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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2answers
2k 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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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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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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521 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
188 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
252 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
103 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
140 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
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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
152 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
629 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
139 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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135 views

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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149 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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190 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
254 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
473 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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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
196 views

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
2k 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
603 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
111 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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161 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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203 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
244 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
457 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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2answers
294 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
814 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
300 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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237 views

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

What is the complete root etymology of the Latin word "adventus?"
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1answer
490 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
173 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
62 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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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
558 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
526 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
95 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
307 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
695 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
389 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
723 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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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
146 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
276 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 ...
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625 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 ...
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1answer
245 views

*sn > n (in Latin)

The older consonant cluster sn- loses its s in Latin: nix "snow" vs. English snow cēna "supper" vs. older Latin cesna Two questions: 1) Since word-medial -sn- was clearly lost within the history ...
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1answer
346 views

What explains the sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- ?

abridge (v.) [...] from Old French abregier "abridge, diminish, shorten," from Late Latin abbreviare "make short" (see abbreviate). The sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- is ...
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What connects 'through, by means of' and 'between', with ''around'?

for {English}   Etymology : From Middle English for, from Old English for ‎(“for, on account of, for the sake of, through, because of, owing to, from, by reason of, as to, in order to”), from [3.] ...
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1answer
104 views

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 "...