but says nothing. You can't just throw around connectors in English without any regard for their meanings. Your English could use some improvement; I suggest you hold off on WP for the time being. Work on the Romanian WP. However, the worst offense is the French word example. Someone added the Italian words. Well if that were your example, that would be fine, but it isn't, or mine either. I took that right from the referenced source. You cannot do the source one better by altering his example and still claim him as a source. We don't improve on our sources, we only report them. I don't think you are understanding the concept that WP is not the original invention of the editor. We do not make the story up as we see fit. This is an encyclopedia article. We report on previously established material. Your example looks great to me, but I'm not reporting on YOUR example. Please. And finally there is a commented-out example in there. It looks valid to me; I don't know why it is commented out. We don't need it though, one example is enough in this short introductory section. I'm taking it out and putting it here. "Some of the differences between Classical Latin and the Romance languages have been used in attempts to reconstruct Vulgar Latin. For example, the Romance languages have distinctive stress on certain syllables, whereas Latin had this feature in addition to distinctive length of vowels. In Italian and Sardo logudorese, there is distinctive length of consonants as well as stress; in Spanish and Portuguese, only distinctive stress; while in French, length (for most speakers) and stress are no longer distinctive."Dave (talk) 08:37, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Portuguese and 1296[edit]

"For example, Latin was still the official language of Portugal until 1296, when Portuguese replaced it. Portuguese had already developed and was in use under the umbrella of the vulgar language.[citation needed]"

Due to the popularity of WP a sort of ridiculous and circular sourcing has surfaced. There is a work, Officiating: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases, which uses the online versions of many works originally converted from paper, which accounts for the name of Webster being associated with it. This is specious. One of its sources is WP and that is tha case for this 1296 and Portugal business. The article entries are marked with the initials of the source. This one, Latin, is marked WP. This is the only place I can find this on the Internet. I do find that Castilian replaced Latin as the official language of Castile in 1296. Any published book that uses WP as a source has gone far wrong epistemologically. WP must use external sources. If those sources use WP they are not external. A kind of infinitely circular self-perpetuation of lies occurs. The book uses WP, WP uses the book. If this practice becomes widespread we are going to have total chaos in the book publishing industry in short order. The book is dated 2010. My advice to you is, STOP! before it is too late, before we lose whatever truth we do have in books and history becomes whatever some WP editor says it is. WP is unique. It is a clearing-house of ideas and cannot, must not, be used as a source of ideas. I'm removing this questioned passage. If anyone finds a genuinely external credible source, by all means put it back in.Dave (talk) 11:42, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Phonology merger discussion[edit]

This consonant table is a duplicate of a more extensive one in the other article. Moreover, the section here first gives a table and then tells them what it says in a bulleted list. Having gone into such detail it says next to nothing about vowels. The section in the other article has a table for vowels also. And finally, this table does not make use of phonemic transcription. Now, the other article is by no means perfect either. But, let's not duplicate everything. This Latin article is turning necessarily into an overview article. Let's complete that process. Let's offload this level of detail onto the article specifically designed for it. This process will entail a lot of work on the other article to straighten out the annotation system and check the consonants. However it needs work anyway. This article will become simpler and more in keeping with an overview. This is not a job for the least experienced WP editor, but why should we have to look at gobbledeygook year after year? Let's do it and get it done.Dave (talk) 19:16, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

So what you're really proposing is that the section on phonology be shortened. I'm fine with that. If we just had a consonant table and vowel table (matching what's at Latin spelling and pronunciation, with a sentence or two, that would be sufficient in my book. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 23:29, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Considering that they ARE already more fully at Latin spelling and pronunciation, do you think they should be here also, and why?Dave (talk) 10:03, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
If we're going to have something about Latin phonology here, an inventory of sounds seems like a good idea to me. That's how it's done at other language articles. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 16:56, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
All right. Translating that into action, at our first opportunity one of us need to: 1) Copy the vowel table over from Latin spelling and pronunciation 2) Eliminate the bulleted items. I'm not much in favor of telling them how Latin is NOT pronounced anyway. They can get that in a Latin I course. 3) Make sure the introductory statements are appropriate 4) Remove the merger tag. From the way things are going on the spelling and pronunciation article, it appears as though we want centered tables. I myself prefer making them the same width; I think symmetry looks better.Dave (talk) 02:18, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Later Roman region of Venetia[edit]

I know you meant well but the insertion of "later" is too much of an overcondensation. It gives the impression that the Veneti settled later or that Roman control of Venetia dates to the Late Latin Period. Not so, the Veneti were as early as any and Venetia became part of the Roman Republic. Venice was built later, and the Venetian Republic was later, but the people and the language were quite early. There is a good write-up in Veneto although I have not verified it in detail or checked for plagiarism. It seems good on first reading. So, if you don't mind, I think "later" ought to go. Whatever you mean needs more explanation, but it seems good enough for an introduction. Thanks.Dave (talk) 10:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

New Latin nouns can be formed[edit]

The meaning of this last passage under "Vocabulary" is unclear. What do you mean, formed? You mean today or in the past? Your source means in the past. Do you mean, individual Romans went around producing words from these elements at will? Immo vero, no! Words were traditional, just as they are today. One uses the traditional words. If they were formed already, fine, if not, they weren't used. Now, no doubt individuals might now and again produce a new words, or neologisms, from these segments. They would no doubt be understood. Unless they "caught on" they would not be used again. If you mean today, can we just go around forming new Latin words, well, no. Some people are authorized to form them. You need a franchise from someone, say the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature. I think you were definitely talking past tense. The topic is generally called morphology, word formation. Only societies do meaningfull morphology; we don't. The passage as you wrote it needs to clarify these things so I am altering it, not much I hope. I don't want to discourage you.Dave (talk) 23:05, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Dave! :) Do you really want us (Latin speakers/writers of today) hinder from the making of new Latin words - sorry that is "ivory-tower"/quixotic :). Languages are formed mostly by their speakers and writers, less by institutions - by the way: who will franchise the franchise giver? What is Latin and What is not Latin is not easy to be decided: look at more than 2000 years of lexical development(it's a very interesting discussion!:) )! "Only societies do meaningfull morphology; we don't." Sorry, who is this "we"? I recently did create "iter refectile" and it is meaningful (~"vacation trip")! And yes, to my knowledge "individual Romans" produced new words (I remember the expression "Romanum sermonem ditavit" was applied to Cato sen. i.e. "he (has) enriched the language of the Romans"). We also should not forget that literary Latin was formed consciously by the Roman elites, who needed creative individuals to get this done. Today, actively used Latin is in the state of lexical flux, i.e. there are sometimes several words betokening the same thing (e.g. "ordinatrum - computatrum - computatorium"). Admittedly there are ongoing discussions about these new words, as not everybody of us (see the beginning of my contribution right here) is happy about "blogus", and the alternative of writing a sentence instead of this or the (happy) medium of two or three words (e.g. "ephemeris publica"; both components are used by Cicero in his public writings!) :-)
I therefore conclude: Whoever was writing in present tense, is rightly describing the present possibilities of Latin. Maybe we(the contributors to this WP-Article) should clarify the sentence by "could and can be formed" Vale Ūnus ē Latīnīs novīs (talk) 00:12, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I scarcely remember the past details of this article now. I looked under "Vocabulary" and did not see any current problem. What's the problem? I understand that your level of English is rated by you as Intermediate. I would say that is probably correct. However, to write successfully and independently on the English WP you need a fluent rating. If you don't have it then you still need considerable support from us natives. Although I can generally follow your arguments above I cannot really understand specific statements as they are seriously ungrammatical. As I recall now I think that was the problem when I wrote this objection previously on text that has since disappeared or has been revised. In a way, you are in the position of an English student in a remedial English class getting resentful of the teacher trying to help him. I see this as an English problem. You did not fully comprehend the meaning and intent of the Vocabulary section and were going off in directions of your own. You are eager to assert that Latin to Latin enthusiasts is actually a living language, if I understand you correctly. All right. Speak it all you please. I encourage that. I welcome such efforts as Winnie Ille Pu with delight. You have to distinguish, however, between Latin as it was, which can only be attested through literary texts and inscriptions, and cannot be changed or reformed, and Latin as it is spoken now. I think the concept of "updating" is relevant. To speak it now you have to update it. To apply any such updating to past Latin is to meddle with and falsify history. So, whatever I was saying with regards to whatever you were saying, form Latin words in whatever way you like if you are updating it, but don't confuse it with the past as past, which cannot in any way be updated. What is done is done, you can't redo it. That is the nature of the past. I do applaud your efforts to restore your own sort of Latin and also your great interest in it. Thank you for working on WP. For the article, well, it has slipped a bit and needs another going-over. I'm doing something else right now. Regarding your comments, I would say, go on with the study of English. You will find that also rewarding I am sure. I have to go now as I have other things to do. Vale.Dave (talk) 07:53, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Hello Dave again! :) Yes, "intermediate" is really appropriate to my 'English abilities', and I welcome everybody here to make my English contributions at least intelligible to a broad range of people (If you want, Dave, you can put my (most obscure) sentences on my talk page to enable me to explain their intended meaning and thus the others to help me with corrections).
Article problem addressed by your starting post here:
First I confess that I just rambled into your post here without having read the vocabulary section itself - but your post is intelligible in itself! It clearly shows that former version of the section contained a sentence like "New Latin nouns can be formed" and that you opposed to the allegation that "arbitrate" creation of words would be possible even today - obviously not knowing of what is going on in the web! As I can see now, that version you were working on did not yet inform readers about sites as that show a very versed use of Latin, neither on those which show a less deep knowledge(e.g. the "vicipaedia latina") - but oops: Contemporary Latin was the article I was thinking of. Mh... we should integrate a larger portion of that article to make clear that Latin is still in use today - and I'd like to alter the picture in the "infobox", maybe by creating a mixed picture of the old stone (representing the old, past times of "Roman Latin") and a website's screencopy e.g. one of the ephemeris (representing modern Latin) Between them I could put a photograph of a critical edition, that would give the link between the two... :)
I know this reflects my own point of view that it is living indeed. But Dave - this article is about "Latin" not only "Latin as it was" (refering to "To apply any such updating to past Latin is to meddle with and falsify history. So, whatever I was saying with regards to whatever you were saying, form Latin words in whatever way you like if you are updating it, but don't confuse it with the past as past, which cannot in any way be updated." - Mh... I did not want to give the impression that I wanted to change "past Latin") Maybe I should stop here to give everybody reading this the opportunity( = option :) ) to indicate unclear sentences in my contributions here. It's a pity that you can't help out yourself, Dave, but thanks for your answer and for encouraging me in my efforts :-)!
PS.:I prefer learning by doing now in English and Arabic as I want to preserve my scarce 'reading time' for classical and Renaissance Latin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ūnus ē Latīnīs novīs (talkcontribs) 13:55, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Vale(te) :-) ! Ūnus ē Latīnīs novīs (talk) 14:01, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

humanist movement's emphasis[edit]

"However, during the Renaissance, because of the humanist movement’s emphasis on maintaining Classical Latin form and vocabulary, the vocabulary did not expand considerably."

Well, this is an interesting guess. But, that is what it looks like to me, a fill-in guess. You wanted to say something about each period but you didn't know anything about this period, so you made up the most logical guess. The ancient authors did that also; they didn't know what was said in a given speech so they filled in the appropriate sentiments. Authors of books can take that liberty, but not us. You need to come up with an author who voiced that opinion. In today's world of scholarship, in order to make anything like that stick, you would need a study of the number of neologisms associated with a certain amount of sample text from each period. The results would most likely go in a philological journal, so we would look for a "cite journal" giving that reference. Any professional worth his salt would have to do that. That would make a good topic, "measuring the production of new Latin vocabulary over the ages."Dave (talk) 03:30, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

The best thing to do is add a {{citation needed}} tag to the statement in question. Who is this "you" character? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 03:47, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, whoever wrote it. I'm not interested in investigations, only clean-up. The problem with the course of action that you suggest is that these tags tend to stay on there for long periods with no action being taken. When I first looked at this article it was wrong from top to bottom. Just about every statement needed a template. I've been working on this for a long time. If you go back you will see me there. If I did not fix anything or replace anything not only would all the wrong statements still be there but it would be templates from top to bottom. We need to move things along. Not only that, but in my experience the admins are attracted to articles with too many templates. They don't like too many templates. Earlier in my stay here I encountered an article without refs that was false from top to bottom. I put in all the templates I could think of. A certain well-know admin told me that he found these unhelpful. That of course, was a threat, but everyone was complaining. We ended up with one template at the top. The problem is, they tend to stay right there. Now, we already have a template at the top and a few more down the line. Don't you think we have enough? This article has been neglected for a long time. We need to move along. The policy is to remove unsourced material. I'm not obliged to leave it there with a tag on it. I put it here with plenty of notification and opportunity to discuss. We are discussing now. I note we are not discussing the validity of the statement, nor are you trying to find a source for it. I doubt if you will, that is why I took it out. This is an encyclopedia not a collection of questioned opinions. We need to move this along if it is ever going to be a good article and if the tag is ever coming off the top. Well I trust this explanation is satisfactory to you and that you will see that the "proper" way to handle it is not necessarily just to tag it. Policy allows its removal and that seems best to me. If I thought there was a ref out there I would try to find it myself. You are certainly welcome to look. You can of course put it back with the "fact" template on it. I'm opposed to that myself. It already has tags. I'm getting to those one by one.Dave (talk) 14:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm just trying to help out. Do what you want. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:39, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Often you and I do agree. Not this time. Maybe next. Ciao.Dave (talk) 00:54, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
PS. We still have some work to do per our agreeing under the merger discussion above. I'm procrastinating I guess. Such a beautiful summer. Will get to it.Dave (talk) 00:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Layout and see also[edit]

I just noticed the location of the see also is open to question. One of the editors refers us to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (layout). I'm sorry to take so long to notice this. According the the manual page it should go before the notes. For myself I like it before the links. What do you want to do? If someone puts it back before the notes I will not change it again. A few observations more: the works referenced on the layout page must not be the bibliography associated with the notes, but must be the works of the subject of the article, if it is about a person. The "harvnb" template references a bibliography after the notes. The layout page does not go into this level of detail; it only mentiona additional reading. But, if you are are going to use the template:harv system you need the notes and the bibliography together, so you might have two bibliographies, the one for the notes and the additional.Dave (talk) 14:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Traditional vs metatraditional[edit]

I started in on the declension section and found it pretty much gibberish. The problem is the attempted use by the editor of "updated" traditional grammatical concepts. There are a lot of new English grammatical concepts that attempt to bring the concepts developed for Latin grammar more into line with what the authors perceive is current English syntax. English, you know, has lost most of its inflection. These new concepts can be pretty confusing. It wouldn't be so bad except the associated articles on WP are all tagged as unsourced and they don't make any sense either. In this section, I'm going to take us back to the traditional concepts of Latin grammar. This is not English, it is Latin, so we don't have to put up with badly comprehended English updates to Latin grammar, we can just use the Latin grammar. A second point - the running girl. I changed that to imperfect. Any running in general is done in the imperfective or continuous aspect. If you use the perfective aspect (perfect tense) you are signifying an alteration of the native aspect of "run" to some sort of completed running, such as, if you had a choice to run or not run, you ran and that decision was all over with before you began to speak. Just general running in the past is imperfect tense, regardless of whether you say the girl ran or the girl was running. Ciao.Dave (talk) 11:20, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

The Diringer Book, the Diringer Book[edit]

The article leans heavily on the book by Diringer for its alphabetic information. A location of "Indian" made me suspicious. Sure enough the bibliographic information was partly wrong. This is a reprint of the 1947 Hutchinson edition by a New Delhi firm. The date is 1996. If the editor had the book in hand he should have been able to read this information. I suspect he copied the ref from somewhere else. If that is so then he did not verify those page numbers. Moreover, unless someone has the book he can't vouch for them either: this book is not accessible by Internet. That often happens with authoritative current references. If anyone has the book and can verify those Diringer page numbers I would appreciate that. This editor apparently does not know English as a first language. I suspected as much when he attempted to parody good English obviously without the judgement. Sorry, my friend, maybe you are fluent in spoken English - keep on working on the written. Eventually it will happen. You do need to get in an English-speaking environment, no matter how embarassing. Meanwhile if someone could check out the refs on this reprint available mainly in India that would be nice. Thanks.Dave (talk) 13:26, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

etymology of "argentum"[edit]

Name_of_Argentina claims that argentum comes from ἀργήντος. Is that correct? --Espoo (talk) 06:41, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The etymology sounds unlikely. Languages don't borrow a genitive singular as nominative singular of a different declension. (Besides, the form is actually ἀργήεντος, and the Latin does not show two es.) But the two words are certainly related, since, according to Wiktionary, they come from the same Indo-European root. — Eru·tuon 17:28, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
The (unsourced) claim in the article is the same as on --Espoo (talk) 21:52, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
This etymology is from "Λεξικόν Λατινοελληνικόν" (Latin-Greek Dictionary), by Stefanos Koumanoudis, ISBN: 960-333-029-9, p. 65, from ἀργέντος, gen. of ἀργήεις. In addition Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary also gives ἀργήεις, while Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon mentions another gen. form, -ᾶντος instead of -έντος. A Macedonian (talk) 23:28, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
The online version of Lewis&Short doesn't have an introduction, which would explain if the way the Greek word is listed indicates it's a cognate or an etymon, but the quote from Koumanoudis with "from" seems to be unambiguous. --Espoo (talk) 11:22, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
This form ["white metal"] for silver exists in Celtic, Armenian, and Avestan and I think the Sanskirt form is supposed to be cognate too. Silver appears to have been "invented", like some other metals, in eastern Europe/western Siberia in the 4th Millenium BC, so Latin would not be borrowing a Greek word for it. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:29, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I think Lewis and Short intend the Greek word as an etymology, since after it they place the cf. that signals cognates. But they cite Ludwig Döderlein (Lateinische Synonymen und Etymologie), who seems over-eager in assigning derivations in his Handbook of Synonyms. — Eru·tuon 16:20, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
J P Mallory says silver was simultaneously discovered around 4000 BC in the Caucasus and the Iberian peninsula, and that two words for silver, argentum (from the Causacus) and sidabra (from Iberia), were borrowed into early IE languages shortly after the breakup of PIE. Zyxwv99 (talk) 22:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

The Map for Latin is incorrect[edit]

The light green, easternmost part of the map that is modern Iran was never taken over by the Romans and it was also the core of the Iranian(Parthian/Sassanid Dynasty) Empire and culture. Middle Persian, Parthian, Old Azeri, and local Iranian languages were spoken there. Can someone please put a better map instead or atleast teach me how to replace images on Wikipedia? (Kaveh94 (talk) 01:19, 23 November 2010 (UTC))


"Other branches, known as Italic languages, are attested in documents surviving from early Italy, but were assimilated during the Roman Republic. The one possible exception is Venetic, the language of the people who settled Venetia, who in Roman times spoke their language in parallel with Latin." Is there any reason to think that Venetic survived in any way? Nothing that I have ever seen suggests this, and if I recall correctly, it's not exactly clear whether Venetic was Italic or not. If the editor who put this up means that Venetic may have spoken during Imperial Roman times, I'd like to see a reference. I'd especially like to see it if the editor who put this up means that Venetic was spoken after Roman times, e.g. as Romance may have developing. Some of the languages of the peninsula did survive to be spoken in late Republican times, at least marginally (I think of the emperor Claudius's claim to be the last person able to speak Etruscan, though Etruscan of course is not Italic), but the statement here is unclear and needs citation. Wabbott9 (talk) 03:45, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Dark el?[edit]

Since when were dark and light el distinct phonemes? — kwami (talk) 06:01, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Alternative theories section[edit]

I've removed the "Alternative theories on the origin of Latin" section. The only alternative theory it gives is based on M. Harper's The Secret History of the English Language, which is a bizarre fringe theory, not taken seriously in the field. You can read some reactions to it here and here. In any case, it's far too fringe for this article. garik (talk) 04:02, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Latin Language[edit]

Shouldn't this be called Latin Language because other topics are called the something language (talk) 19:45, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Always read the top of the talk page before adding a new topic! This has been discussed before. garik (talk) 17:02, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
And never bite a newby, too. The Q is sincere. -DePiep (talk) 23:51, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry! Now I reread my comment, I see that I sound rather unwelcoming. One forgets that exclamation marks do lots of different jobs: I'd intended mine to make the first sentence sound less unfriendly, not more. A good example of egocentric bias in communication. garik (talk) 15:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Nice, all OK then. Thanks. -DePiep (talk) 22:31, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

"European" vs "Indo-European"[edit]

There seems to be a mini-edit struggle going on about calling Latin a "Indo-European" vs. "European" language between Erutuon and I've advised the IP to discuss the matter here before further changes. As a reminder, if you make a change that gets reverted, no matter how simple it may seem to you, please discuss it here on the talk page. Wabbott9 (talk) 22:43, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


The claim that letter z was not originally used and was introduced for transcription of Greek words, though cited from a scholar is false. I am not a latinist but as I wrote something on Roman religion and I also remember it from my studies it was used since archaic times in the Carmen Saliare: "Cozeulodorieso..."Aldrasto11 (talk) 09:12, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Locative is NOT a case itself.[edit]

I am a latin teacher, graduated in University of Venice and with a PhD in etimolgy of latin language. I've never heard or read about a locative case. It is "included" in genitive or ablative. If you really find out a grammar textbook or any other written source for this, please add it in the article. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:41, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

There existed in Latin the remnant of a locative case. You can read more about it here. In singular nouns of the first and second declension, it was identical to the genitive singular form. In the plural, and in the third, fourth, and fifth declensions, it was identical to the ablative. So either we call it a separate (albeit marginal) case, which shares its forms with other cases (which is not unusual), or we say that first- and second-declension singular nouns use a different case to indicate location. Given the history, it makes better sense to describe Latin as having the fossil of a locative case. garik (talk) 17:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC) altered by garik (talk) 17:25, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think that locative case does exist. I'm fairly sure that it is not "included" in the genitive or ablative, but I'm only a beginner so don't take my word for it. I have a question is about the six persons of the introduction. I always thought there were three persons, like Greek, with two numbers. Am I wrong? Please can someone help. DJDunsie (talk) 16:09, 3 November 2011 (UTC) altered by DJDunsie (talk) 20:32, 3 November 2011 (UTC) altered by DJDunsie (talk) 18:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC) altered by DJDunsie (talk) 13:10, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
The article's now been changed accordingly. garik (talk) 19:50, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

The example of domi clearly indicates that the locative is a separate case although admittedly restricted to a few specific uses.--rossb (talk) 21:31, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Locative and instrument were among the eight cases of Proto-Indo-European (the other six being the same ones found in grammar-school Latin textbooks). Both of these cases got (mostly) rolled into the ablative case, which makes that case so difficult to teach and learn. It is nice to see that, in at least some situations, the locative case has survived. Zyxwv99 (talk) 16:57, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Latin tends to preserve the original forms[edit]

"In terms of vocabulary, however, Latin tends to preserve the original forms of many Indo-European roots. Compared to other Indo-European languages of antiquity, such as Sanskrit and Ancient Greek, the word forms in the Classical era are far more reflective of their etyma. [citation needed] Languages such as Sanskrit, however, tend to be more conservative with regards to grammar.[citation needed]"

No it doesn't. I thought I had this out of there. Don't get stubborn now; the statement is not correct, and after all this time, you, whoever you are, have not managed to provide a source. Please! "Reflective of their etyma" is your idea. All words are reflective of their etyma, aren't they? Are you saying they have been less modified? From what? You mean the Indo-European monosyllabic root or roots? I think not. Something like this would need a linguistic study. You got one handy? I've never seen one, but then, that fact does not mean much.Dave (talk) 23:50, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Productivity and the Latin cases[edit]

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you a concept from linguistics, which may help you to cope with the often confusing different approaches to Latin morphology, the formation of words. I apologize in advance for speaking so patronizingly. It is obvious none of you know the concept or this issue would never have come up. While I appreciate so great an interest in the Latin language on the part of the general public, I must say, it might have been better if you had had some Latin before you decided to write an encyclopedia article on it. Stulti ingrediuntur ....

Let me approach the topic the way you have been approaching it. Someone refers to the locative case. Someone else says, Oh that is not really a full case. Yes it is. No it isn;t. Yes it is. No it isn;t. I'm changing it back. No you aren;t. Ladies and gentlemen, this approach is not PRODUCTIVE! Productivity is when you start from known objects and put them together to form a third object in which the two components are still visible and effective. You're not forming anything here but dissent and delay. Garbage in equals garbage out. In linguistics if you form a meaningful utterance (morpheme) by putting together two or more other meaningful utterances, you have produced an utterance. The important point is, they mean something independently, giving them a certain universality. Take, for example, English Proto-. Not a complete word, but it means something by itself. You can combine it with any English word whatsever to form a produced, meaningful word, even if that production is a neologism. Each element retains its meaning. In contrast, if the linguistically unsophisticated speaker cannot disassemble the word into meaningful components and put those components together in new and creative ways, the word is not produced, it is learned. Names are a good example. How many people know what their name originally meant? And yet, chances are, it was once a produced word.

Latin inflection, or turning the word through all its different forms, is for the most part production. The meanings of the case endings are known. Let us take -ae, the first declension plural. The speaker can put -ae on any first declension word he pleases, even on words that are not nouns, to form a plural nomintive noun (or adjective. He knows that -ae is a pluralizer (I just produced that word and you understood it). These universal productive endings are characteristic of five cases. Now let's take the locative or the vocative. A few words have an ending that marks the word as a locative or vocative. However, those ending are NOT universal. You can;t take them off the words in which they occur and put them on anywhere. For the most part locatives do not differ from genitives and you have to LEARN or deduce from the context which they are. If you can figure it out, it is produced. If you have to know it, it is learned.

So there you have it. Some texts present the locative and vocative as different cases based on the few instances of different endings. Other point out that they are remnants of cases that once existed but are not universal cases. As another example, many adverbs (which are mainly uninflected) were originally ablative cases, in which case the ablative is often called the adverbial case. The concept of "merge" is used. There once was an instrumental case. In Latin it became non-different from the ablative, while in other languages it did not. Those latter produce their instrumentals; Latin speakers learn theirs, or rely on context. It seems clear that the simpler these inflected languages get, the more they have to rely on syntactical structures = word order, phraseology and the like.

So there it is - what do you want to do? I'm the main contributor on the article. If you don't like it, too bad. But you see, my contributions are not really original contributions. I've only been trying to correct the errors I saw. So, I do not take responsibility for this article. Much of what I corrected was put back or rewritten again by Latin theorists with little or no Latin at their command. Bad idea. You persist when you are right, not when you are wrong, but the problem is to tell the diff. Tough job. I've been asked to clarify production. OK. I don't have time right now to wrestle through the whole thing again. What I suggest is, you editors need to keep an open mind and also do some work. Needs references. Now that you have brought this to my attention I perceive a need to go over it again so I will put it on my list. Just a couple of ground rules. If you are going to argue, know enough to have something to argue about. I'll be back when you've given up on the contention. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.Dave (talk) 00:58, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Organization of legacy section[edit]

This organization has gotten out of control. For example, there is an outline in the intro, but things do not follow the outline. I'm going to reorganize that a bit. We don't need the outline. I put it in originally but it does not now fit.Dave (talk) 13:53, 14 April 2012 (UTC)


The linguistic level attempted (or attempts) to be way beyond the average reader. The same generally is true of other linguistics articles. You will find that many of them are so tagged. I've seen some simply marked as "incomprehensible." To my way of thinking, and maybe you disagree, we are not, like sophomores, trying to dazzle with the brilliance of our linguistics knowledge, only trying to present standard concepts. In fact that is the better approach. We don't have the space for advanced linguistics presentations in articles such as this. People want to know about Latin in language they might understand if they try. I've tried to ignore this fancy and fanciful approach, and this has kept me off many basic language articles, but I can't, really. Some of this stuff has to go. Naturally I don't think we always have to be at the elementary level, no. We want to encourage the reader to educate himself further. But, when I look at the more detailed material I find it shot through with bad errors. This is disappointing, because it means that either the original editor did not know what he was talking about, and no one knows enough to see that, or subsequent editors did not know enough to leave his material alone. We need a change for the better here. I'm adding some explanations, trying to correct the errors, and dropping the incomprehensible pseudo-technical quasi-write-ups. Oh, by the way, graphemes get the angle brackets, phonemes get the slashes, and phonetic transcriptions get the square brackets, please. Thanks.Dave (talk) 11:54, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Indented line

I would be reluctant to go as fare as pseudo linguistics, but I think the grammar summary as written could use some improvement. The biggest problem is that it is a poor summary of the more expended Latin Grammar section. where the terms synthetic, fusional language; linguistic typology; objective semantic element; marker; affixing and infixing; prefixing and suffixing do not appear at all. Nor is the preceding terminology sufficiently integrated innto the grammatical summary in this article. So we're left without a basic understanding of for example: can Latin nouns be marked by gender through declension, can adjectives? Can adjectives serve as abstract nous. Which markers are productive. In what ways is Latin similar to other Indo-European languages contemporary with it. In what ways is it different? How about for world languages as a whole? From my perspective it's not that the more advanced linguistic technique are uninteresting or pseudo-science, but that there is a much wider spectrum of opinion, — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rettkent (talkcontribs) 10:46, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Latin composition tool[edit]

  • Latin Composition Tool by Marq Jefferson. Makes input of macrons much simpler, excellent for Latin scansion exercises and beginning students

This is a pretty good list of tools carefully assembled by someone. Things change. The "Latin Composition Tool" is not that, but is a blank screen identified only as "Rubicon" with one useless tip to nothing, as nothing can be entered and there is no explanation of why anyone would want to enter anything. Dead Internet space. Waste of time and money. if it ever comes back as a Latin Composition tool, by all means put it back in the list.Dave (talk) 09:13, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Consonant table[edit]

Shalom. Thanks for the help. I have to do the linguistic polishing, though. For example, /v/ is not the same as consonantal /u/, and we never use v when we mean u, although they often didn't keep the graphic distinction. We do. It is nice to know someone notices. I will be working my way through the rest of the article. Shouldn't take too long. I'm getting sick of it already, but I refuse to jump out of it again.Dave (talk) 19:07, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

No, not quite true. They are the same sound.Dave (talk) 21:19, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
In your changes to the vowel table you moved some vowels out of the center. The only problem is, my source, which I have not given yet, puts them at the fringes of the center. Evidently there are different views, so we are not done there yet. Could you put in your refs for these changes? I personally don't care where they are but I think we do need a ref, possibly a statement of alternative view. Oh, one more point you took the macrons out. I can appreciate you'd want to do it the Italian way, but this is English. I will take a look and see if I have to Anglicize it. This is slow going here but if we can make it comprehensible it is worth it.Dave (talk) 07:03, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Reverting consonantal u[edit]

You changed the consonantal u write-up to mention upper case and lower case graphemes. Classical Latin had no lower case. "Case" is a term taken from the printing business, obviously irrelevant, no matter what the Vindolanda tablets say. We have an article, Roman cursive. There it explains about the majuscule and miniscule cursive. Very good, and these may be the very kernal of incipient upper and lower case, but the problem is, the miniscule is not in the classical period either. There is not an equivalence, upper=majuscule, lower=miniscule. In the classical period, the alphabet contained only capital letters. A second problem is, you present the v as though it were an elective alternative of u. Not so. V was the main form of /w/, and they remembered when v was used and when u was used. Archaic Latin is a little different in that regard and so are the other Italic dialects, but this is classical. And finally, you have put in a "pseudo-reference." This is not a reference. Who, besides you, says that? A reference is not an additional editorial comment, but is a source of information. Where did you get that information? You can use blue links in lieu of refs, but so far the Roman cursive article does not support your statement. I'm going to revert ths for now pending a genuine reference. Also that whole upper-case/lower-case thing would have to be introduced, because, as far as we know now in the article, there is only majuscule and capitals. I would ask, from now on, please start giving refs, whether blue links or notes citing encyclopedic material. I think the article's existing refs can serve as a model for you of how it is done. By the way, you can request refs of me also. Thanks.Dave (talk) 11:27, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

More on consonantal u[edit]

All right. That's fine. I've been shooting for simplification so the reader can understand it, but without denuding it of essential detail. I think this time you hit the nail on the head, so I'm going on. Can't spend the whole day on this. We have other isssues to discuss I am sure. Coming down the road, can you find a ref on your version of the vowel triangle? I was going to use Buck for mine. Also, since we did not use IPA transcriptions in the consonant table, but put them in the tabularized notes, I think we should do the same with the vowel triangle, restoring the macrons. English uses the macrons. If you don't see me right away, I'm doing something else, but I am trying to be dedicated to getting a good-looking and correct article here sometime this year, so I will be sticking with it. I think there should be a section on length so I am working on that. We do have those two paragraphs following the consonant note table. Ciao (or shalom, whichever).Dave (talk) 13:08, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Not sure who you're addressing here. I think we need to decide which era we're describing, and which orthography. We can do Ecclesiastical Latin in English orthography, or Classical Latin in Classical orthography, or other permutations. We don't need a ref for the vowel triangle, just the vowels, which will of course also depend on the era we're describing. — kwami (talk) 13:19, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, hello. I'm not sure whom I am addressing, either. I had not thought much about it. Now that I know it is you, I propse we go on and settle these things.
  1. The era. This is an article about Latin in general. It is a pretty big topic I am sure you will agree. There are in fact several articles covering the different eras. If you notice, the whole first part of the article is not especially slanted to any era, at least, I don't think. But, I think the whole topic in general is slanted to classical. The overall article should be from the point of view of classical. Latin education starts with the classical. Most of the literature is classical. Can we cover it all? I doubt it. There is too much for one article. To cover it all, we would have to start with the archaic and go on through the proto-Romance, at least. Instead of a few tables we would need several at least. I think we would end up with over 100K and people would be leaving suggestions that the article needs to be split. We also could hardly avoid sections on the historical development of phonemes. I vote "no" on that. If you are going to disagree I think we need to put it up for a general vote. In that case we will put up a general tag and call for a vote. If we are going to put all eras in, I am getting off. I simply would not know how to procede unless you would care to provide an outline. I do have ANOTHER suggestion. That is to defer the discussions of pronounciation and grammar to the articles of the other eras. That is something I could go for. In that case we would simplify the last half of the article (I think) to a few general comments on the development of the language and blue link them over to the articles for each era. In fact, the more I think about it, the better I like the idea. So, most of what is now in pronunciation would be moved to classical. Medieval pronunciation is a totally different ball game. None of the things said there now apply. Let me know what you think of this idea, will you? What are your thought on the era?
  2. I find your orthography comments really quite confusing. Orthography is spelling. You mean, we should use all caps for the graphemes if we go for classical orthography? You mean, we should spell it the way it is spelled in inscriptions? You can't mean that I am sure, but it isn;t clear what you do mean. You know what you mean, no doubt. It isn't coming across. Ecclesiastical Latin in English orthography. Ecclesiastical Latin is not any type of Latin. It is only a name used when the author is a churchman or writing in an official capacity. There is no distinct ecclesiastical Latin. I thought the first half of the article made that clear. Classical Latin in classical orthography? What's classical orthography? You can't mean either the script of the Vindolanda tablets or the run-on capital letters of the inscriptions. You must be meaning English orthography in either case. I thought we were doing that. Without more explanation I do not see what choices are here.
  3. We DO need a ref for the vowel triangle. My source says some of those vowels are central. You moved them out of the central category. It has to be one or the other and you can;t decide for yourself. We need refs here.
  4. You've been changing the phonetic IPA transcriptions to be enclosed in slashes. Slashes mark phonemes. Square brackets mark IPA transcriptions. Now, I have seen some of the linguists use the slashes for transcriptions. Why do you insist on slashes? The IPA way is the brackets. However, since you are the one doing the transcriptions, considering that some do it that way, I don;t mind giving in on that point. It should be done consistently throughout. Got any thoughts?
  5. I see you've been simplifying the table. I like that.
So, I believe the most forward issue is where we are going in this article with the linguistics side. Frankly that bothered me right from the beginning. Oh no, I said to myself, we aren;t going to give them all of Latin grammar, are we? I think the initial editors knew not what they were trying to do. Too much I think. So, let's get that settled.Dave (talk) 15:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I'm not the one who's done most of this.
Yes, I assume Classical pronunciation as well. As for orthography, that's relevant to your comments on which diacritics to use. Classical used apices; modern convention in English texts is macrons. Classical V, modern u. But when we say "Latin", there is a certain implication, and we need to make this clear.
The article is already split up. This should just be a summary.
IPA is to use either slashes or brackets depending on what you want to convey. We were inconsistent and went back and forth with no particular purpose. The ELL article gives /ŋ w j/ as separate phonemes. If this is wrong, we certainly can't put them in slashes. We might should also add nasal vowels to the table.
If the vowels are central, then we shouldn't transcribe them as peripheral [ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ], but as [ɨ ʉ ɜ ɞ] or whatever. — kwami (talk) 20:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
All right, I trust you. You seem to prefer slashes. On the single phonemes, however, it seems less confusing to use square brackets for the IPA. IPA after all is very specific, but phonemes are not necessarily. What I want to do then is put the words in slashes and the single IPA sounds in brackets, with the phonemes in slashes. If that doesnlt work out, let me know. For the macrons and apices, well, perhaps we should explain both. I am going to insert a section of length, which we don't currently have, before the consonants. Those two paragraphs after the consonant table can round it out. I don't have it ready yet. It seems as though whatever convention we don't use can be put in a footnote. For the vowel triangle, I just bet if I do a little more googling I will find it both ways. In that case we can do it your way and put a note as to the alternative. You don't seem to like to do lookups. I can do some of those. Biblio items are a pain but I've been doing them for a while. I need to stand back from the phonology so I am going to jump to the bottom and work backwards for a while. What I want to do there is find articles already covering that and reduce the section if I can to a bare introduction. Also rather than use technical terms with no explanation I think I should introduce them, so the article would end up being mainly introduction. As to who did the article, well, I've made the most changes, but that is inadvertent. WP had a policy of respecting those who produced the most articles. So, some people did an incredible number of the briefest of awful articles, getting all the glory for themselves. I can't work with those. That is how I found this article. I've been mainly responding to what other people initially had. This is reflected in the contribution list: a large number of people making very short edits. One of the big dangers of this short-sighted rewards system is plagiarism. Don't worry, I've been checking this against the Internet. Have not seen any yet. And finally, I think I am going too fast on this. No need to push it through to completion, as that will not be considered complete anyway. You may not hear from me for a day or two.Dave (talk) 02:09, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

4th principle part[edit]

The presentation of 4th principle part is off the beaten track. The supine is not a regular 4th principle part, the participle is. The supine is a specialized and somewhat rare construct that should be treated along with gerunds, gerundives, passive periphrastics, future infinitives, defective verbs and all that good stuff. We aren't handling it here in this intro, so I'm simplifying it out. Did you know that Latin grammar takes a whole book (at least one) to present? We don't want to get into that here. Usually you try to learn it in a course of composition. For an intro, we've already given them more than most intros do, and undoubtedly more than they want to know. If they already know it, they wouldn't read this part of the the article anyway.Dave (talk) 16:49, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

"Although it is considered a dead language"[edit]

Although it is considered a dead language... By which scholars or which institution? Latin knows an estimated of 10.000 speakers worldwide, including children who actually learned the language from their parents. The Ciceronian Latin evolved in to the Romance languages we know today rather than abruptly coming to an end. It is true that we do not know how Cicero pronounced his day-to-day sentences, but there has always existed a tradition of Latin speakers right up until our days (although the Latin spoken during the darker middle ages wasn't exactly Ciceronian...). Sources on all this are abundant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Artaynte (talkcontribs) 20:42, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Language change expectations[edit]

As vernacular Latin was free to develop on its own, there is no reason to expect that the speech was uniform either diachronically or geographically.

A bit of pedantry perhaps, but there would have been good reason to expect that Vulgar Latin would have stayed uniform geographically during the period of the Roman empire. (which it didn't). In the Eastern half of the empire Greek, rather than splitting up became unified and all the classical dialects where mostly leveled, even as the common language and the literary language grow further apart, and in spite of considerable political disunity in the Hellenic period up until the the territories in which Greek was spoken where finally acquired by the Roman empire. In light of this one could have expected Latin to have been at least as uniform as it had the full weight of the empire behind it. Yet even from a very early period the Vulgar Latin of acquired provinces began to diverge with that spoken in Rome and with each other. There are a large number of reasons why this might have been the case: Greek speaking provinces were perhaps more mobile, being on the Mediterranean, and comprising of a large merchant shipping class. Latin penetrated further into the lower classes than Greek did, perhaps making the spoken language less conservative, etc.

But in any case, it's a rather interesting question, and the article seems to imply there's no question at all.

Rettkent (talk) 20:46, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Third paragraph of the intro feels a little misplaced[edit]

The first two paragraphs of the article are dynamic and really well-written: the best introduction to the topic of Latin one could hope for, really. Then the third paragraph... feels overly specific for the introduction, which after all is meant solely as an introduction to the topic, not a place for specifics. Obviously the information in the third paragraph is valid for this article, but it seems to me it should be placed in the appropriate section below. The first two paragraphs, in my opinion, stand on their own as a worthy introduction to the topic. Moncrief (talk) 20:42, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree, though I do think that some nod toward its status as a fully inflected language has a place in the intro since this fact and/or its significance will be foreign to, or forgotten by, many English speakers.  davidiad.: 23:30, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Latin translation needed[edit]

I'm working on a new article on Volubilis in my user space. I'd be grateful if someone could help with translating an inscription - see User:Prioryman/Volubilis#Triumphal arch. Prioryman (talk) 10:07, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Alternate scripts[edit]

Is there enough evidence for the use of alternate scripts for Latin? I mean, the Franks Casket has some Latin text rendered with runes. Has been other relevant examples of rendering Latin with, say, Greek, Arabic, Etruscan, Hebrew or Cyrillic letters? --Error (talk) 02:06, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Latin language[edit]

Hi :dou

Bye : yay a — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

"quattuor" disyllabic in verse?[edit]


I dispute that quattuor is disyllabic in verse, as this article states under "Phonology." It is trisyllabic in each of the following examples:

"Sis bonus o felixque tuis! En quattuor aras" (Vergil, Eclogues V:65)

"quattuor in partes certamina quattuor addit" (Ovid, Metamorphoses VI:85)

"voce, modo hac, resonat quae chordis quattuor ima" (Horace, Satires I:3:8) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raskolnikov 31 (talkcontribs) 23:37, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Added a Refimprove to the article[edit]

This article barely has any citations and reads like an essay. Half of the old complaints on this page are that is reads too much like a linguistics paper and is incomprehensible to the layman; apparently in an effort to make it more understandable to the average reader, the practice of writing in any sort of academic fashion and... you know... actually citing sources for massive chunks of this article was cast aside. Nick.anderegg (talk) 21:00, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

"Living continuations"[edit]

The intro states that "Although it is considered a dead language, many modern languages (the Romance languages) are in fact living continuations of this language." Isn't this actually quite debatable, given that the Romance languages appear derived from Vulgar Latin, and not the Classical form? We don't exactly know how different Vulgar and Classical Latin were. (To say nothing of the fact that no Romance language could be considered mutually intelligible with Classical Latin.) Funnyhat (talk) 21:20, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, what's the difference if they're "living continuation" of Vulgar Latin, isn't that still Latin? Being "vulgar", or for that matter, just the spoken form, doesn't make it any less "Latin", that I'm aware of. However, I think that "living continuations" statement smelled too romantic to feel encyclopedic, and well, under the same token, Proto Indo-European isn't a dead language because Romance and other languages are its "living continuations". That sounds a bit silly, doesn't it. LjL (talk) 22:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Example Text[edit]

I thought it might be nice to have an English translation of the example text given in the article. I just finished mine and it took me close to an hour! In any case, I'm sure the article was written by a Latin scholar, and people might like to see what's said in the paragraph from Caesar. It's up to you though!

Thanks... (talk) 23:55, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Latin question[edit]

(Apologies; this is not really the function of an article talk page...) There is a question at Talk:Ein_Karem#Saewulf that could benefit from someone fluent in medieval Latin. Thanks. Zerotalk 12:43, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

partially deducible[edit]

There's this sentence in the article: "The extensive use of elements from vernacular speech by the earliest authors and inscriptions of the Roman Republic make it clear that the original, unwritten language of the Roman Kingdom was an only partially deducible[CLARIFICATION NEEDED] colloquial form, the predecessor to Vulgar Latin. "

Perhaps "deducible" in this case means: (only partially) "reconstructible" by us today. Or in other words no one can know for sure how exactly people used to speak in the Roman Kingdom.

Since it is just a layman's common sense, I do not dare to tamper with the article, leave it to someone who is sure about being able to decide whether it is right. (talk) 10:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)