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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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-4 votes
0 answers
98 views

How does computational linguistics improve the analysis of Latin morphology? [closed]

The application of computational methods, such as machine learning and natural language processing, helps linguists to automate the analysis of Latin morphology. I have misunderstood what the author ...
-2 votes
0 answers
50 views

Is cum a conj. or relative adv., which introduces an adverbial subordinate clause? [closed]

Learn to Read Latin says on p119 cum (conj.) when; since; although Oxford Latin Dictionary says cum 1 prep. ... cum 2, quom rel. adv. [acc. of qui 1] 1 (introducing a cl. determining the time ...
-3 votes
0 answers
81 views

why does né introduce a positive fear clause instead of a negative one? [closed]

Learn to Read Latin by Keller says on p470 né (conj.) introduces positive Fear clause, that (§137) ut (conj.) introduces negative Fear clause,that . . . not (§137) and on p473 A verb or other ...
-1 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is -ce in Latin a clitic or suffix?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clitic defines clitic as: a word that is treated in pronunciation as forming a part of a neighboring word and that is often unaccented or contracted. Is it ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
8k views

Hebrew "shemen" versus Latin "semen"

Is the etymology of the word "semen" (eng. "seed") in Latin connected to the hebrew word שֶׁמֶן "shemen" (eng. "ointment")? I've just read a peculiar article that attempted to make this connection: ...
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the origin of the Latin suffix -alis/-alia?

What is the origin of the Latin suffix -alis/-alia? Can it be an Etruscan borrowing? Is Russian adjectival suffix -аль- a borrowing from Latin?
-1 votes
1 answer
162 views

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?
9 votes
1 answer
5k views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
153 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

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?
0 votes
0 answers
98 views

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?
2 votes
3 answers
250 views

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: ...
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

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.
12 votes
3 answers
36k views

Why is "Aurora Borealis" from Greek, but "Aurora Australis" from Latin? [closed]

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. ...
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
97 views

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 ...
9 votes
5 answers
3k 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?
39 votes
5 answers
9k 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 votes
2 answers
104 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 (“...
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
109 views

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) ...
10 votes
2 answers
636 views

How does L. "quartus" come from L. "quattuor", which has "quat" but "quart"?

quartus From Latin quattuor ("four"), originally from Proto-Indo-European As at July 2 2021, the Etymology at the same link for quartus Wiktionary has changed. From Proto-Indo-European *...
1 vote
1 answer
284 views

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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
191 views

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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
106 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did it happen that K was introduced to Latin alphabet in place of C and C started to mark /t͡s/ or /s/ in many languages?

I know that K has been derived from Greek kappa and C from gamma. But how did it happen that people started to use K in place of C? From what I know there were already C and G in the Latin alphabet ...
3 votes
1 answer
292 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
975 views

Was there a Greek or Latin name spelled "Jesus" or similarly before the advent of Christianity?

Many of the originally Barbarian names in history were Christianized. Many Christian saints with Slavic/Germanic names were given similar-sounding Greek and Latin names. In this way "Kuzma" (...
1 vote
1 answer
159 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
584 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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
276 views

Origin of Italian plurals

Some sources say that italian plurals come from the nominative case, so "italiano" has the plural "italiani", and "italiana" has the plural "italiane". However ...
7 votes
2 answers
599 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 ...
36 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is the word "war" in Romance languages predominantly of Germanic origin instead of Latin?

I wonder why in all Romance languages the word "war" ("guerra", with their multiple intonations) is a term that comes from Germanic languages, and that no modern language resembles ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
30 votes
7 answers
16k views

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 ...
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 (...
2 votes
1 answer
365 views

Scrambling in Languages like Latin

Consider a clause in Latin that has n words. Latin frequently uses scrambling, so there are n! possible ways to arrange that clause given a free word order. However, Latin writers use only a small ...
3 votes
2 answers
434 views

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 /...
0 votes
1 answer
268 views

Etymology of latin suffix -idus

What is the (probably Indo-European) origin of the latin suffix -idus, as in "acidus"? Are there any known cognates?
1 vote
0 answers
123 views

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 ...
-5 votes
1 answer
76 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
533 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....
4 votes
2 answers
196 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 &...
3 votes
2 answers
231 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 ...
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there a form descending from Latin genitive plural somewhere in modern Romance languages?

The Latin genitive plurals in -rum are very noticeable in the paradigm. Be it first declension in -ārum, second in -ōrum, or fifth in -ērum, they are heavyweight, attract accent and basicall stand out ...

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