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Latin Pronunciation: Botanical Name AEGYPTIUM

by Deane Jordan
(Orlando Floirda)

Dear Latin Teacher,


How would you say aegyptium, specifically how many syllables (four or five) and where is the accent? I have spent many days on this. I have a web site about plants and I am trying to get all the botanical pronunciations right and this is one I simply cannot find.

GreenDeane@cfl.rr.com

Dear Deane,

The word aegyptium is definitely four syllables. Standardizing its pronunciation, however, is not so simple.

In classical Latin the diphthong AE is pronounced like the English word EYE.

In botanical Latin, however, the ecclesiastical pronunciation may be used, in which the diphthong AE sounds like the English AY (as in STAY).

Next the G is always hard in classical Latin, as in the English word GO, while in botanical Latin it may be soft, as in GENETIC.

As for the syllable of accent, because the -i- is short, the accent falls on the -y-.

So, to simplify things, I've included an audio file here:





Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher!

Sincerely,

John

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