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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. For questions specific to Latin only, please visit our sister site Latin Language Stack Exchange.

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What make Latin and ancient Greek into different subgroups in the Indo-European family of languages?

Latin and ancient (Attic) Greek look similar in vocabulary and in grammar. What make them into different subgroups in the Indo-European family of languages?
Tim's user avatar
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Latin cognate for Sanskrit "shoka" (sorrow)?

Is there a Latin cognate for the Sanskrit word "shoka"? In general, is there some resource that lists Indo-European cognates for any given language pair?
oaklight37's user avatar
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Are corresponding adjectives in positive, comparative, and superlative degree different forms of the same word or different words?

I try to understand the differences between words and differences between forms of the same word. Given an adjective in the positive degree, are its versions in comparative and superlative degrees ...
Tim's user avatar
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How much can highly inflected language speakers understand their root systems?

For examle in Latin, the noun amicus has the root amic, the adjective magnus has the root magn. But did the average romans really understand these roots? Could they understand their meaning by hearing ...
nye's user avatar
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Is standard Arabic considered a dead language? What are the differences from Latin?

I fail to see the difference in usage between Latin and Fusha. Maybe not contemporary Latin but Latin from few centuries prior. Is Standard Arabic the most widely spoken dead language?
justaaaaguest's user avatar
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3 answers
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Are there Romance parallel descendants to Italian "cicalare" and Romanian "cicăli(re)"?

I am looking for the etymology of the Romanian verb a cicăli (to make reproaches repeatedly, to nag), which is reported of unknown origin, and I have found an almost identical word in Italian: ...
cipricus's user avatar
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Why does PIE *sneygʷʰ- ("snow") give L. nix, Gk. νίφα (acc.)?

What happens to internal /e/ and semivowel /y/ in *snéygʷʰm̥ to yield L. nix? I have no clue how that vowel change works.
fruitcheesy's user avatar
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Difference between ancient greek stative aspect and latin perfective aspect

In greek the perfect, pluperfect and future perfect are a combination of tense (present, past and future) and the stative aspect while the perfective aspect is used in combination with the past tense ...
Faith mp's user avatar
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Timeline of future/conditional in Latin and Romance languages

I'm not a linguist - just a linguistics enthusiast - so apologies in advance if this is a stupid question. I am fascinated by the concept of grammaticalization, and I had heard that the future and ...
meldefon's user avatar
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2 answers
103 views

The Origin of the Word 'Mammoth' [closed]

As per the Wiktionary article the origin of the world is Russian: From obsolete Russian ма́мант (mámant), modern ма́монт (mámont), probably from a Uralic language, such as Proto-Mansi *mē̮ŋ-ońt (“...
Maksim Fedosov's user avatar
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How certain is the Latin origin of Albanian ”gënjej” (to lie) from Latin (ingannō<ganniō)?

Albanian word gënjej ("to lie") is considered to be of Latin origin — from Vulgar Latin ingannō, from Latin ganniō... These are the only details I could find. Wiktionary gives no scholarly ...
cipricus's user avatar
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What differences are between Ablative of Manner and Ablative of Means/Instrument? [closed]

Keller's Learn to Read Latin says on p42 Association/Instrument In the sentence "The farmer came to the party with a poet", the phrase "with a poet" indicates that the farmer was ...
Tim's user avatar
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How can a language-learner determine the root, prefix, and suffix of a word in English, if they know its language of origin?

Many English vocabulary-building books (for example, Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder, Word Power Made Easy) break the meaning of words down into three pieces: prefix + root + suffix. On the website ...
Tim's user avatar
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Why are there so few Hellenic languages when there are so many Romance languages? [duplicate]

Both Greece and Rome had huge empires and Greek was even used to administer the Eastern Roman Empire. Christian scriptures are even primarily written in Greek. So why are there so many Romance ...
King-Ink's user avatar
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Is the name "Melisande" related to the Latin for "honey", "Mel"?

Some people say "Melisande" is just French Melissa, which ''is'' clearly derived from "mel", but Wikipedia doesn't mention any such thing for Melisande, instead saying that the ...
Malady's user avatar
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2 answers
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History and Reason of Portuguese accentuation marks

What is the background of having rules for marking the accentuated syllables in Portuguese? For example the word "tecnológica" is a proparoxytone, and all of these words must have a graphic ...
Bernardo Benini Fantin's user avatar
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1 answer
285 views

When did people realize French has its root in Latin?

By investigating into historical documents like Oaths of Strasbourg and applying the comparative method, modern linguists are able to know French is a Romance language. When the components of ...
jywu's user avatar
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Greek root in Latin: Greek ekleiptikos became Latin eclīpticus

How come it's lip and not leip? The English word eclipsis is derived from the Latin eclīpticus, of an eclipse, which is in turn from Greek ekleiptikos, from ekleipein, to fail to appear; Ancient Greek ...
Quora Feans's user avatar
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1 answer
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How did the generic masculine emerge?

In an essay for school I recently claimed the generic masculine was caused by sexism, but my teacher complained that I hadn't given a reason for this. Assuming my hypothesis is correct, how did this ...
zvavybir's user avatar
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Is PIE weyh₁ (to hunt, persecute) somehow related to PIE weyk (to separate, to select for sacrifice)

I am amateurishly passionate about etymologies (especially of my native Romanian) but more seriously interested in the anthropological theories of René Girard and Walter Burkert, which both ...
cipricus's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Does French retain more Celtic words than English does?

English has very few words left from the Ancient British. I am wondering if the language of the Gauls suffered much the same fate, or whether there are significantly more Celtic substrate words ...
Scott's user avatar
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1 answer
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Origin of Latin Non-Finite Verbal Endings

I'm wondering about the origins of the various non-finite verbal endings in Latin. My understanding so far of their PIE origins: Infinitives: Present Active: -s-ey (dative of an s-stem verbal noun) ...
Tristan's user avatar
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How did ⟨x⟩ become /ʃ/ in Iberian Romance?

In Latin, ⟨x⟩ stood for /ks/. I'm a native Portuguese speaker and nowadays in my language this letter can also have the sounds /gz/, /s/, /z/ and /ʃ/. It seems relatively straightforward for me that /...
Mutoh's user avatar
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How Italian "dito" was derived from Latin DĬGĬTU(M)?

I'm trying to figure out which phenomena may be involved in the development of Italian "dito" from Latin DĬGĬTU(M). I think one of them may be a loss of intervocalic -G-, as explained in ...
Charo's user avatar
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-5 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the syllable pri in Classical Latin, Spanish, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese? [duplicate]

What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the syllable pri in Classical Latin, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and possibility other Romance languages? Since Classical Latin has ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
525 views

What is the name of the category for the vibrations that the tongue does in linguistics?

There are guttural sounds such as the French R so I'm guessing that there is name for the category of speech sound in which the tongue vibrates! For example, in the words pater, et rubente http://www....
Ana Maria's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
79 views

What does "torido chaumate" mean? [closed]

What does "torido chaumate" mean? I didn't find these words in Latin.
John's user avatar
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0 answers
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Why did the Latin word marmor became French marbre (which is in present day English marble)?

I would like to know what process suffered the Latin word marmor when it was borrowed in French and became marbre. I know that the process from French marbre to English marble is dissimilation, i.e. ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
512 views

Why is feeling and hearing are the same in Italian?

Sentire means hearing, and at the same time feeling, in Italian and it's used passively in both senses. Mi sento male - I feel bad Ho sentito il tuo nome - I heard your name Why among all senses ...
Bastam Tajik's user avatar
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Do we have evidence of the transition from -mentum to -ment?

Several English words end in -ment: augment, document, movement, moment, segment, etc. According to several dictionaries, the English -ment suffix is in many cases traced to the French -ment, which in ...
Michael's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
195 views

Credible sources for Rho-Rotation?

A teacher of mine recently mentioned a phenomenon in linguistics called "rho-rotation". Across eons and languages if a r/rho sound was next to a vowel it tended to switch postitions and &...
SoccerFan's user avatar
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1 answer
217 views

Are "brat" and "frater" cognates?

Both the Slavic brat (Брат) and the Latin frater mean brother. Are they cognates? Or is their phonetic "proximity" a red herring? Related: How were “bratrъ/bratъ” and “sestra” formed in ...
Rodrigo de Azevedo's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
164 views

Latin -vus/-uus and PIE -wos

What is the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction, if there is one, of the Latin suffixes -tivus (many examples) and -vus/-uus/-ivus (arvus, residuus, cadivus)? I read in a non-reliable source once that ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
529 views

Pronunciation of "ll" in the Romance languages

I have noticed that all the Romance languages (Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, and French) usually pronounce the "ll" like the "y" in "yacht". ...
Arunabh's user avatar
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1 answer
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Origin of بطريق

I read here that the Arabic word بطريق (penguin) ultimately derives from Latin patricius (patrician), through Greek and Aramaic, but I couldn't find any explanation of how and why the shift in meaning ...
UndefinedBehavior's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
184 views

V-Bar Syntax in Latin

I am reading Devine and Stephens Latin Word Order, but without the requisite grounding in formal linguistics. They use the term V-bar syntax, and I am not sure what they mean by this and would like ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Is the Romanian verb "pișca" etymologically related to Spanish "pellizcar" ( to pinch )?

From wiktioanry: "pellizcar (Spain) /peʝiθˈkaɾ/, [pe.ʝiθˈkaɾ] (Latin America) /peʝisˈkaɾ/, [pe.ʝisˈkaɾ]- From Vulgar Latin *vellicicāre, from Latin vellicāre, most likely ultimately from vellus (...
SarruKen's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
682 views

How did Gothic "𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌱𐌰𐌷𐍄𐌹" (andbahti) become Medieval Latin "ambasiator"?

I found the following etymology of the word "ambassador" on Wiktionary. From Middle English ambassadore, from Anglo-Norman ambassadeur, ambassateur, from Old Italian ambassatore, ...
Chickly's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
118 views

How did latin "de post" become Romanian "după"?

Wouldn't the expected result be: "dopă"? I understand that the short "e" was assimilated by the long "o" from the next word, and then /o/ -> /ə/, but why o -> u ? ...
SarruKen's user avatar
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Is there a rule which accounts for a d in PIE becoming a b in Latin?

According to Wikitionary, the Latin word verb is derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *werdʰh₁om which is the etonym of the English word word and the German wort. I am familiar with Grimm's Law ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
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2 answers
102 views

Why is fucus reconstructed as *bhoiko-?

Why is fucus reconstructed as *bhoiko-? Not *bhoikos or *bhoikon? Is "cus" a suffix like in raucus > ravis?
Кузнецов Анатолий's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there a common ancestor between the Hebrew לבן ("lavan", white) and the English "albino"?

I noticed these two words share the same central consonants, and wouldn't it be fascinating if the l-b-n semitic root has a common source to the English "albin-" as in albino and albinism? I ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
284 views

Which Romance languages have three verbs for, and preserved the differences between, Latin's esse, sedere, stare?

Yoïn van Spijk's diagram substantiates that French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish merged at least two of Latin's esse, sedere, stare. Are there any Romance languages which still feature direct ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
128 views

Are Latin causative verb ending -eō and Old Slavic -ити from verbs eō and ити ("to go")?

Are Latin causative verb ending -eō and Old Slavic -ити from verbs eō and ити ("to go")?
Кузнецов Анатолий's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
598 views

Why is the proto-italic reconstruction of "corpora" "*korpezā"?

I was studying rhotacism and I came across the word corpora (plural of corpus). I would reconstruct the proto-italic form as *korpoza, but I saw the entry on Wiktionary and it says that the actual ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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Percentage of Latin loanwords in northern Germanic languages

What is the percentage of Latin loanwords or words that are of ultimate Latin origin even from intermediate languages in each of the northern Germanic languages? I have noticed that there seem to be ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was the word "Jew" originally a racial slur?

The English ethnonyms "Jew" and "Jewish" originate from the Biblical Hebrew "Yehudi" (יהודי, meaning "Judahite," "Judean," or "one from the ...
Loewian's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
236 views

Did Classical Latin lack tenseness contrast in long and short vowels?

Contrary to the traditional supposition of /ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ/ vs /iː uː eː oː/, the idea that Classical Latin contrasted the short and long versions of high and mid (or just mid) vowels only quantitatively, ...
Nardog's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How could Vulgar Latin divide in so many branches in the Balkans in a such small timespan?

From the literature I've read ( Al.Rosetti History of Romanian for example ) it looks like we can talk about Vulgar Latin until the 4th or 5th century in the Balkans, and further than that many ...
SarruKen's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
449 views

The outcome of *woid- in Latin/Italic

The IE root * weid- seems to have meant “to see” and, in its perfective stem * woid-, “to know”. The “know”-semantics of this root are well attested in all the main branches of IE (English wot, Greek ...
user8017's user avatar
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