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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1answer
3k 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 ...
6
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1answer
678 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
144 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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191 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
216 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
330 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
762 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
350 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
953 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 ...
4
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1answer
368 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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2answers
147 views

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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2answers
252 views

What is the etymology of "adventus?" [closed]

What is the complete root etymology of the Latin word "adventus?"
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1answer
550 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
204 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
63 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
101 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, ...
4
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1answer
698 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.
4
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1answer
643 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
417 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
836 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
464 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
763 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
173 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
299 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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2answers
993 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 ...
4
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1answer
291 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
388 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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1answer
118 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 "...
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1answer
74 views

Does '-ous' imply no interruption, and '-al' the possibility of interruption?

I already know that 'continuous' is stronger than continual, but that both derive from the same Latin etymon continuus. These answers on ELU evidence this difference, but does not explain the cause. ...
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1answer
592 views

Why is the past participle of the French « lire » « lu », but « rire » « ri »?

Phonologically,« lire » and « rire » sound like a minimal pair, with the first letter as the only difference. So what might explain the difference between their « participes passé »? Their etymons ...
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1answer
85 views

How does a rule explain how « à chef » evolved into « achever »?

Etymonline refers to the "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language" by Auguste Brachet, translated by G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878. Its entry for achever, on page 152 of 558, states: For f =...
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3answers
205 views

Did the Latin '-que' mean "any, also, ever'?

ubiquity (n.) [...] + que "any, also, and, ever," as a suffix giving universal meaning to the word it is attached to, from PIE root * kwe "and." Did Etymonline err? I know that -que is an enclitic, ...
2
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1answer
83 views

What does an 'organic' letter mean?

simultaneous (adj.) [:] 1650s, from Medieval Latin simultaneus, perhaps from simultim "at the same time," extended from Latin simul "at the same time" (see similar (adj.)), or from simul with ...
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2answers
596 views

How did French lose the Latin -v-? [duplicate]

[Source:] Loss of Latin -v- is regular in French in some situations (compare alleger from alleviare; neige from nivea; jeune from juvenis. A different sound evolution from the Latin word yielded ...
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1answer
1k views

How did the Greek 'tropos' evolve to the Latin 'tropus'?

Etymology [ of French 'trouver' ] From Old French trover, truver, from Vulgar Latin *tropāre, present active infinitive of *tropō, from Latin tropus; confer trope. Etymology [ of Latin '...
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2answers
297 views

How did the Latin stem '-duce' evolve to mean 'from an effect'?

From the following (on the 3 derivatives of ducere), both 'induction' and 'abduction' presuppose 'an effect', but 'deduction' produces (I intended this use of another derivative of ducere) 'the ...
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1answer
171 views

How did the prefix 'ob-' function in Latin 'opprobare'? [closed]

opprobrious (adj.) [...] from Latin opprobare "to reproach, taunt," from ob "against" (see ob-) + probrum "reproach, infamy." Etymological sense is "disgrace attached to conduct considered shameful."...
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1answer
260 views

What do the labels mean in this latin pos tagging?

I'm using cltk, a Python library for processing of classical languages. I'm pos-tagging an example sentence, but I don't understand the output. tagger.tag_unigram('Gallia est omnis divisa in partes ...
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1answer
127 views

How to learn more about contradictory or superfluous affixes efficiently?

Instead of questioning each word's prefixes, how can I learn more productively? E.g. I was researching the etymology of the French verb 'accabler': [I quoted Wiktionary in French; the English ...
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0answers
912 views

'penance' vs 'penitence'

penance (n.) [←] late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from ...
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0answers
159 views

Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

French: s'abstenir de    Spanish: abstenerse de    English: abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (...
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2answers
216 views

Why does "date" in Portuguese became "data", while in Dutch "datum" is used?

I didn't study Latin, but I can recognize when a noun is singular or plural. It's weird that date is used in the singular form data in Portuguese - a Neo-Latin language - while Dutch contains the ...
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3answers
312 views

Why did Latin fragment so much?

I'm not sure exactly when almost the entire population was exposed to Mass but until Protestantism everyone heard Latin every Sunday and Good Friday and Holy Thursday and Christmas and Epiphany and ...
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3answers
236 views

How does the prefix 'ad-' function in 'attribute'?

attribute (v.) [<--] late 14c., "assign, bestow," from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere "assign to, add, bestow;" figuratively "to attribute, ascribe, impute," from ad- "to" +...
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1answer
238 views

'stipend' : How did 'a tree trunk' evolve to mean 'payment, gift'?

stipend (n.)    early 15c., "periodical payment; soldier's pay," from Latin stipendium "tax, impost, tribute," in military use "pay, salary," from stips "alms, small payment, contribution of ...
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1answer
2k views

How did the Vulgar Latin 'parabola' evolve to mean 'word'?

parable (n.)    mid-13c., parabol, modern form from early 14c., "saying or story in which something is expressed in terms of something else," from Old French parable "parable, parabolic style ...
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0answers
784 views

What does the prefix 'ab-' mean in the Latin verb 'abundare' ?

abound (v.) early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + ...
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3answers
3k views

How did the Latin ''putare' evolve into all these different meanings?

2. [Etymonline:] ... putare   [=]   "reckon, clear up, trim, prune, settle" (see pave) 3. [Notre Dame:] 4. think, believe, suppose, hold; 5. reckon, estimate, value; 6. clear up, settle;...