Concept

Latin phonology and orthography

Summary
Latin phonology continually evolved over the centuries, making it difficult for speakers in one era to know how Latin was spoken before then. A given phoneme may be represented by different letters in different periods. This article deals primarily with modern scholarship's best reconstruction of Classical Latin's phonemes (phonology) and the pronunciation and spelling used by educated people in the late Roman Republic. This article then touches upon later changes and other variants. Knowledge of how Latin was pronounced comes from Roman grammar books, common misspellings by Romans, transcriptions into other ancient languages, and from how pronunciation has evolved in derived Romance languages. Latin orthography is the spelling of Latin words written in the scripts of all historical phases of Latin from Old Latin to the present. All scripts use the Latin alphabet, but conventional spellings may vary from phase to phase. The Latin alphabet was adapted from the Old Italic script to re
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