Verbs conjugated in -a- (amō, amāre, amāvī, amātus), in -e- (habeō, habēre, habuī, habitus), and in -i- (audio, audīre, audīvī, auditus) are common and well-known. Verbs in -u- (acuō, acuere, acuī, acūtus) are less common and grouped in with the third (consonant) conjugation, but they definitely exist.

But are there any verbs in -o-? They're not common but certainly not unheard of in Greek (e.g. δηλόω dēlóō "show") and their complete absence seems odd in Latin. If there really aren't any, what happened to them?

  • Research lead: -oo verbs. But as a Spanish speaker I can't help looking at the infinitives and say -u- verbs are still -ere verbs – Rafael May 11 '18 at 1:38
  • @Rafael That search is precisely how I produced my answer. (This also addresses Draconis's question below: you can search for words ending with a specific string on Perseus. In fact, it would be useful to have questions about dictionary search tools.) – Joonas Ilmavirta May 11 '18 at 1:42
  • @Rafael Oh, they definitely conjugate just like consonant-stems, but the stems themselves seem to end in -u. (So you get -u-ō, -u-ere, -u-vī > -u-ī, -u-itus > -ūtus or something like that, like how the first conjugation has -a-ō > -ō, -a-ere > āre, -a-vī > -āvī, -a-itus > -ātus.) – Draconis May 11 '18 at 1:42
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Ah, thank you! That's very useful, and I should ask a proper question about these tools when I have a chance. Is it able to search for inflected forms? I tried searching for -oere (which I expected to turn up boere and maybe some actual o-stems) and got nothing. – Draconis May 11 '18 at 1:43
  • @Draconis Perseus won't find inflected forms, but perhaps some other tool out there will. And then there's also the possibility of searching a corpus instead of a dictionary. Example: words ending in -oo. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 11 '18 at 1:47

Lewis and Short give only three Latin words ending in -oo, all of them verbs:

Apart from boere, these are all first conjugation verbs and their present stem ends in a. They are not what you asked for, but they seem to be the closest thing there is in Latin. The form boare also appears as bovare, but boere only without the -v-. Therefore the closest thing to o-stem verbs in Latin is boere, but there may be too few attestations to draw strong conclusions.

  • 2
    These are interesting, but the stems themselves seem to be bova-, rebova-, and incoha-. (L&S mention the v and h, and the a shows in the conjugation. The -a- in bova- can also be seen in the Greek cognate, which is an a-contract.) – Draconis May 11 '18 at 1:35
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    @Draconis True. The point was that these are the closest we have to o-stem verbs in Latin. I'll expand. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 11 '18 at 1:37
  • Out of curiosity, how are you searching L&S for these? I'm used to accessing the text through Perseus, which is great for looking up individual words but not good for finding all the words matching a criterion. – Draconis May 11 '18 at 1:38
  • @Draconis I didn't see Joonas's answer. But I was thinking the same: the roots are more explicitly -are. Yet they are the closest one can think of... Unless there was 1) a verb in -oo, -ois, -oere, or 2) something oddly irregular. 1) seems ruled out by L&S, 2) seems very unlikely to me – Rafael May 11 '18 at 1:45
  • Apart from that…it seems likely that -o-ō would contract to -ō in Latin, like how ama-ō > amō, and dēlóō > dēlô in Greek. Is there any way to search for inflected forms like -oere? – Draconis May 11 '18 at 1:46

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