Dead Indo-European language of the Roman Empire and ancestor of modern Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and a few others.

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What might explain the loss of -l- from Latin to Old French?

feeble (adj.) [:] late 12c., "lacking strength or vigor" (physical, moral, or intellectual), from Old French feble "weak, feeble" (12c., Modern French faible), dissimilated from Latin flebilis ...
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33 views

Does '-ous' imply no interruption, and '-al' the possibility of interruption?

I already know that 'continuous' is stronger than continual, but that both derive from the same Latin etymon continuus. These answers on ELU evidence this difference, but does not explain the cause. ...
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72 views

Why is the past participle of the French « lire » « lu », but « rire » « ri »?

Phonologically,« lire » and « rire » sound like a minimal pair, with the first letter as the only difference. So what might explain the difference between their « participes passé »? Their etymons ...
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39 views

How does a rule explain how « à chef » evolved into « achever »?

Etymonline refers to the "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language" by Auguste Brachet, translated by G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878. Its entry for achever, on page 152 of 558, states: For f ...
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64 views

Did the Latin '-que' mean "any, also, ever'?

ubiquity (n.) [...] + que "any, also, and, ever," as a suffix giving universal meaning to the word it is attached to, from PIE root * kwe "and." Did Etymonline err? I know that -que is an ...
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1answer
34 views

What does an 'organic' letter mean?

simultaneous (adj.) [:] 1650s, from Medieval Latin simultaneus, perhaps from simultim "at the same time," extended from Latin simul "at the same time" (see similar (adj.)), or from simul with ...
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74 views

How did French lose the Latin -v-?

[Source:] Loss of Latin -v- is regular in French in some situations (compare alleger from alleviare; neige from nivea; jeune from juvenis. A different sound evolution from the Latin word yielded ...
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56 views

Why was 'rite' assigned to the PIE root *re(i)-?

rite (n.) [⟸] early 14c., from Latin ritus "religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage," perhaps from PIE root * re(i)- "to count, number" (cognates: Greek arithmos "number," Old English ...
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40 views

How did the Greek 'tropos' evolve into the Latin 'tropus'?

contrive (v.) [...] from Late Latin contropare "to compare" (via a ♦♦♦ figure of speech ♦♦♦) from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + tropus "song, musical mode," from Greek tropos "figure of speech" ...
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54 views

How did the Latin stem '-duce' evolve to mean 'from an effect'?

From the following (on the 3 derivatives of ducere), both 'induction' and 'abduction' presuppose 'an effect', but 'deduction' produces (I intended this use of another derivative of ducere) 'the ...
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35 views

Has 'com-' been a causative prefix?

Please correct me if I erred, and if I missed any semantic drifts. Is my effort below right? constitute {verb}     Etymology : [..] con- intensive + statuĕre to set up, place: [...] 6. To ...
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40 views

How did the prefix 'ob-' function in Latin 'opprobare'? [closed]

opprobrious (adj.) [...] from Latin opprobare "to reproach, taunt," from ob "against" (see ob-) + probrum "reproach, infamy." Etymological sense is "disgrace attached to conduct considered ...
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50 views

What do the labels mean in this latin pos tagging?

I'm using cltk, a Python library for processing of classical languages. I'm pos-tagging an example sentence, but I don't understand the output. tagger.tag_unigram('Gallia est omnis divisa in partes ...
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37 views

How did 'of' 's figurative meanings evolve from 'away, away from'?

of (prep.) [⇐] Old English of, unstressed form of æf (prep., adv.) "away, away from" [...], from PIE *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Primary sense in Old English still was "away," but shifted in ...
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36 views

How to learn more about seemingly contradictory or superfuous affixes?

Instead of questioning each word's prefixes, how can I learn more about this efficiently and productively? I wish to learn, myself, to expose and explain all hidden, missing semantic drifts and link. ...
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33 views

'penance' vs 'penitence'

penance (n.) [←] late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from ...
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63 views

Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

French: s'abstenir de    Spanish: abstenerse de    English: abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold ...
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21 views

How does 'to push, thrust' relate to 'put a fire out'?

distinguish (v.) (<--) [...] dis- "apart" (see dis-) + -stinguere "to prick" (compare extinguish and Latin instinguere "to incite, impel"). Watkins says "semantic transmission obscure;" ...
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86 views

Why does “date” in Portuguese became “data”, while in Dutch “datum” is used?

I didn't study Latin, but I can recognize when a noun is singular or plural. It's weird that date is used in the plural form data in Portuguese - a Neo-Latin language - while Dutch contains the form ...
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109 views

Why did Latin fragment so much?

I'm not sure exactly when almost the entire population was exposed to Mass but until Protestantism everyone heard Latin every Sunday and Good Friday and Holy Thursday and Christmas and Epiphany and ...
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93 views

How does the prefix 'ad-' function in 'attribute'?

attribute (v.) [<--] late 14c., "assign, bestow," from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere "assign to, add, bestow;" figuratively "to attribute, ascribe, impute," from ad- ...
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97 views

'stipend' : How did 'a tree trunk' evolve to mean 'payment, gift'?

stipend (n.)    early 15c., "periodical payment; soldier's pay," from Latin stipendium "tax, impost, tribute," in military use "pay, salary," from stips "alms, small payment, contribution of ...
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104 views

How did the Vulgar Latin 'parabola' evolve to mean 'word'?

parable (n.)    mid-13c., parabol, modern form from early 14c., "saying or story in which something is expressed in terms of something else," from Old French parable "parable, parabolic ...
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57 views

What does the prefix 'ab-' mean in the Latin verb 'abundare' ?

abound (v.) early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + ...
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110 views

How did the Latin ''putare' evolve into all these different meanings?

2. [Etymonline:] ... putare   [=]   "reckon, clear up, trim, prune, settle" (see pave) 3. [Notre Dame:] 4. think, believe, suppose, hold; 5. reckon, estimate, value; 6. clear up, ...
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1answer
57 views

Is the modern Latin lexicon productive?

So I was wondering, does Latin taught in schools today add/borrow content words to/for its lexicon for things that weren't around (like computer, LED etc.) when Latin was natively spoken? And also, ...
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124 views

How can I check whether 'question' in English, and 'xahesh' in Persian are cognates?

It seems plausible to me, and I would like to know how to verify it. Why I think xahesh might be cognate with question: xahesh (IPA: /xɑːheʃ/) in Modern Persian is a noun meaning "request, plea". ...
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102 views

Latin's excrescent e- in English and French

Etymonline's entry on 'estate' broaches the excrescent e-. Is this excrescence called epenthesis? the later Romans evidently found words beginning insc-, sp-, st-difficult or unpleasant to ...
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140 views

Latin -que suffix in romance languages

In Latin the suffix -que can be used to mean "and". For example: Fames sitisque (Hunger and thirst) Are there any modern Romance languages that use the suffix -que or something similar to it?
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43 views

The Difference between “Imperium Persarum” and “Persarum Imperium” [closed]

First time asking. :) As the title suggests, I wanted to know the difference between the two names for the Persian Empire in Latin. (I'm not even sure if both are used...) I've tried asking other ...
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91 views

Translation into Latin [closed]

I would like to translate the following phrase into Latin. Unto the Lion and the Lamb Please provide a translation into English. Using Google Translate I got the following: In Leo et Agnus but ...
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4answers
930 views

Where did Latin come from?

My understanding (supported by Wikipedia) is that Latin was the spoken and written language in Ancient Rome. Therefore, I was puzzled to read the following piece of Talmud (Gitin 80a): מאי מלכות ...
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3answers
976 views

Descendants of Latin vs. Greek?

From Latin there descend half a dozen (or more) modern languages. Greek, by contrast, has simply changed over time but without branching into separate languages. Why the difference? Both were spoken ...
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55 views

What are the benefits of learning Latin using Spanish?

I am a native speaker of Spanish. I also learned English. I am now trying to learn Latin. Obviously, the Spanish --> Latin route is a lot more preferable than the English --> Latin route given that ...
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2answers
103 views

unicode symbol(s) for a long syllable in a Latin text

I want to write the following line (Ovid, Metamorphoses, X.30) with its metric peculiarity : per Chaos hoc ingēns uāstīque silentia rēgnī (something like : By this huge void and these vast and ...
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1answer
101 views

Is the Ampersands a Letter in the Latin Alphabet?

My understanding is that, until fairly recently, recitation of the English alphabet was often suffixed by saying "and per se and", roughly translating to "and, by itself, '&'". This suggests that ...
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432 views

Does word order really not matter in Latin?

New to Latin, I can't help but wonder about the following: Every text I found online claims that since words are inflected (enough) to indicate the roles they play in a sentence, word order has no ...
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227 views

Why are Latin descendants SVO?

Latin was a language which predominant order was Subject-Object-Verb, as in the example proverb Errare Humanum Est So, why all its modern descendents are predominantly Subject-Verb-Object order? Or ...
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159 views

Meaning of the root “ject”

What does the root "ject" mean? It occurs in words such as "subject", "object", "project", "injection", "surjection", "bijection". As far as I know these words came to English from French and, in ...
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88 views

-anus vs. -inus in (Classical) Latin

Latin has some suffixes that turn nouns into adjectives. But there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to which suffixes get applied to which nouns. For example: felis->felinus canis->caninus ...
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79 views

Latin nouns derived from pluperfect verbs

I am trying to understand the logic of Latin nouns derived from pluperfect verbs. For example, we have facta, things done, and scripta, things written, but I thought the pluperfect gerundive would be ...
5
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3answers
215 views

Is there some intrinsic relationship between the nominative plural and genitive singular?

In Latin the similarity between the nominative plural and genitive singular is most striking: First: porta (Nom/Sing) and portae (Nom/Pl), portae (Gen/Sing) and portarum (Gen/Pl) Second: servus ...
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104 views

In Latin protases, what's the different between the future and future perfect tenses?

In Latin, so-called "future more vivid" conditionals can take one of two tenses in the protasis: Future: Si aedificabis, venient "If you build it, they will come." Future perfect: Si aedificaveris, ...
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133 views

Etymology of Latin suffix -ālis

What is the etymology of the Latin suffix "-ālis" (and related forms like "-āris") as in "nātūrālis"? Do we know any corresponding suffix in other Indo-European languages?
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61 views

anomaly in a Latin hexameter

I read in Ovid, Metamorphoses , 1.502-503 : fugit ōcior aurā illa leuī nequ(e) ad haec reuocantis uerba resistit. My (rough) translation : But she flees, ...
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148 views

Can the Latin conjunction -que coordinate two propositions?

I read in Ovid, Metamorphoses, I.474-477 (Apollo is in love with Daphne) : Protinus alter amat, fugit altera nomen amantis silvarum tenebris captivarumque ferarum exuviis gaudens innuptaeque aemula ...
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177 views

strange Latin spelling : karissime

I read in Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.486 (in a recent French edition) : "Da mihi perpetua, genitor karissime" (O dearest father, allow me to enjoy perpetual maidenhood !) "karissime" isn't an error : ...
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109 views

Why the E- in Etruscan?

The Etruscans had several names in antiquity: the Greeks called them Tyrsenoi or Tyrrhenoi, the Roman Tusci or Etrusci (and their country Etruria). All these names seem to be related, ultimately ...
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413 views

What did the Greeks and Romans believe about language relationships?

The ancient Greeks and Romans had no concept of historical linguistics or of the Indo-European language family. However, it would have been noticeable to anyone who spoke even a little of both Greek ...
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2k views

Why are many ancient languages so complicated compared to many modern languages?

Many ancient languages have a structure that is more complex than that of the "respective" modern languages. Modern languages like English have simpler structure, without case, gender or declination, ...