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Questions tagged [latin]

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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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 ...
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1answer
58 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
216 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 (...
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3answers
201 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 ...
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2answers
194 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 ...
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2answers
266 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.
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1answer
185 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" ...
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762 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 ⟨...
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1answer
186 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
84 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,...
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1answer
94 views

What are the theories for Spanish and French/ Romance languages not coming from Latin?

I know Yves Cortez came up with theories suggesting that French and Spanish/ Romance languages came from old Italian instead of Latin. He argued that this is because Latin was only the written ...
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1answer
79 views

is there “i” suffix that makes verb from noun, in latin or its ancestors? etymology of tio(n) suffix [closed]

Wiktionary says on PIE -h₃onh₂-: Descendants Italic: ... Latin: -iō (from *-i-h₃onh₂-) (e.g. legiō (“group of selected people”)) Latin: -ō (e.g. Nāsō (“having a conspicuous nose”), poss. ...
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1answer
84 views

What determines how a language creates new words? For example, is it likely for English to continue to create new words from Latin in future?

In particular, I'm curious about the phenomenon where a language creates most new, modern words using a dead ancient language, rather than its existing, living original word roots. One example is ...
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1answer
244 views

Did Romance languages evolve in North Africa?

So, I know that the dialects of Vulgar Latin evolved into the Romance languages in the Western Roman Empire, but I've always wondered why they only formed in Europe instead of in North Africa. Does ...
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2answers
114 views

Common language root for dom, domain

Earlier today I was wondering about the similarity of domain (eng), domaine (fr) and the words for home or house dom (rus), dům (cz) makes me think they have some common root, is that true? If so, ...
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4answers
255 views

Why did English “man” and Latin “homo” take both the senses “gender-neutral human” and “male adult”?

Why did English "man" and Latin "homo" take both the sense "gender-neutral human" and "male adult"? According to etymonline.com, English "man", and incidentally Latin "homo" (which originally meant "...
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3answers
126 views

Evolution in number of words from Greek to Latin to modern languages

I once read somewhere that Greek used, say, three or four words to express an idea; Latin used five or six words to express the same idea; and nowadays we use eight to ten words to express the same ...
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0answers
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The Indogermanic r-mediopassive and the Latin ending -mini from a broader perspective

This question is a follow-up to this question Latin passive endings: Why is -mini sticking out. The Latin 2nd person plural passive ending mini has attracted the attention of scholars for centuries, ...
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0answers
107 views

Was Latin A Nasalized Language?

Thinking about it, most of the Romance languages I have heard nasalize vowels quite frequently and it seems consistent: that has me wondering, is there any evidence to show that Latin was a heavily-...
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2answers
137 views

To what extent are Zero Period loans from Latin into Germanic evidence that the Germanic peoples acquired technologies from the Romans?

The Germanic roots of wine, street, cheese, and many other words were loaned into Proto-Germanic from Latin during the ‘zero period’. Can the fact that these were loaned from Germanic into Latin be ...
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1answer
152 views

How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é?

How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é? Considering the two following examples: modern French état ("state; status") and été ("been"). Both derives ultimately ...
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1answer
338 views

Are Latin “virīlis”, Punjabi “vīr”, Old Irish “fer” , Wels “gwr” and Hindi “var” related?

Are all the words above from the same root (PIE)? Or are these a bunch of false cognates like behtar (Farsi) better (English).
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4answers
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Languages preserving loanword inflections

Erudite English has an interesting practice where the plural form of loanwords may follow the inflectional grammar of the source language. Thus "campi" as well as "campuses", "minima" as well as "...
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2answers
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Is there a known reason for the position of the stress in “concupisc-” words in English?

The words concúpiscent, concúpiscence, concúpiscible seem to be irregularly stressed (at least, according to their dictionary pronunciations; regularized pronunciations apparently have been heard "in ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does “Vacuum” have two “u's,” and how is it pronounced?

I am curious, why does "vacuum" have two "u's?" I am aware that it is a Latin-derived-Word, so therefore it was probably pronounced [wakwum], logically. Is this correct? I can understand us English ...
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1answer
418 views

Derivatives of Latin *mulier* in French

It is well known that the derivatives of Latin mulier and fēmina competed in Romance languages as the main word for `woman'. For instance, the former remained as Spanish mujer and Portuguese mulher (...
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1answer
75 views

Open Dataset Latin Verb Forms

Is there an open data set (freely available, permissive license) of latin grammar available ? I am thinking about verbs and translations alongside verb forms in various tenses and cases etc. The ...
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3answers
123 views

Spanish Stem Change

I'm looking at a set of data right and I'm a bit confused on how to tackle this. The data is showing a stem alternation of some verbs with [e] and [o] and no change in others. I know this is due to ...
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2answers
187 views

Reverse-etymology resources

Are there any resources which, given a Latin or Greek word, reference modern English words derived from the word? I find it much easier to remember a root when I know a word derived from it. For a ...
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1answer
141 views

Have Latin and Romance languages evolved from vowel to consonant variety?

Seeing information on Latin, there are many diphtongs, and less consonants, or at least less letters for them. Nowadays among Romance languages, only Portuguese has a bit complex vowel system (like ...
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1answer
143 views

Why were some letters missing in Latin?

There are some curiosities about Classic Latin like V standing for modern V, U, and W altogether, and sounding like U and W, not today's Romance V I standing for I, Y, and the modern Romance J (yota) ...
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1answer
119 views

Fronting of /u/ from Latin to French

When Latin evolved to French, the vowel /u/ fronted to become /y/... except in Latin "VRSVS" /ur.sus/ > French "ours" /uʁs/, in which the vowel /u/ was kept. I do not think that the /rs/ environment ...
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1answer
434 views

How “fluent” do professional classicists get in reading Latin and Greek? How do they do it?

I've learned to an intermediate reading level Latin, Greek, Sanskrit and Classical Arabic. As a foreign language teacher, I'm well aware of current SLA research and the focus on communication and ...
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1answer
180 views

Latin to French - evolution of certain forms of “FACERE > faire”

All forms of the Latin verb "FACERE" that went to French had a "c", but it has disappeared in all forms of the French verb "faire". In FACIS > fais, the "c" completely disappeared. In FACIUNT > font,...
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When did the concept of constituent movement arise?

As far back as the mid 1700s, William Ward considered the following phrase in An Essay on Grammar applied to the English Language. the flowers which a lady sitting on the seat in a garden views with ...
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133 views

What is the etymology of “adventus?” [closed]

What is the complete root etymology of the Latin word "adventus?"
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1answer
200 views

Why did “exempli gratia” (e.g.) and “id est” (i.e.) become widespread in English, but not in other languages?

Usage of the abbreviations "e.g." and "i.e." is very common in English, but not so much in other language. In Dutch they are used sometimes, but they are recent imports due to a lot of exposure to ...
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1answer
128 views

Are “oivai ” and “always” related?

I know that the English "always" comes literally from "all ways". the Bavarian "oivai" sounds almost the same, means the same, but doesn't seem to be as straight forward. While "oi" means "all" and "...
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1answer
51 views

What does the text on this building say? [closed]

A friend of mine spotted this while waking around Amsterdam. I don't recognize the script and can't make sense of it so I thought I'd ask for your help. What's that text between XXXVII and ANNO? What ...
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0answers
83 views

In a Latin ablative absolute, how is the ablative case being used?

In Latin, a common way of expressing when an action is happening relative to another action is to use an ablative absolute, consisting of an ablative noun and an ablative participle. As an example, ...
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1answer
354 views

Did Latin have lower-case letters and a full stop at the end of sentences in the 1st century AD?

Did Latin have lower-case letters and a full stop at the end of sentences in the 1st century AD? Googling doesn't seem to yield a definitive answer.
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1answer
272 views

How did the letter “v” come to represent the voiced labio dental fricative?

When I learned Latin we were taught classical pronunciation. When it came to the letter "v" we were taught to pronounce it as /w/. It was also explained that many people (my parents, for example) had ...
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1answer
83 views

How did 'of' absorb so many meanings?

[OED:] The primary sense was ‘away’, ‘away from’, a sense now obsolete, except in so far as it is retained under the spelling off (see off adv., prep., n.1, and adj.). All the existing uses of of are ...
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1answer
172 views

The use of the word terribilissimo in Latin?

I was watching the anime Black Butler the other day when a song was played. I looked up the song to see what the lyrics were. I came across several sources that read the same and was sung in Latin. ...
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1answer
428 views

Is there any Sanskrit-Greek-Latin-English dictionary available?

Is there any Sanskrit-Greek-Latin-English dictionary [including online] available? I am so much interested in etymological study. I will be grateful for any help.
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1answer
249 views

Do each intensive prefix intensify a verb uniquely and differently from other intensive prefixes?

Please feel free to emend this if I have not described my question cogently. Though knowing little of Latin, I have exemplified with it because I have encountered it more than Ancient Greek. For ...
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1answer
317 views

What is the meaning of “Mar”? [closed]

I am wondering what is the meaning of ," Mar" part of some words such as Margarita, Maria, Martin? I appreciate your answer! Thanks in advance! Margarita
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0answers
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Please recommend books or resources written in Spanish, for learning Latin for the first time? [duplicate]

This question restricts the second (unanswered) part here, with the additional stipulation that the reader has studied and knows no Latin whatsoever (but who knows that Spanish is a Romance language ...
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2answers
110 views

The Sound of Latin

Hopefully this isn't considered off topic. Are there any audio-video works of art or linguistics that have highly accurate (based on our best reconstructions) depictions of Classical Latin speech in ...
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1answer
250 views

Why is the letter “Q” visually simillar to “O”?

G was created out of C by adding an additional line, for an obvious reason as they represented similar sounds in Latin. But why is Q pretty much O with an additional line? These two letter do not ...