Prof. Radford uses early Latin poetry to examine patterns of vowel quantity in early spoken Latin.
6 x 9
R.S. Radford addresses the difficult question of determining the probable cause of the frequent syllable-shortening which occurs in early Latin verse in connection with short monosyllables, i. e. sed illum', sed autem. This seeming violation of the rules of Latin metrics is actually an indication of the more fluid nature of vowel quantity in spoken Latin, and early Latin in particular. This essay provides a technical but satisfying examination of the ways in which older Latin may have functioned and is interesting to linguists and Latinists alike.