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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2answers
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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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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65 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
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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3answers
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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4answers
4k 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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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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5k 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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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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1answer
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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821 views

How many of Latin words have Greek roots?

I was wondering how many of Latin (both Classical and Medieval varieties) words have Greek roots. Is Greek the common root of most IE languages?
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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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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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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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713 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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1answer
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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39 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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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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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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3answers
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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844 views

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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2answers
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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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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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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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
937 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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2answers
414 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
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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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?
3
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124 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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1answer
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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4answers
10k 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
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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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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56 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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3answers
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
110 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
436 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
597 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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2answers
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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1answer
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 ...