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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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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22 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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22 views

Convert Asterales to opposing plurality [closed]

I dont know which plurality Asterales, a Latin word for a botanical class, is in? Can someone tell me which and what the opposing form is?
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25 views

Plural Singular Forms in Latin [closed]

Which form is are the two following words in? And what are the words for the opposing form? Goniotrichaceae Goniotrichum
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61 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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657 views

Is there a named common ancestor of Germanic and Latin besides “Indo-European”?

I was just answering a question about the origins of English and Latin and wanted to talk about their common ancestors but ran into a surprising problem. So we know the majority of languages in ...
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45 views

Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (oneself) back, refrain, abstain (from), practice abstinence," ...
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89 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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How does the initial consonant in “Jupiter” and “Zeus” come from the “d” in PIE “*dyew-”?

Jupiter, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (“sky”) (whence also Latin diēs). Cognate with Ancient Greek Ζεύς (Zeus), Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Sanskrit द्यु (dyú). The nominative Iuppiter comes ...
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76 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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98 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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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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67 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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85 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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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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4answers
665 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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3k views

Online etymology dictionary for Latin

Is there an etymology dictionary for Latin that is available on the Internet? For example, I know of http://etymonline.com/, which is a great resource for English etymology, but I have not been able ...
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389 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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1answer
54 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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83 views

Latin's excrescent e- in English and French

I was reading Etymonline's entry on 'estate' which broaches the excrescent e- as follows. Please advise if I'm wrong, but I'll just refer to it as epenthesis in case the following involves the ...
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115 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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4k views

Why is “Aurora Borealis” from Greek, but “Aurora Australis” from Latin?

In astronomy we have the Aurora Australis in the south and the Aurora Borealis in the north. According to Wikipedia, auster is in fact the Latin equivalent of the Greek νότος, or southern wind. ...
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126 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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115 views

How did the English word inveigle evolve from the Latin aboculus?

inveigle Early corruption of French aveugler (“to blind, to delude”), from aveugle (“blind”), from the Old French avugle (“without eyes”), from Latin ab + oculus (“eye”). ...
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40 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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4answers
9k 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 ...
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1answer
85 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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950 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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52 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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1answer
151 views

Please help me identify this language (w/ image)

I have a scan of a genealogical document (ca. 1895) from a Catholic church in Brodowe Łąki, Poland. I believe that the document pertains to the baptism of my great-grandmother, but I can't quite be ...
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98 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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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, ...
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1answer
97 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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2answers
359 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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1answer
566 views

Why is 1/12 called an “uncia” in Latin?

The Latin word uncia (which is the origin of the English word ounce) denotes 1/12 of a pound. Does anybody know the etymology of this word? Shouldn’t it be something more like *docia, or anything ...
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209 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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148 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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1answer
86 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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74 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 ...
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227 views

Feelings about formerly more civilized foreigners' words

Is there a name for the phenomenon described below, whereby even after centuries of development into erudite thinking, people feel that words that come from formerly more civilized foreigners are more ...
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3answers
210 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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102 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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335 views

My otherwise monogamous friends came to the party with their wives

Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese) tend to say that "My friends came with their wife, who were all blowing their nose." (no polygamy, a cold epidemic but no monstrosity either), ...
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298 views

Italian past participle ending -uto

Why, in the paradigm for Italian past participles ending in -ere, does the regular past participle end in -uto? Whence the vowel, when the other two paradigms have -ato and -ito?
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Why do so many core Romanian words with Latin roots come from different roots than in the other Romance languages?

Romanian is a romance language like Catalan, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish so much of its core vocabulary is derived from Latin. Why then even in core vocabulary does Romanian so often ...
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126 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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124 views

can the latin word -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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1answer
304 views

Where did Latin and its descendants retain a case system most recently?

So we know that Latin nouns and adjectives inflect for case as well as person, number, and gender. Also we know that all the major modern Romance languages except Romanian no longer have a case ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the history of the word “addict”?

Usually the origins of the word "addict" are referred to Latin. Once I read somewhere that such word could have greek roots, from "diké", justice, rights. Something like "adiktoi" could mean "those ...