10

(Psalm 4:2) cum invocarem exaudivit me Deus iustitiae meae in tribulatione dilatasti mihi miserere mei et exaudi orationem meam

When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.

From the context of the above Psalm verse, dilatasti seems to be 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative. Moreover, that is the parsing information given by this site.

However, my Latin dictionary lists dilatavi as the third principal part, which means dilatavi is the 1st-person singular perfect active indicative. Therefore, it seems that dilatavisti would be the 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative. Moreover, Wiktionary lists dilatavisti as the 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative.

Which is the correct form?

  • Some of these contracted verb forms, sometimes called 'syncopated.' – Hugh Dec 13 '18 at 22:34
14

This is a contracted perfect form, which is fairly common in poetry, particularly in the first conjugation.

Basically, whenever you have a second person perfect active ending in -āvisti (like amāvisti "you loved"), it can be contracted to -āsti without changing the meaning (e.g. amāsti "you loved").

It's somewhat like how English uses "don't" instead of "do not": no change in meaning, but shorter, and sometimes fits the poetic meter better.

  • So they're both grammatically correct? – Pascal's Wager Dec 13 '18 at 19:01
  • A handy guide to this and other kinds of contraction: thelatinlibrary.com/101/contractions.pdf – brianpck Dec 13 '18 at 19:03
  • 3
    @Pascal'sWager Yep! Which one to use is really up to individual choice. – Draconis Dec 13 '18 at 19:05
  • 2
    @Pascal'sWager This is also in the parsing information on Perseus: "contr" means contracted – b a Dec 13 '18 at 20:19
  • 1
    It's also worth noting that these contracted forms are the ancestors of modern Romance forms, e.g., Spanish 2nd sg preterit amaste from L. amasti. – varro Dec 13 '18 at 20:56

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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