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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Italian Pronunciation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1354  Monday, 20 May 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 May 2002 12:22:34 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

[2]     From:   Lucia A. Setari  <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 May 2002 17:34:22 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 May 2002 13:42:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

[4]     From:   H. David Friedberg <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 May 2002 13:36:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

[5]     From:   Fernando Cioni <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 May 2002 23:44:24 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

[6]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Sunday, 19 May 2002 09:02:43 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 12:22:34 -0400
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

> Can any confirm the accepted standard of pronunciation, in modern
> Italian, for the single and double  "c" and "cc"?
>
> The Latin "Cicero," we were taught to pronounce kick-er-o. But is that
> still the pronunciation in Italian? Was/is "Marcello" pronounced
> mar-che-lo or mar-se-lo? And is "Baraccini" pronounced bara-see-nee or
> bara-chi-nee?

There are many standard text books, and even travelers' guidebooks will
provide the pronunciations.  But here are the general rules:

"c" before "a", "o" and "u" is pronounced as "k" -- e.g., Carivaccio;
Corleone; Cuneo.

"c" before "e" or "i" is pronounced as "ch" in "cheap" -- e.g., cento;
ciao.  In some dialects, this is further softened to a "sh" sound, but I
believe that this is usually only in informal speech; where more
formality is required, a customary "sh" speaker will revert to "ch".  I
have never heard an Italian pronounce "Cicero"; I believe the modern
equivalent is Ciccio or Cicerone.  But I suspect that it would be
pronounced with a "ch" sound unless the speaker was so pedantic as to
employ the Classical Latin (not Church Latin) "k".

"cc", which appears only in the middle of words before "e" or "i" is
pronounced as "ch" -- e.g., "Ciccio", "Baraccini".

"ch" is used to establish a "k" sound before "e" or "i".

The question arises in Shakespearean studies principally with respect to
the pronunciation of "Petruchio", about which we had an extended
discussion a while back.  My view is that it is intended to be
pronounced with the soft "ch" sound, partly because it sounds nicer, but
mostly because there is a line in the play in Italian in which the name
is spelt with a "c".

I also think that WS expected the single "c" in names such as Licio and
Lucio to be pronounced as "s", but I have less support for this.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lucia A. Setari
 <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 17:34:22 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

 In Italian Cicero is called Cicerone (Chi-che-ro-ne).

As to Latin, in Italy we pronounce both Chi-che-ro and Cki-cke-ro.  The
former, Chi-che-ro, is the received pronunciation of Church.

As to Marcello it was and is pronounced  Mar-che-lo. Baraccini is
Ba-ra-chi-nee.

Lucia A. Setari

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 13:42:21 -0400
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

The Italian 'c' is pronounced as follows:

'ci' or 'ce' = same as the English 'ch' sound
'ca', 'co', or 'cu' = 'k' sound
'chi' or 'che' = 'key' or 'kay'
a double c has the same pronunciation, but increases the stress on the
previous syllable and adds a slight halt to the pronouncing of the
consonant.

I hope this helps.

Paul E. Doniger

P.S. There is some doubt that Shakespeare used Italian pronunciation for
character names (for example, Petruchio is probably supposed to be
pronounced English style, not with the Italian hard 'k' sound).

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. David Friedberg <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 13:36:51 -0400
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

Can any confirm the accepted standard of pronunciation, in modern
Italian, for the single and double  "c" and "cc"?

In the pronunciation I learned over 50 years ago and forgetting local
variants

c was hardbut

with a cedilla it  was soft;

c followed by a , o, and u was hard, but y was usually  variable

Hence cicero was chi-che- ro

H was othographic and separated the c  from the next letter   thus chio
was kio, but cio was cho

cc was hardened,  cch was hard  cchio was keeo or k cc i o

sci was she

Sung Latin wqas sounded as if it were Italian

In Real Latin the c and G were hard  so kikero  v was soft if followed
by a nvowel so vicissem --past pluperfect subjunctive I think waas we
kiss em but not veekissem which allowerd gales of laughter from an all
male class. Latin was not approproiate for girls' and Caesar adsum jam
forte,peompeius aderat -- Caesar! I am here by charnce for tea,becuase
Pompey was here, read Caesar had some jam for tea, Pompeius  had a rat

But just try Hebrew

In my first year we learned that He was  She, Who was he, dog was fish,
I was Lee, me was who etc

Stick with English Hope it helps (?Holp?)

David

    PopQuiz

        In Caesars time the Romans spoke Latin, and in Mussos times they
spoke Italian

                Question
                    When did they change?

Davidius

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fernando Cioni <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 23:44:24 +0200
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

Dear Steve,

Cicero in Italian is pronounced "Chichero", Baraccini is pronounced
"Barachini". As a matter of fact the "cc" followed by "i" or "e" has a
longer "ch" sound. "cc" followed by "u", "a" or "o" is pronounced "k".
"C" in Italian is never pronounced "see".

Fernano Cioni

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Sunday, 19 May 2002 09:02:43 +1000 (EST)
Subject: 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.1334 Italian Pronunciation

> Can any confirm the accepted standard of pronunciation, in modern
> Italian, for the single and double  "c" and "cc"?

The rule is fairly simple: whether single or doubled, before front
vowels (e, i) <c> is an affricative /tsh/, like <ch> in <church>, and
before back vowels (a, o, u) it is a plosive /k/. The same rule obtains
in French and Spanish, except the fronted version in those languages is
a fricative, /s/ or /th/.

<ch> is always plosive /k/.

Peter Groves

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