Why doesn’t anybody know for sure how Latin was pronounced in Late Antiquity (Veni Vidi Vici vs, Weni Widi Wiki)? The C[h]urch of Rome and later Catholic Churches always set the Mass in Latin. No gaps for spoken Latin, isn't it?
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- Converted to Roman Catholic Church, Novus Ordo version, then to Trad.
- Answered just now
- In Late Antiquity, Weni, Widi, Wiki was already past. You can guess between Veni, vidi, vichi and veni, vidi, viki.
While correct that Mass has been said in Latin since late Antiquity, minor changes of pronunciation may have escaped attention, and up to 800 adaptation between Mass Latin and spoken vernacular pronunciation of same words was not avoided. This means that up to then, you could even get Beine, Beithe, Beitse (as pronounced in liturgy). FROM then, you get Alcuin restoring pronunciation in Gaul, from a pronunciation which had in England been preserved as a foreign pronunciation, with some simplifications. So, Latin Mass in Gaul and the rest of Francia, from 800, is a restored pronunciation, which has later influenced pronunciation in both Spain and presumably also Italy.
One clear part of what is not authentic is pronouncing -um as [um] rather than as [u~]. A single pronunciation of M in all positions was more comfortable to the English foreign language learners. By the time of Alcuin’s coming to Francia, the ending was already [o], precisely as the one formerly [o:].
It is possible, but I have no clear indication, that the difference between a II declinsion sg accusative and its dative/ablative was apart from England also preserved in liturgic pronunciation, by exaggerating [u~] as [um].
The English did not have that confusion in the first place, hence their Latin was more classical by 800.