4
votes
3answers
158 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
486 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, ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the historical origin of terms for north, south, east and west?

In the course of researching the etymology of the word "Australia", I was trying to find the Latin words for north and south (the cardinal directions). I found some websites that translate north as ...
20
votes
5answers
528 views

Which Romance languages have reflexes of nouns in the Latin nominative?

It is generally accepted that the nominal forms in the Romance languages represent reflexes of the Latin accusative rather than the nominative. (This is even true for those languages that have ...