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Old December 7th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #21

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We should really start to employ the IPA - the International Phonetic Alphabet...

Latin (classical): Caesar [ˈkaisar]
Latin (post-classical): ?

Italian: Cesare [ˈtʃeːzare]
French: César [se.zaʁ]
English: Caesar [ˈsiːzə(r)]
German: Cäsar [ˈʦɛːzaʁ] (Caesar) and Kaiser [ˈkaɪ̯zɐ] (emperor)
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #22
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Latin (classical): ˈkaj.sar
Latin (post-classical): 'kɛsar -> tʃεsar ->(?) tsɛsar

EDIT: Actually if I think better, the change of 's' to 'z' is posterior to forms like tʃεsar.

Last edited by Ficino; December 7th, 2012 at 08:36 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
In classical Latin, the pronunciation of Julius Caesar was Iulius Kai-sahr; but at some point this changed. The Julius is not something I am concerned about, because the "Iulius" is preserved in some Romance languages, like Romanian.

The part I am interested in is the "Caesar" part. In all latin-based languages the pronunciation became Sisar or Seezer/Seezar. The Kaiser in Germanic I doubt has much relevance here, as they have a separate linguistic history. It seems to me that this consonant shift probably occurred fairly early, maybe even in the first 5 centuries AD.

Has anyone here done any phonological studies in this area and have a hypothesis or an answer?
In most modern western languages, the 'c' is 'hard' or 'soft' depending on the vowel which follows it. Followed by an E or an I, it is a 'soft C' sound (like an 'S'). Followed by A, O, or U, it is a 'hard' sound (K). I think both latin and greek only used the hard versions, no matter what the following vowel (right?). But nowadays we use the soft sound, so anything they spelled the way we spell for the soft sound, we now pronounce with the soft sound, even though they didn't do so. I.E we pronounce Cicero with both soft C's, but it really should be Kikero (at least that's how I've come to understand it, but I'm not 100% on it). If you go to Greece now you'll see that they still use the hard sounds. In the nordic languages, they favor the spelling with a 'K' for the hard sounds. 'G' follows the same rules.

EDIT: so, according to the link Ficino posted, they did use the 'soft C' in some cases, even in classical latin? This would be nice to know; I've been wondering about it for some time.
Can anyone tell me definitively how 'Cicero' was pronounced?

Last edited by the mighty pen; December 7th, 2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimald View Post
We should really start to employ the IPA - the International Phonetic Alphabet...

Latin (classical): Caesar [ˈkaisar]
Latin (post-classical): ?

Italian: Cesare [ˈtʃeːzare]
French: César [se.zaʁ]
English: Caesar [ˈsiːzə(r)]
German: Cäsar [ˈʦɛːzaʁ] (Caesar) and Kaiser [ˈkaɪ̯zɐ] (emperor)
then i guess our pronounciation in Hungarian of the proper name (Cézár [t͡seːzaːr] ) is from the German Cäsar. But the title emperor is császár [t͡ʃaːsaːr] in Hungarian.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #25
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It was also Kayzer in old Turkish. "Kayzer-i Rum" title of Mehmed II, means Caesar of Rome. Also the city Kayseri,
Kayseri Kayseri
. It is Sezar with an S sound rather than a K now in modern turkish though.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #26

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulun View Post
then i guess our pronounciation in Hungarian of the proper name (Cézár [t͡seːzaːr] ) is from the German Cäsar. But the title emperor is császár [t͡ʃaːsaːr] in Hungarian.

same in Polish, but the title emperor is "cesarz"
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #27

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
So the C in Vulgar Latin had become a "TS"

So, is it then that the C in Caesar was pronounced as an "S" or "TS" even in his time?

If this were the case, that would explain why Kaiser the title and Caesar the proper name in German have two separate pronunciations. Seeing as how Caesar became an Imperial title, and likely would have had the "Kaisar" pronunciation from the classical Latin.

Correct me if I am wrong here.


I can't confirm that C = Ts appeared so early in vulgar Latin, it happened later but I can be wrong. For sure, not in Classical Latin, the cult form.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:00 AM   #28

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Kaiser and Caesar have a different meaning but the same origin. This could largely just be based on upper and lower class pronunciation of words, if the vulgar Latin used a "ts" sound in the time of Julius Caesar, then his name would sound more like the form we are familiar with, even in his own time. At the same time, it makes logical sense for the title derived from his name to adopt the proper Latin "Kaiser" form.

It is similar to how English adopted the Norman forms of words for meat (Pork, poultry, Beef) but kept the Germanic forms when refering to the animal (Pig, swine, chicken, cow, oxen) - the language of the trade of meet and those who ate meat would have popularly used Norman French, whereas the common folk who raised the animals would have had no reason to quit using their traditional Germanic forms.

So I guess the determining question boils down to: what time period did Vulgar Latin drop the hard C (K) in favour for a TS sound for the words with vowel structures like Caesar?
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #29

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Quote:
Can anyone tell me definitively how 'Cicero' was pronounced?
Both C's were originally hard.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #30

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farinal View Post
It was also Kayzer in old Turkish. "Kayzer-i Rum" title of Mehmed II, means Caesar of Rome. Also the city Kayseri, Kayseri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . It is Sezar with an S sound rather than a K now in modern turkish though.
Kayzer in Turkish is a loanword from Arabic "QEIṢƏR , قیصر" which is directly or indirectly (through Syriac) borrowed from Greek, since the consonants "Q , ق" and "Ṣ , ص" are markers of Greek "Κ" and "σ".

Last edited by hazratemahmood; December 8th, 2012 at 03:30 AM.
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