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Thread: LCII Lesson XIII - placement of accent mark

  1. #1
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    Default LCII Lesson XIII - placement of accent mark

    In Drill A of Lesson XIII, the students are instructed to translate the verbs. Some of the verbs have the accent mark and some do not. I understand that 2nd conjugation verbs have the accent mark over the letter 'e' to distinguish them from 3rd conjugation verbs. Since all of the verbs in Dril A are 2nd conjugation verbs, then why are they not all written with the accent mark?
    Thank you,
    DeAndra
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][/FONT]
    DeAndra in Texas

  2. #2
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    Default accent marks

    The accent marks are given only when the accent falls on a syllable other than the penult (next to last). In Latin, the accent falls on the penult unless that syllable is short, in which case it shifts back to the preceding syllable. Because the Latina Christiana series does not show vowel length (which would reveal where the accent should be), the accent is marked when it falls on the antepenult (third from last syllable). Paul.

  3. #3
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    Default accent marks

    Paul,
    Thank you. I've never even heard the word penult before. My vocabulary increases every time I study Latin!! My daughter and I looked over the words in the exercise again and we noted that when the word had two syllables there was no accent mark. If the word had three or four syllables, then there was an accent mark. The only exception was the word respondes. It did not have the accent mark even though it had three syllables (because there was an 'o' in the second syllable instead of the 'e'). Is that the correct reason?
    Thanks so much,
    DeAndra
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][/FONT]
    DeAndra in Texas

  4. #4
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    Default respondes etc

    There is no accent mark on respondes simply because the accent falls on the next-to-last syllable (penult), the normal place for the accent in Latin. Likewise for two-syllable words -- since there are only two syllables, the accent must fall on the next-to-last syllable. The accent never falls on the final syllable in Latin (except for a very few words that have lost their final syllable). The only words in this course that have the accented syllable marked are those accented on the third syllable from the last (antepenult). The word 'penult', by the way, is from the Latin 'paene' ('almost') and 'ultimus' ('last'), so it means 'almost last' or 'next-to-last'. The prefix 'pen-' is the same as in 'peninsula', which means 'almost an island'. The word 'antepenult' has the prefix 'ante' ('before') -- i.e., 'before the penult' or third-from-last. Paul.

  5. #5
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    Default accent marks

    Paul,
    I now understand the words penult and antepenult. Thank you.
    However, I'm still confused on when to use the accent mark. The TM stresses that it's important for the students to use them, so I need to make sure I understand myself.
    Here's my points of confusion:

    1) You said: The accent is marked when it falls on the antepenult (third from the last syllable). My question: What about the word placebam? The accent is on the penult and yet there is an accent mark indicated over the letter 'e'. (p. 57 of student book).

    2) You said: There is no accent mark on respondes simply because the accent falls on the next-to-last syllable (penult)--the normal place for the accent in Latin. My question: If that is the normal place, then why is there no accent mark?

    3) You said: The only words in this course that have the accented syllable marked are those accented on the third syllable from the last (antepenult). My question: What about the word cavebit? Again, on page 57 of the student book, the word cavebit is written with an accent mark over the letter 'e'. To me, that looks like it is in the penult.

    Perhaps I'm not grasping what syllables are in Latin. Are the different from English?

    I'm sorry to be asking so many questions. I just need a bit more clarification. Thank you for your patience.

    DeAndra
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][/FONT]
    DeAndra in Texas

  6. #6
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    Default syllables

    OK, in the first place, the accent marks are only there as a guide to pronunciation. The student should not write them when doing his or her exercises.

    Re 1) and 3), I guess there are some words -- mostly 2nd conjugation verbs, I think -- that have accent marks on the second syllable. The practice changed somewhat as the book evolved, and not all of the old accent marks have been pulled. But do not be bothered by this -- if there's an accent mark on the penult, it's no big deal, as that is the normal place for an accent. If the word has no accent mark at all, then the accent is on the penult.

    Re 2) in general:
    a) every vowel or diphthong is a syllable: fi-li-a, lau-da-bo, ci-vi-ta-te
    b) a single consonant between vowels (and diphthongs) goes with the following syllable: pa-ter, ci-vi-tas, lau-dat
    c) double consonants are separated: mit-to, sen-to, stel-la
    d) in compound words, the original parts are separated: ad-oro, con-sto, ab-sum

    Hope this helps. Paul.
    Last edited by pobrien; 11-18-2008 at 08:54 AM.

  7. #7
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    Cool accent marks

    Paul,
    Thanks again for your patience.
    I understand now not to write the accent mark in the exercises. Just use them for pronunciation and when memorizing the difference between 2nd and 3rd conjugation verbs. I just watched Lesson 14 and again Leigh Lowe stressed the importance of using the accent mark to differentiate between 2nd and 3rd conjugation verbs. IMO, the TM needs to do a better job of explaining the when, how, and why of using the accent mark.
    Thank you,
    DeAndra
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][/FONT]
    DeAndra in Texas

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