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In the OLD I find

confīō ~fierī intr. (collateral with pass. of conficio) [con- + fīō]

In Bennett's grammar I find:

The archaic and poetic Present Subjunctive forms duim, duint, perduit, perduint, etc., are not from the root da-, but from du-, a collateral root of similar meaning.

Doing some googling I found

These words are collateral adjectives of Latin origin. These words are not etymologically related to their associated noun forms but are linked semantically.

Here enter link description here

I can't tell exactly what 'collateral' means in these contexts.

Looking up the word in the OED I find

4.A.4 Descended from the same stock, but in a different line; pertaining to those so descended. Opposed to lineal.

So it seems that 'collateral' especially in the first instance means that 'confio' is related to the passive of 'conficio' but has a slightly different meaning. Am I right?

1 Answer 1

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It's pretty much what you quoted:

These words are not etymologically related to their associated noun forms but are linked semantically.

Fio and facio are unrelated etymologically, but in practice fio has been adopted as the passive/intransitive of facio. Same with their prefixed forms.

The wiktionary article on collateral adjectives in English illustrates the same principle. The adjectival form of 'cow' is 'bovine', yet of course they're not at all etymologically related.

For understanding why the term 'collateral' is chosen, it might help to think of its roots: later- from the Latin for 'side', so something that comes together (con-) from the side (later-) (as opposed to e.g. "direct").

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  • Cool, thanks ...
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 23:00

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