Throughout history, many languages have flourished and disappeared, leaving behind few written records of how they actually sounded.

Thanks to advances in historical linguistics and experimental phonetics, it is now possible to reconstruct with greater precision the pronunciation of ancient languages such as Latin, Etruscan, Ancient Greek, and other languages of the past.

Classical Latin, for example, probably sounded quite different from the ecclesiastical Latin we know. It is believed that the vowels were more open and rounded, the accent primarily fell on the penultimate syllable, and there were phonemic distinctions that were later lost.

Through careful study of ancient texts, inscriptions, and historical accounts, linguists have been able to infer details such as the more guttural pronunciation of consonants.

Another fascinating language is Etruscan, which has not yet been completely deciphered. However, analysis of remaining texts and comparisons with other languages in the region, such as Latin, allow for solid hypotheses about its vowel system and phonotactic rules.

It has been determined that, unlike Latin, the Etruscan accent could fall on any syllable. In the case of Ancient Greek, we have the advantage of preserving linguistic treatises from Ancient Greece that detail its pronunciation.

We know that it had vowels and consonants that no longer exist in modern Greek, and the accent could freely move within words.

By studying archaeological remains such as inscriptions on tablets and Egyptian papyri, experts have also managed to reconstruct aspects of Coptic and other languages of the ancient Near East.

By listening to realistic simulations of these lost languages, created with Artificial Intelligence, we can delve into the cultures that used them and appreciate the linguistic richness that time has erased. A sonic reconstruction of the past allows us to approach civilizations that would otherwise remain silent.

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