Questions tagged [derivation]

For questions about deriving words from other words, like "dictator" from "dictare".

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19
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4answers
416 views

Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I know the Romans did derive verbs from nouns (laudare, finire, lucere…), but did they ever derive verbs from names? The Greeks did, for example forming homerizein (ὁμηρίζ&...
17
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1answer
1k views

Are there feminine and neuter versions of “professor”?

From many verbs one can derive an agent noun for each gender: computare > computator (m), computatrix (f), computatrum (n) scribere > scriptor, scriptrix, scriptrum Some of these derivatives ...
15
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2answers
255 views

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

I've been reading some Latin of the 17th and 18th centuries and am wondering if it is possible for there to be "double diminutives." As I understand it, the word "cerebellum" (Oxford Latin = "brain") ...
14
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2answers
771 views

What is the difference between -us and -io?

One can derive nouns from verbs by attaching -us or -io to the perfect participle stem. For example, movere gives rise to motus (fourth declension) and motio. The meanings of these derived words are ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Constructing Latin diminutives

In the course of trying to construct an accurate diminutive form of the word abdomen - which for the record is Latin in origin (in the form abdōmen), having been borrowed by English via Middle French -...
14
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1answer
1k views

What does the suffix -mentum add to a word's meaning?

Lewis and Short lists 275 words ending in -mentum, many of which have come into English: argumentum augmentum documentum fragmentum pigmentum segmentum etc. Wiktionary (cited as an example, not as ...
13
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1answer
117 views

When did nouns and adjectives derived from pronouns appear?

Latin has some nouns and adjectives derived from pronouns: unicus, identitas, qualitas, neutralis… I have the impression that such derivations are mainly later than classical, but I do not ...
12
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1answer
235 views

How can participles (inflected forms) be distinguished from deverbal adjectives (derived forms) in Latin?

Many modern linguistic analyses of languages like English draw a sharp theoretical distinction between participles, which are analyzed as inflected forms belonging to the paradigm of some verb, and ...
11
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5answers
756 views

Verbing in Latin

Do we have any cases where the Romans intentionally conjugated a noun or adjective into a verb? This is common in English and other modern languages, so I'm assuming it is a natural concept. However, ...
11
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2answers
251 views

Did grammarians consider the adverbial -e a case ending?

For adjectives of the first and second declension, the corresponding adverb is formed with the ending -e. For example, pulchre (beautifully) comes from pulcher (beautiful). Canonically this -e is ...
10
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2answers
449 views

How is the supine related to the derived fourth declension noun?

I asked yesterday about the word venatu. There was a good answer and good comments, but I want to ask a broader related question more specifically — especially due to TKR's comment. I want to ...
9
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2answers
267 views

Why homicide instead of hominicide?

The word homicida is attested in classical Latin, and the English "homicide" is an obvious loan. The word seems to come from homo and caedere. Why is the first part homi- instead of homini-? The stem ...
9
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1answer
152 views

Interchange between u- and o-stem forms in suffixed derivatives (e.g. “lectus”, “lectuarius”)

A little while back, I asked a question about the alleged Latin word "tribalis" (which it seems was not actually used), and I mentioned that it seemed to me that it would be an irregular formation ...
9
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1answer
152 views

Is cultura a future participle?

Some nouns derived from verbs look like future participles: cultura from colere, sepultura from sepelire, scriptura from scribere… These do not have a future meaning, but are merely names for ...
9
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1answer
185 views

Deriving adjectives from city names

One can often derive adjectives from city names, the most famous example probably being Romanus from Roma. Such derivatives are typically formed with -anus or -ensis. My impression is that -anus is ...
9
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2answers
160 views

Translating -ish and -aster endings

There are ways in Latin of expressing less-than-completeness, but I'm intrigued by the strange-ish (!) and allegedly related etymologies given in English dictionaries for these two endings, which are ...
8
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3answers
552 views

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

I recently read a joke about the use of Latin -tor and -trix nouns in modern English. The punchline was that "trix is for kids". This got me wondering: Is there a way to make diminutives from agent ...
8
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1answer
108 views

Niveus and nivosus

I would like to compare the two adjectives niveus and nivosus derived from nix, "snow". My prior understanding of these words was that niveus is "snow-white" and nivosus is "snowy", but L&S tells ...
8
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2answers
270 views

Can the supine ablative be used for motion?

I came across an Asterix translated into Latin. In the first story page the village chief notices that Asterix and Obelix return from a hunt and says: Asterix atque Obelix venatu redeunt! My question ...
8
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2answers
1k views

A verb for networking

What would be a good Latin verb for networking? I don't mean the study of computer networks, but the verb "to network" in the sense of making new acquaintances for business or other purpose. In ...
8
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1answer
253 views

Variations on the diminutive: -olus and -ulus

The usual Latin diminutive suffix is -ulus (or -ula or -ulum). However, it sometimes appears as -olus, like in filiolus, aculeolus, petiolus, and bestiola. (And perhaps Venezuela, Venetiola, is a ...
8
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1answer
192 views

Negativus and positivus

When, if ever, did the adjectives negativus and positivus evolve into an antonym pair like the English "negative" and "positive", and how did positivus get this meaning? Deriving negativus from the ...
8
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1answer
505 views

What augmentative options are there in Latin?

Augmentative, the opposite of diminutive, is a derived word that means greater size or extent. Diminutives are common and productive in Latin, but how about the opposite? Some Romance languages have ...
7
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2answers
244 views

Inflections of Ζεύς

Διώνη is the name of a Titaness, a nymph, and Phoenician goddess. And according to the Wikipedia article on said Titaness, it's derived from the feminine form of the genitive of Ζεύς. And according to ...
7
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1answer
275 views

Nominalized adjective in Latin?

How to nominalize adjectives in Latin? In English, adjectives can be nominalized with a slight different in meaning: "the sick man", "the sick". In German, it's possible to nominalize the present ...
7
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1answer
262 views

How does one show that a person or thing is the performer of an action?

I've noticed that many Latin verbs can be turned into nouns (like the English do and doer). But, what's the process of this in Latin? I can find some terms in dictionaries, but most don't seem to have ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Suffix counterpart of klepto-?

I'm trying to come up with a suffix counterpart to the prefix klepto- (basically meaning "related to theft"), seeing that no such thing exists (and thus what I'm doing is technically neologism). For ...
7
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1answer
211 views

Is the noun Bonum, -i simply a substantive of the adjective Bonus, -a -um?

The noun Bonum ("a good thing") seems to have taken on a life of its own as a distinct word in Latin usage. In derivation and meaning, is this simply a neuter substantive of the adjective Bonus ("...
7
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1answer
151 views

Italiānus “native or inhabitant of Italy” - Latin or Macaronicanese?

I've come across the adjective italiānus in reference to the modern people of Italy, their culture and language in Internet Latin, and found it suspicious. I would like to know: whether it's ...
7
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1answer
330 views

Why do numbered months in the ancient Roman calendar have different suffixes?

Wikipedia and other sites detail the (possibly legendary) ancient Roman "Calendar of Romulus": I'm curious about the suffixes to the "numbered" months, the fifth through tenth. The names of the ...
7
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1answer
572 views

How to derive nouns from adjectives?

I know several ways to derive nouns from adjectives: audax > audacia, laetus > laetitia, pius > pietas, magnus > magnitudo. Questions: Are there any rules that govern which one of -ia, -itia, -tas ...
7
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1answer
141 views

What would the correct translation of “anonymity” be in Latin?

I know that the translation of "anonymous" is anōnymus. However, it's a bit unclear which suffix to augment this with. I'm trying to determine the phrase "Privacy in anonymity" in Latin.
7
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1answer
82 views

Expressing a number of years with a single word

An answer to an earlier question about age of wine introduced me to adjectives for specific ages in years. Similarly, there are nouns for periods of time in years. For example: bimus & biennium ...
6
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2answers
316 views

Is mensa somehow derived from mens?

"Mens" means mind, and "Mensa" is the club for geniuses. I follow so far. But "mensa" also means "table." How would that relate to the meaning in the previous paragraph? Does a table have a ...
6
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1answer
114 views

Formation of words like “essive” or “adessive”

In modern linguistic terminology there are grammatical cases named essive and adessive. However, from a Latinate point of view those formations look abnormal: Usually, the ending -ivus is attached to ...
6
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1answer
102 views

Is there an etymological connection between “comitia” and “comes”?

In the Roman Republic, the word comitia was used for the various popular assemblies (e.g. comitia centuriata). I can't find any clear indication online as to its etymological roots. I was wondering ...
6
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1answer
135 views

Who carries something ending in -ium?

There is a traditional Finnish instrument (kannel or kantele) which tends to be called nablium in Latin. How do I form the adjective for someone bearing this instrument using -fer? There are things ...
6
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3answers
496 views

Using the -tim suffix

I am looking for some guidelines for using the -tim suffix in the sense "one by one". Some examples: guttatim, nominatim, paul(l)atim, syllabatim, viritim. (It seems that this is not the only use of ...
6
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1answer
91 views

Example of noun described by adjective of the same root (like “homely home” or “reddish red”)

In theory, we can easily attach a derived adjective to it's noun source. But, as far as I see this, it almost never happens. Yet, I would say, there are very few examples in some languages that are ...
6
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1answer
43 views

Translating “order of protection and conservation”

An author friend recently asked me for help with a Latin name: in his book, a group calls itself the "order of protection and conservation", but in Latin to be pretentious (altum videtur…). My ...
6
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1answer
111 views

Do adverbs derived from iste have a pejorative tone?

I would call the pronoun iste a "second person demonstrative pronoun"1, meaning roughly "that thing near you". It can also have a pejorative tone, implying that the speaker does not approve of the ...
6
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0answers
170 views

Etymology of “ingeniōsus” and “ingenuus”

Can someone please explain how these two words, ingenuus ingeniōsus both deriving from gignō, come to mean what they respectively do? BACKGROUND According to Wiktionary, ingenuus is made of in- +‎ ...
5
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2answers
305 views

How productive was the participle in -menus in Latin?

Greek has the medium participle ending in -menos. It has a couple of occurrences in Latin, too, of which I only seem to remember alere > alumnus now. How many words are there in Latin that contain ...
5
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2answers
103 views

What is the diminutive of κῆτος?

A classic diminutive suffix in Ancient Greek is -ίδιον, which forms a neuter second noun. But what happens when this is applied to a noun with a vowel in the stem? For a concrete example, if I wanted ...
5
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2answers
518 views

Comparing utopia and atopia

For the purposes of this questtion, let me spell the English word "atopy" as "atopia". I have no idea why the the same kind of etymological background (same derivative on the same Greek word τόπος) ...
5
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1answer
204 views

A verb for Googling in Latin

In English "Google" has become a verb meaning "to search using Google". In Finnish the name "Google" is not a valid verb, so it has been modified to "googlata" which is conjugated regularly. How ...
5
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2answers
225 views

Rules to constructing a proper compound noun in Ancient Greek

I know this StackExchange is dedicated to Latin, but since one for Greek/Ancient Greek is currently under proposal, I was advised to post my question here after having posted it on Linguistics. I am ...
5
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1answer
80 views

Why vesperascit instead of vesperescit?

I was recently working on a little translation project and my intuition and memory suggested that "evening comes" is vesperescit. Checking dictionaries corrected me: it is vesperascit instead. Why is ...
5
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0answers
197 views

Comparing per- and de- as intensifying prefixes

Both per- an de- can be used as intensifying prefixes. It seems that per- is far more common, but also de- occurs (detritus, defetisci, deplorare…). There is also deperire, where de- seems to ...
4
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2answers
321 views

'plecto, plectere, plexi', -tor/-sor form (agent noun)

How would one add the agent noun suffix (normally -tor) to the verb 'plecto' (I weave/twist)? It's been a few years — about 10 — but if I recall correctly, verbs whose stem ends in 't' ...