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    Question about accents in Latin

    I have started First Form Latin with my son and we are having difficulties with the accents. Specifically in trying to determine where the accents go once the verb is conjugated. I am especially talking about the visual accents that you see when reading the printed conjugation.

    For example:

    1st conjugation-present system--> habito (accent on the antepenult)

    present:
    habito (accent on antepenult) habitamus
    habitas (accent on the antepenult) habitatis
    habitat (accent on the antepunult) habitant (accent on the antepenult)

    imperfect:
    habitatabam habitabamus
    habitabas habitabatis
    habitabat habitabant

    future:
    habitabo habitabimus (accent on the antepenult)
    habitabis habitabitis (accent on the antepenult)
    habitatbit habitabunt


    So my question is how are we to know where and when we should be putting an accent once we conjugate. I only knew the correct ones for this verb because it was a question on one of the worksheets and I had the answers in the answer key. Is there some sort of process that was explained that I somehow missed? Or will it be explained later in the curriculum? It seems to be stressed throughout that we need to be learning the CORRECT spelling, so I would really like to figure all this accent puzzle out so that I (oh, yeah, and my son) can accomplish this.

    Oh, and of course we are confused when it is the same vice versa. For instance in the 1st conjugation, future tense for amo we have amabimus (accent on the antepenult) and amabitis (accent on the antepenult).

    Thanks for the help!!

    #2
    Re: Question about accents in Latin

    Originally posted by cva1999 View Post
    I have started First Form Latin with my son and we are having difficulties with the accents. Specifically in trying to determine where the accents go once the verb is conjugated. I am especially talking about the visual accents that you see when reading the printed conjugation.

    For example:

    1st conjugation-present system--> habito (accent on the antepenult)

    present:
    habito (accent on antepenult) habitamus
    habitas (accent on the antepenult) habitatis
    habitat (accent on the antepunult) habitant (accent on the antepenult)

    imperfect:
    habitatabam habitabamus
    habitabas habitabatis
    habitabat habitabant

    future:
    habitabo habitabimus (accent on the antepenult)
    habitabis habitabitis (accent on the antepenult)
    habitatbit habitabunt


    So my question is how are we to know where and when we should be putting an accent once we conjugate. I only knew the correct ones for this verb because it was a question on one of the worksheets and I had the answers in the answer key. Is there some sort of process that was explained that I somehow missed? Or will it be explained later in the curriculum? It seems to be stressed throughout that we need to be learning the CORRECT spelling, so I would really like to figure all this accent puzzle out so that I (oh, yeah, and my son) can accomplish this.

    Oh, and of course we are confused when it is the same vice versa. For instance in the 1st conjugation, future tense for amo we have amabimus (accent on the antepenult) and amabitis (accent on the antepenult).

    Thanks for the help!!
    Hello,

    The rules for which syllable to accent require knowledge of "syllable length." We do not want to overwhelm beginning students, so all words are accented on the penult UNLESS there is an accent mark over the antepenult. If there is an accent mark, accent that syllable. This is explained in the last paragraph of the pronunciation guidelines (p. 7).

    Students should NOT be required to write the accent marks when conjugating or declining. The accents are included in the Teacher Key only to help the teacher read the answers more correctly. When we emphasize correct spelling, we are emphasizing the letters, (e.g. sErvo not sUrvo). The accents are a help to pronunciation, not a part of the word's spelling.

    Modern Latin pronunciation tends to vary from region to region, as it is affected by the native dialect and language of the speaker. For example, a Southerner speaking Latin will sound different from a Londoner. However, there are no Romans around to correct you! Do the best you can, using the pronunciation guidelines and the pronunciation CD, but don't worry too much about it. Let speaking Latin help bring the language alive and cement it in your memory. Bonam fortunam!
    Michael
    Memoria Press

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Question about accents in Latin

      Ahhhh! Thank you so much for your response! That takes a load off my shoulders. I obviously made the wrong assumption when thinking the accent needed to be correct in the spelling.

      Comment

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