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Latin Orthography and Neologisms

The purpose of this manual is to discuss issues of orthography, phonetics, and grammar that arise in modern use of Latin, especially in Latinizing modern terms and names.

There are two conflicting ideals in producing consistent rules for Latinizing that I am chiefly concerned with.

  • Latinized words should be as close to Roman Latin as feasible.
  • Latinized words should be as close to the original language as feasible.

A secondary principle is that Latinized words should compensate for or otherwise have some reference to some non-Roman standard of Latin, usually the ecclesiastical Italian.

Other principles are generally based on opinion (e.g. euphony) or on information that is generally incomplete, subject to change on the arrival of new information (e.g. using the ‘original’ or earliest attested form). These principles are outside the scope of this work.


Orthographical concerns

Phonological concerns

  • National and Erasmian pronunciations
    • AE and OE
    • C and G before E and I
    • S between vowels
    • etc.
  • Vowel length
  • Shibilants (/ʃ Ê’ tʃ dÊ’/)
  • Diphthongs
  • Schwa
  • /y/
  • Foreign consonant clusters (including affricates)
  • More unusual sounds

Grammatical concerns

  • Declension
  • Gender