Questions tagged [latin]

For linguistic questions concerning the Latin language, a 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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35 views

Was there a standard accent in Latin in the Roman era? [migrated]

I know that the standard language was Classical Latin and that the average person spoke Vulgar Latin, but was there a standard dialect, a standard pronounciation for Latin? Like the way it was spoken ...
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0answers
34 views

Some idea of PIE in the ancient world? [duplicate]

Did the ancient Greeks and Romans have the idea (at least partly) similar to the concept the Proto-Indoeuropean language? Many among the elite spoke Greek fluently or at least learnt it intensively. ...
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0answers
86 views

“Reconstruction” of an attested and well studied language

I wonder has anyone ever tried to reconstruct Latin language via data on modern Romance languages as if we know nothing about what Latin actually was. Both as a fun exercise and as a method to test ...
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2answers
85 views

Why does Latin, Turkish, and Albanian have similar words? [closed]

Latin and Albanian come from the Indo-European language so it makes sense that those two languages share many words with each-other, but how comes Turkish which is supposed to come from non-Indo-...
2
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1answer
242 views

How did Latin drop noun declension?

Latin has/had noun cases, while modern Romance languages don't. I wonder if the transition can be observed in written forms. Are there examples from different historic moments? A side question: ...
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1answer
131 views

Why is Latin considered a dead language, but Old High German simply a precursor to modern German?

Or, to put it another way: If the Church hadn't preserved Latin, would it even be considered a different language from Italian as opposed to simply an older form in the development of the Italian ...
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1answer
100 views

Latin jūs and sūcus, and the words in Romance languages

Why is French jus said to be from Latin jūs or iūs, while Spanish jugo is said to be from the Latin sūcus? I don't know if there's a link between sūcus and jūs, but jus and jugo look like they are ...
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88 views

Hypothetical month names [closed]

We have the months September through December that comes from the Latin numbers 7 (septem), 8 (octo), 9 (novem), and 10 (decem). What would the month's names be if we extended the system to 1 through ...
5
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1answer
540 views

What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

I cannot find any source explaining the Latin names of grammatical cases. I am especially curious in the names of the less common cases, like in Finnish: nominative genitive accusative partitive ...
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2answers
160 views

Are there any Latin and (ancient) Hebrew words with common origins?

More generally, is there any compelling evidence for any common roots between early Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages? There are almost necessarily some words that are not too dissimilar ...
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0answers
29 views

Need online resources to compare the pronunciation in Latin, Old French and Old English

I'm looking for resources giving old French pronunciation, for instance as IPA. I know that the pronunciation of old French is quite regular, but I cannot find a dictionary with pronunciations. I ...
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2answers
95 views

How regular were Latin verbs compared to Spanish?

Compared to English, Spanish is very consistent within its rules about verbs. The endings for the three kinds of verbs—grouped as -ar, -er, and -ir verbs—are pretty consistently regular, and few words ...
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1answer
98 views

Could the latin word terrere be related to the Hebrew word תִּירָא (tira)?

The English word "terror" is derived from the Latin "terrere", meaning "frighten". I noticed in reading a passage in Isaiah the Hebrew equivalent of "don't be afraid" which is אַל־תִּירָא ('al tira' - ...
31
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3answers
6k views

Why do the Romance languages use definite articles, when Latin doesn't?

Classical Latin, as I understand things, barely has a definite article at all: ille is the nearest equivalent, and even this word is closer to English that than the. But Spanish, French and Italian ...
0
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2answers
172 views

Latin “vivere” vs. Hebrew “aviv”

Is the Latin word vivere (to live) cognate to the Hebrew word aviv אביב (Spring)? Someone pointed out the resemblance to me, and it looks plausible, but I haven't found any conclusive answer.
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40 views

Usage of the implicit object-subordinate clause in Italian (i.e. Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English - part II)

In a sense, the following question is a sequel of this one: Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English. In that question I asked some information about the usage of the implicite ...
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113 views

Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English

I'm not a fluent english speaker. While speaking this language, we usually prefer the implicit objective subordinate clauses (with subject in the accusative case, if it exists) to the corresponding ...
2
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0answers
50 views

(proto-)Germanic evidence for Late Latin vowel length

I would like to find a list of borrowings illustrating the reflexes in (proto-)Germanic of Latin long and short vowels. In particular I would like to find substantiation to the standard claim that it ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Why are Latin and Sanskrit called dead languages?

I hear Latin and Sanskrit are called dead languages. Sanskrit is used in rituals and at the temples. I think this is also true of Latin. What is the cause of their degradation when they have enriched ...
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2answers
160 views

Is Latin “ulula” cognate with hindi उल्लू (“ullu”)?

Hindi उल्लू /ʊl.luː/ (derived from Sanskrit उलूक /uluːka/) appears superficially very similar to Latin ulula (both meaning "owl"). Are these words cognate?
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1answer
111 views

How did the cross-linguistic univerbation 'nothing/not/none/no + less' semantically shift to signify 'despite'?

Several European languages have (false?) cognate adverbs with the meaning of 'nevertheless' (and 'nonetheless') built from words meaning "nothing/not/none/no" and "less". despite something that ...
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3answers
429 views

Is the Malay “garam” (salt) related to the Latin “garum” (fish sauce)?

The Malay/Indonesian word for salt garam is surprisingly similar to the Latin word for the Roman fish sauce garum. Since garum was made from fermented salted fish, is there an etymological ...
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1answer
76 views

Etymological connection between “uncus” and “unguis”

The Latin words uncus (hook) and unguis (claw, fingernail) appear very phonologically similar to me, and semantically I can see why 'hook' and 'claw' could derive from the same source. However, ...
3
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2answers
141 views

Does a null-subject language always have to satisfy EPP?

I am analyzing Latin word order. As in many other languages, most Latin sentences begin with the subject, but I've noticed quite a few that have many complements and adjuncts and then end with the ...
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2answers
257 views

Etymology of Romanian “amor” (cf. “iubire”)

I found it interesting to learn that Romanian borrowed this word from a Slavic language as well as the verb "a iubi". I also discovered that the word "amor" is present in Romanian but apparently it ...
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2answers
162 views

Historical morphology of Italian nouns from Latin 3rd declension

Italian is commonly analysed as inheriting the nominative forms of nouns from Vulgar Latin, instead of the accusative ones. But what happened to 3rd declension nouns? It looks like for the majority ...
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78 views

Did Romance languages evolve in Pannonia?

As a sister question of Did Romance languages evolve in North Africa?, I would like to ask what was the situation in Pannonia was there a Pannonian Romance Language and what research is there to it's ...
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1answer
93 views

What is the difference between taurus and bovine? [closed]

What is the difference between taurus and bovine? Both words are from Latin and both words refers to cows or the cow family.
4
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1answer
366 views

Which Romance Language is the least similar to Latin?

People state that Romanian is closest in some aspects (grammar mainly), and that to learn a romance language studying latin may give you a leg up (which in my opinion just study the language), but for ...
9
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3answers
169 views

Do dead languages borrow words?

So, presumably, at some point during of after the fall of the Roman Empire, Latin became a dead language. Or, at least no longer used outside of the Church or science. When that happens to a language, ...
8
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1answer
280 views

Etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings

I was wondering, what the etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings -are, -ere and -ire was. I assume they are Indo-European, but I haven't found any information about it.
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1answer
346 views

Latin “niger” from *negʷ-?

Could Latin niger "black", of uncertain origin, come from *negʷ- "bare, naked"? For an analogy, compare black, blank, Spanish blanco "white, argent", and their roots PGem *blakaz "burnt", PGem *...
9
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3answers
801 views

Why are there words meaning both “breath” and “life/spirit” in so many languages?

In Ancient Greek, πνεῦμα (pneuma) can mean "breath" as in "a breath of air" (literal) or "divine breath of inspiration" (figurative); it can also mean "life", "spirit", and "vitality" as demonstrated ...
3
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0answers
65 views

How are LH words assigned stress in Latin if we assume maximally bimoraic feet?

I recently came across a paper, "The Quantitative Trochee in Latin" (by R. Armin Mester, 1994) that seems to argue that feet in Latin were "strictly" bimoraic. The arguments that Mester gives for ...
8
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2answers
278 views

How did Latin get its stress pattern?

As far as I know, Latin had a word-initial accent for some time of its history after losing the Indo-European accent. I am wondering why Latin then switched to an ante-/pen-ultima stress pattern.
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1answer
77 views

Does “tetrahedrization” make sense?

I am deciding on a spelling of "tessellation composed of tetrahedra" to use in my thesis. There are four choices I know of Tetrahedralization with 3,530 results on Google Scholar and 25,800 on ...
3
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2answers
196 views

Which Romance Language retains the most words from Celtic?

It is known that they were once the same language, Proto Italo-Celtic, however with the descendants of Latin and the remaining Celtic languages, which Romance Language retains the most influence from ...
7
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2answers
247 views

What linguistic impact, if any, has the the Roman three name naming system left on modern Romance and European languages?

The ancient Romans had a three name system (tria nomina): praenomen, the birth/given name; the nomen, like a family name but marking the person as belonging to a specific gens; and the cognomen, of ...
3
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4answers
249 views

How “the case system collapses” in e.g. Latin

A comment on Understanding the purpose of determiners/articles/demonstratives in language suggested that case systems break down: For unrelated reasons, the case system collapses, so that word ...
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0answers
57 views

Pattern to Prefixes and Suffixes in English

I've come across a list of English prefixes and remember learning in school about Latin and Greek being helpful for learning words in English based on prefixes/suffixes. I'm wondering though if there ...
0
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1answer
216 views

Genocide vs. genticide [closed]

I was interested in understanding the origin and meaning of the word "genocide" and went to the Online Etymology Dictionary where it says that "The proper formation would be genticide." Why would the ...
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1answer
88 views

How did « admettre » semantically generalize to signify 'confess'?

McWhorter, J. PhD Linguistics (Stanford). The Power of Babel (2003). p. 32 Bottom.   Semantic drift has an especially visible effect on combinations of roots and prefixes or suffixes, and this ...
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3answers
471 views

As French is a so-called Roman language, where are the cases? [duplicate]

French language is known to be a Roman language, just like Spanish, Italian, Swiss Roman… Those Roman languages are told to be originating from Latin language. When I learnt Latin, one of the first (...
10
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3answers
292 views

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French all have a (compound) perfect tense, which I find curious, given that Latin did not. (You can alternatively perhaps say that it is either united with the ...
3
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2answers
787 views

Does the French word for Friday, “vendredi”, come from the Latin “Veneris” or the old Norse “Vanadis”?

When looking up the etymology of the French vendredi online, I can only find the suggestion that it comes from the Latin Veneris (Venus). However, the English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish and ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Julius Caesar original name spelling?

Was Julius Caesar originally spelled with and I before "J" was invented? Or was it spelled some other way? If so, how? I'm curious.
4
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1answer
221 views

Was the Latin “b” pronounced like “v” in ancient times?

As I recall, we were taught in Latin that "b" was pronounced like "v", but in class we always said "b" anyway. For example, "liber" was pronounced LEE-ber. Now, in Welsh the word for book is "llyfr" ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Why did some Hebrew words beginning with Yod become transliterated into Latin as “hi?”

This is something I noticed when reading some different older English bibles. Often times, it seems there was originally & traditionally a digraph (I guess) ⟨Hi⟩ where now the more proper letter ⟨...
5
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2answers
471 views

Is English “lake” Derived from Latin, or is it Indo-European?

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring this one out. Lake, meaning "A large, landlocked stretch of water." seems to have some confusion in the Wiktionary pages. I've looked in the American Heritage ...
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2answers
161 views

Are modern chuch Latin and classical Latin different languages?

From a (probably now-deleted comment) elsewhere on SE: [Church Latin and Classical Latin] are more or less the same languages. Some new words were added and the pronunciation changed over the years,...