Eurolatin

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Eurolatin
Eurolatinus (sermo); Eurolatina (lingua)
Pronunciation [ɛu̯rola'ti:nʊs]; [ɛu̯rola'ti:na]
Created by
Setting
Language family
Writing system Latin script
ISO 639-3 eut

General information

Eurolatin or Eurolatinus is an auxiliary language invented by Llais as European Lingua Franca. Latin has been one of the most important languages ever spoken in Europe until XVIII century. Many English words have a Latin origin and, through English, many Latin words have spread in modern European languages, such as: habitat, virus, nation, sympathy (of Greek origin), idea (of Greek origin), and so forth. Medical terms of European languages are mainly from Latin and Ancient Greek and so are many legal terms. Latin has also influenced German, Celtic languages, and, slightly also Scandinavian languages and Slavic languages. In any way Latin isn't a simple language (even if it is no harder than other modern inflected languages) and its crystallized grammatical norms have closed it off from other evolving European languages: they have prevented it from moving with the times. It is also because of this that Romanic languages have developed. Llais has thought to "modernize" Classical Latin with grammatical and lexical features of modern European languages - not only from Romanic languages, but also from Germanic ones - to make it more "usable" and "simple". This Latin, anyway, is based mainly on Romanic languages, terms that comes from "Vulgar Latin" are thus preferred, ex.:

Classical Latin Vulgar Latin Eurolatin Spanish Portuguese French Italian Catalan Galician Rumanian English
iecur ficātum fícatum hígado fígado foie fegato fetge fígado ficat liver
īre *anditāre / ambulāre ire / andare ir (andar) ir (andar) aller andare anar ir (andar) a merge to go (to walk)

These are just a couple of examples, but it is possible to understan how much the Romanic languages influence Eurolatin.

Phonology

During the time every country has adapted Latin pronunciation to its official language's sounds, for example the sentence:

  • Caesar vincit inimicos - Caesar defeats the enemies

can be pronounced differently:

  • ['tʃɛ:sar 'vintʃit ini'mi:kos] in Italy;
  • ['si:zɐ 'vɪnsɪt ɪnɪ'mikəs] in UK;
  • ['θɛsaɾ 'binsit ini'mikos] in Spain;
  • ['tse:zɐ 'vintsit ini'mi:kos] in Germany

and so on. To use Eurolatin in the whole Europe and to be understood and to understand other people it must be established a univocal pronunciation. The pronunciation of Eurolatin is based on the restituta pronunciation of Classical Latin with other sounds taken from Modern or Ancient Greek.

Alphabet

Eurolatin alphabet has got 26 letters:

Letters Pronunciation Further informations
a [a] -
b [b] -
c [k] it is always pronounced as in the English cat even in front of e, i and y
d [d] -
e [ɛ] / [e] -
f [f] -
g [g] it is always pronunced as in the English get even in front of e, i and y
h [ ] / [h] in Old Latin probably it was pronounced as in the English hot, but in Classical Latin it wasn't pronounced at all. In Eurolatin it can be either pronounced or not, it depends on the speaker
i [i] / [j] at the beginning of words, when it is followed by a vowel, or between vowels it is pronounced [j]
j [j] it is used in place of Classical Latin i when it has got a semiconsonantic value
k [k] it is always pronunced as the letter c, but it is mainly found in foreign words
l [l] -
m [m] -
n [n] -
o [ɔ] / [o] -
p [p] -
q [kw] it is always followed by u
r [r] trilled just as in Italian
s [s] always voiceless
t [t] -
u [u] / [w] when it is followed by a vowel it is pronounced as [w]
v [v] -
w [w] it is used in foreign words and has the same phonetic value as in the foreign word
x [ks] it is always voiceless, as in the English six
y [y] it comes tipically in Greek loan words
z [s] it comes tipically in Greek loan words and in compounds that use Greek elements, but it is always pronounced as s

The letters j and w occur in foreign words and loan words. They can be pronounced as in the original language or can be pronounced respectively as [j] and [v] / [ʊ]. There are also three digraphs: ch, ph and th.

Consonantal phonemes

Eurolatinus has got the following consonantal phonemes:

Phonemes Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p b t d k g
Affricate
Nasal m (ɱ) n (ŋ)
Fricative f v θ s x h
Approximant r j w
Lateral approximant l


Vocalic phonemes

As Romanic languages have lost the distinction between long and short vowels, why should Eurolatin use it again? The length of a vowel can't vary the meaning of a word, that can be understood within a sentence.

Phonemes Short
Front Back
Closed i y u
Middle e [ɛ] o [ɔ]
Open a [ɑ]

The different pronunciation of a, e, o doesn't change the meaning of the words: every speaker can pronounce these vowels more opened or more closed according to his/her habits.

Diphthongs and digraphs

Eurolatin has got five diphthongs:

Diphthongs Pronunciation
ae [ai̯]
au [au̯]
ei [ɛi̯]
eu [ɛu̯]
oe [ɔi̯]

Diphthongs formed by i + vowel and u + vowel are not considered true diphthongs, because when i and u precede a vowel are considered approximant consonants. Eurolatin has got three digraphs: ch [x], ph [f], th [θ]. They are found in Greek loan words and can also be pronounced as [kʰ], [pʰ], and [tʰ] according speaker's habits.

Stress

Stress position follows generally the rules that were valid for Classical Latin, but, as the distinction between long and short vowels has been removed in Eurolatin, the accent has to be graphically signed in some cases, according to the following rules:

  • generally the stress falls on the last but one syllable; if this is the case, than the stress hasn't to be signed;
  • if the stress falls on the last syllable or of the last but two syllable, it has to be graphically signed.

Stress can never fall before of the last but two syllable. Some examples:

  • lupus (wolf) = LU-pus;
  • júvenis (young) = -ve-nis (-vĕ- is short in Classical Latin);
  • amatus (beloved) = a-MA-tus (-mā- is long in Classical Latin);
  • felicíssimus (happiest) = fe-li-CÍS-si-mus (-sĭ- is short in Classical Latin).

The stress is graphically signed also to signalize a hiatus, as in líus (of the) = LI-us, two syllables.

Grammar

The grammar of Eurolatinus comes directly from the grammar of Classical Latin, but has undergone several changes and simplifications.

Articles

Classical Latin hadn't articles at all: neither definite nor indefinite article existed, Latin simply omitted them. To make Eurolatin nearer to modern languages, Llyn has created the definite article. It descends from the demonstrative ille, a, um, "that". As Eurolatinus has 3 genders - masculine, feminine, and neuter -, 2 numbers - singular and plural -, and a declension of 4 cases - nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative-, the article is flected:

Definite article
Case Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut. Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nom. le la lu(d) li lae la
Gen. líus lorum larum lorum
Dat. li lis
Acc. lum lam lu(d) los las la

The article always precedes the noun which it is referred to. The indefinite article doesn't exist, so it is simply omitted, ex.: homo can mean both man or a man. With plural nouns it can be omitted or it can be used the plural of the numeral unus, a, um, one, to mean "some, any", ex.: visne (una) crepitilla?, do you want some crackers? (the neuter crepitillum means cracker). The numerals are explained further.