9

Tuomo Pekkanen's Latin grammar mentions (§52.3) that the -e- added to the present stem before -nd- in the gerund and gerundive (in the third and fourth conjugations) can be replaced with a -u-. For example, mittendus = mittundus and faciendus = faciundus. No more details are given.

When can I one replace the typical -e- with -u-? Is this specific to some era, author, or verbs? Would it be appropriate to occasionally make the replacement in any context?

I wanted to understand the -e-/-u- variations in gerund(ive)s better. The variations can also be across words, not only within single words; I consider both variations to be essentially the same phenomenon.

  • It's the older form. Consider also the old present passive participle alumnus (from alo, alere), which would've probably been alemnus had it been formed in Classical Latin. – Anonym Jul 12 '17 at 23:52
  • @Anonym Somehow I suspected that might be the case, but I had no evidence for it. Can you post that as an answer? – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 12 '17 at 23:59
  • Possibly relevant: dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/present-stem a page from Allen and Greenough that mentions that e/i/u in this kind of context generally comes from a Proto-Indo-European "thematic vowel" which apparently had ablaut variants *e (> Latin e, i) and *o (> Latin u) – Asteroides Jul 13 '17 at 0:26
  • Gerends? Gerendives? – Draconis Aug 29 '19 at 16:28
  • @Draconis I'm sure such forms would make many furibend if not moribend. – Joonas Ilmavirta Aug 29 '19 at 16:49
7
+50

Weiss writes that

"The u-forms are characteristic of legal and archaizing style, e.g. pecuniae repetundae (the recovery of extorted money), and are found in the isolated forms secundus 'following' and rotundus 'round' (p. 444; emphasis mine - Alex B.).

Powell 2007/2011 adds that even though "the gerundive suffix in -undus, rather than -endus, has an old-fashioned flavor and is characteristic of legal Latin," "neither confined to it nor universal in it" (p. 482, note 21; emphasis mine - Alex B.).

As for specific authors, Leumann 1977 (p. 331) mentions first Plautus and Terence (Neue and Wagener write that the u-forms are gewöhnliche, i.e. usual/normal, in Plautus and Terence, p. 332); also Sallust and Gellius, cf.:

c) Für -endo- erscheint bei Verben der 3. und 4. Konjug. archaisierend oft -undo- (aus -ondo-), so meist Plt. Ter., dann Sall. Gell., auch inschr. Lex repett. (ausgenommen 65 tribuendei, also hinter u), D 620 veniundum est; archaisch wohl emundi und vendundi bei Cic.; alte Formel dat. iure dicundo; immer eundo- (wie ptc. eunt-) zu īre. Nur hinter u u̯ qu̯ scheint -undo- früh gemieden worden zu sein (doch beachte oben secundus): loquendi Plt., volvendus Enn., restituendos D 460, oben tribuendei. Danach ist vermutlich ursprüngliches -ondo- an ptc. -ent- zu -endo- angeglichen worden; bei dieser Annahme kann das -end- nicht auf idg. -n̥d- zurückgehen.

From the above quote from Leumann, we can also learn that in verbs whose stem ended in u, u̯, qu the u-forms were avoided in Latin - the only exception to this observation seems to be secundus.

For more examples, see pp. 331-340 in Neue and Wagener 1897, volume 3: Das Verbum

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    @hexadecimal Let me try to clarify the point Alex B. and sumelic are making. The stem in oriundus is ori-, and it ends in i. However, if the stem ends in u, , or qu, then -undus is not possible; -endus is the only option. The only exception to this rule is secundus (< sequundus?). Here the stem ends in qu. The rule only concerns verbs with stem ending in u, , or qu, so oriri (like most other verbs) is not covered by this rule. For example, this rule prohibits loquundum but not trahundum. Is this clearer? – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 25 '17 at 5:23
4

To clarify a little more.

In Gramatica Latina (latin grammar) by Santiago Segura:

Participe of passive future: It is also called verbal adjective in -NDUS and gerundive and is formed by adding to the present theme the suffix -ND-US, -ND-A, -ND-UM, sometimes by -e- (3rd and 4th conjugation): ama- ndus, -a, -um; dele-nd-us, -a, -um; leg-e-nd-us, -a, -um; cap-i-e-nd-dus, -a, -um; audi-e-nd-us, -a, -um. It is declined as a bonus, -a, -um.

In the archaic period the verbs of the 3rd and 4th conjugation offer forms in -undus (with vocalism o> u, instead of e): legundis, deferundo, querundai, repetunda. The analogical action of the present participle in -e-ns, -e-ntis made generalize the form in -endus, surviving scarce forms in -undus in the archaizing language of the law (repetundis) or as adjectives (oriundus, secundus and others).

| improve this answer | |
2

Just to add on to Alex B's answer, though I can't offer as authoritative of sources:

Would it be appropriate to occasionally make the replacement in any context?

In the late Republican period, the answer seems to be yes, but it sounds a bit archaic. I'd compare it to putting the object before the verb in English ("speaking with the object the verb preceding"): people will understand it readily, and it's perfectly acceptable for poetic purposes, but it's not how people actually speak in day to day life.

Historically, based on corpus searches:

  • Plautus and Terence tend to prefer -und- over -end-, though they use both
  • Cato tends to prefer -end- over -und-, though he uses both
  • Both Sallust and Lucretius chose to use -und- almost universally as a stylistic choice, and were both considered deliberately archaicizing—but not difficult to understand
  • Caesar uses -und- very rarely, heavily preferring -end-
  • Cicero uses -end- (almost?) exclusively
  • Vergil never uses -und- as far as I can tell, except in fossilized secundum

So in the famous authors at least, it's clear that -und- was steadily dying out in the second century BCE, and was considered somewhat archaic during the first.

After that, during Imperial times, it was presumably still understood, but I haven't been able to find it used with any sort of frequency. I assume it was treated more like the verb endings -est and -eth in English: people will still unambiguously understand "whither goest thou?", but even in poetry it's considered extremely archaic, and is a stylistic affectation more than anything else.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.