Most newly-formed Latin verbs were put into the nice, regular first conjugation: both deriving from existing words (dīcō, -ere > dīctō, -āre) and with borrowings (Graecissō, -āre).

English is mostly the same, with verbs like google, googled, googled and xerox, xeroxed, xeroxed falling into the "weak conjugation". But occasionally, existing words will fall into the rare, mostly-closed "strong conjugation": dive, dove, dived. And even more rarely, newly-coined verbs will end up in the "strong conjugation": yeet, yote, yoten.

Did this ever happen in Latin? That is, did a Latin word ever shift from the first conjugation into a different one, or was a newly-coined verb put into one of the other conjugations?


One example of derivation pushing first conjugation verbs to the third conjugation is given by prefixed versions of dare. The short a is weakened and one ends up with verbs like addere which behave according to the third conjugation.

A second example arises in derivation of verbs from adjectives. You can derive ruber > rubere and albus > albere and many others. These second conjugation verbs describe state rather than action.

If you are willing to stretch the definition of "newly-coined verb", one example is adding prefixes to just about any verb and another one is deriving new verbs from facere/fieri by adding something like cale-.

  • 1
    BTW some of what look like prefixed versions of dare are probably not from the root of dare, but from that of facio -- according to de Vaan this is the case for addere. But your point holds for other verbs.
    – TKR
    Apr 23 '19 at 0:43
  • @TKR That is surprising; facere and dare seem to be pretty far from each other phonetically and the perfect and participle stems do match dare quite well. What would be a safe prefixed version of dare then? Dedere?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 23 '19 at 2:57
  • @JoonasIlmavirta♦: I believe there are two Latin stems with d-, one from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning "give", the other from a root meaning "put, make" or similar. I think the Proto-Indo-European of the latter was something like *dʰe-, also present in Greek tithêmi (root the-) and Latin facio. I forgot when Proto-Indo-European *dʰ turns into d in Latin, and when into f.
    – Cerberus
    Apr 24 '19 at 21:44
  • @Cerberus If I remember right, all the "voiced aspirates" become /f/ initially, and become normal voiced consonants medially? Something like that. It's why we have futūrus with /f/ but amābō with /b/, both from *bʰ.
    – Draconis
    Apr 24 '19 at 21:57
  • That's pretty much right. Facere < *dʰeh₁-, dare < *deh₃-. Medial *dʰ becomes Latin d, so prefixed -dere could come from either.
    – TKR
    Apr 25 '19 at 3:21

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