Latin Hyphenation
  • Does anyone know of an online resource giving the correct hyphenation of Latin words? Failing that, can anyone recommend a Latin dictionary showing it?
  • awruff
    Posts: 93
    Here's an online Latin syllabifier:
    I haven't yet used it to know how well it works.
    Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • I've used that site for Latin and Spanish and have found it to be very useful. I recommend it highly.
  • Wonderful! Thank you so much!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,628
    I thought for "church" Latin, it should hyphenate:
      O ma-gnum my-ste-ri-um
      A-gnus De-i
    and not
      O mag-num my-ste-ri-um
      Ag-nus De-i
    which might be correct for Tudor Latin.

    But it does seem to hyphenate
      San-cta Ma-ri-a
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    It's interesting that in the early manuscripts, it's clear that the syllabification is different than our conventions. For example, dom-in-us. Or the monosyllable tuum. Encouraging this kind of syllabification does much to encourage good vocal technique and to eliminate unintentional accents.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,307
    For 'choir Latin' I would prefer po-sci-mus instead of the accepted (and perhaps more logical) pos-ci-mus. It's worth bearing in mind that there are various 'correct' systems that have important implications for national pronunciations: Mozart's preposterous looking de-xstris is required by the closed vowel of German Latin.

    Among my more amusing current reading is Rebecca Stewart's article Josquin's Voices with a list of French Latin mondegreens: habitaculum = "habit a cul long"; Natura diverso gaudet = "Nature a dit: verse! au godet."; ille tunc beatam caro sic lutam tuae "Il est tombé à temps, car aussi l'eût-on tué" and so forth.
  • I already gave the rules here at the bottom of the page from a quite old book from late 19th c., which results in those syllabifications that are advocated here for choir use.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Richard Mix
  • What fun: a new word—mondegreen! Thank you.
    Posts: 12
    To Jonathan KK: Thank you for your thoughts.

    The problem that confronts editors such as myself is often that of defining where an 'urtext' edition stops and and what I call a 're-set facsimile' edition takes over. In a re-set facsimile edition, all the errors and oddities of the source edition are reproduced verbatim, but the music is printed in modern, computer-generated notation. In other words, such editions are neither fish nor fowl, offering neither the absolute authenticity of a facsimile reproduction of the composer's autograph--complete with illegible smudges and fly-specks that might or might not be augmentation dots--nor the intelligent intervention of a conscientious editor. Such editions are of use only to people who don't wish to take the trouble to squint over Bach's or Handel's rather sloppy handwriting for weeks on end, but insist nonetheless upon making their own decision, when a measure is short by an eighth, on which of the seven eighth notes is really supposed to be a quarter.

    But that stuff--smudges in manuscripts and missing beats in measures--is simple fare compared to the problems of interpreting the composer's intention in sacred music of this type. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalisation can all have an incidence on a singer's interpretation of the text, and the editor who fails to take account of that is just asking for trouble. What I am attempting to do is establish a set of standards that will satisfy the most persnickity of critics, the choral directors who we hope will buy our editions.

    The American Society of Choral Directors attempted, in the 1960s and 70s, to collaborate with the Music Publishers Association to arrive at a set of standards governing new editions, but the result was, shall we say, less than definitive. As editor-in-chief of a new publishing company that specialises in early music, I want to consult the end-users of our editions BEFORE they are published so as to make those editions the very best they can be.