QUANTITY OF VOWELS AND SYLLABLES
362. The general principles for the quantity of vowels and syllables have been given above in Sec. 5. The following peculiarities are to be noted here:—
1. A vowel is usually short when followed by another vowel (Sec. 5, A, 2), but the following exceptions occur:—
a) In the Genitive termination -ius (except
alterius); as, illius,
totius. Yet the i may be short in poetry; as, illius, totius.
b) In the Genitive and Dative Singular
of the Fifth Declension; as, diei,
aciei. But fidei, rei, spei (Sec. 52, 1).
c) In fio, excepting fit and forms where
i is followed by er. Thus:
fiebam, fiat, fiunt; but fieri, fierem.
d) In a few other words, especially words
derived from the Greek; as,
dius, Aeneas, Darius, heroes, etc.
2. A diphthong is usually long (Sec. 5, B, 2), but the preposition prae in composition is often shortened before a vowel; as, praeacutus.
3. A syllable containing a short vowel followed by two consonants (Sec. 5, B, 2) is long, even when one of the consonants is in the following word; as, terret populum. Occasionally the syllable is long when both consonants are in the following word; as, pro segete spicas.
4. Compounds of jacio, though written inicit, adicit, etc., have the first syllable long, as though written inj-, adj-.
5. Before j, a and e made a long syllable, e.g. in major, pejor, ejus, ejusdem, Pompejus, rejecit, etc. These were pronounced, mai-jor, pei-jor, ei-jus, Pompei-jus, rei-jecit, etc. So also sometimes before i, e.g. Pompe-i, pronounced Pompei-i; re-icio, pronounced rei-icio.
Quantity of Final Syllables.
A. Final Syllables ending in a Vowel.
363. 1. Final a is mostly short, but is long:—
a) In the Ablative Singular of the First Declension; as, porta.
b) In the Imperative; as, lauda.
c) In indeclinable words (except ita,
quia); as, triginta, contra,
postea, interea, etc.
2. Final e is usually short, but is long:—
a) In the Ablative Singular of the Fifth
Declension; as, die, re; hence
hodie, quare. Here belongs also fame (Sec. 59, 2, b).
b) In the Imperative of the Second Conjugation;
as, mone, habe, etc.; yet
occasionally cave, vale.
c) In Adverbs derived from Adjectives
of the Second Declension, along
with fere and ferme. Bene, male, temere, saepe have e.
d) In e, de, me, te, se, ne (not, lest), ne (verily).
3. Final i is usually long, but is short in nisi and quasi. Mihi, tibi, sibi, ibi, ubi, have regularly i, but sometimes i; yet always ibidem, ibique, ubique.