Questions tagged [example-request]

For questions that ask for an example of usage of a particular word or construction, either artificial or from literature.

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When have we last lost an ancient Latin text?

Alex B's answer to a recent question mentions that we have no extant texts from Ovid before the high middle ages. As books are perishable on the timescale of centuries, having extant material today ...
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3 votes
1 answer
78 views

How to you convert a Latin word, such as voluntas, into a name, specifically a surname?

I've been wondering how to properly convert Latin words into names to signify the importance of certain concepts to a person, and met conflicting information online. My default assumption would be to ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Future participle that wasn't fulfilled

This is a follow-up question of this question on difference between future participle and simple future Apparently from the very question and the answers it seems my previous understanding of future ...
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7 votes
1 answer
390 views

Are there minimal pairs between vowels and semivowels?

In Classical times, no distinction was made in writing between /u/ and /w/, or between /i/ and /j/. This distinction seems to have been phonemic, because we see names like Jūlius vs Iūlus. But are ...
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7 votes
0 answers
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Was deliberately bad grammar ever used for emphasis in Latin?

In English, we can sometimes use deliberately incorrect grammar for effect in speech. The first example that comes to mind is a more colloquial example: I ain't never going to do... When I hear this ...
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9 votes
1 answer
128 views

Did poets elide across consonants?

I have a definite recollection that Plautus, Ennius, or some other early poet had a tendency to elide across a word-final S, as in (made-up examples) domus et → dom'et and domus est → domu'st. If ...
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6 votes
1 answer
507 views

Where is φιλημι attested?

I've often heard it said that Aeolic Greek used -μι endings on contract verbs, like φιλημι in Sappho (for Attic φιλέω/φιλῶ). However, I can't seem to find this supposed "φιλημι" anywhere. It ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Do any Greek words have stems ending in labiovelars?

I know that Ancient Greek lost its labiovelar consonants at some point before alphabetic writing caught on. We know of the labiovelars' previous existence mostly because of different reflexes in ...
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7 votes
1 answer
225 views

Are any phonemic distinctions not represented in Latin?

Latin orthography seems to have been relatively phonemic. In other words, if long vowels are marked somehow (macrons or apices), there seems to be a straightforward mapping between letters and ...
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3 votes
0 answers
98 views

Did Romulus and Remus have other names?

Throughout Classical times, Romans would often have several names: one person might be identified by praenomen, nomen gentilicum, cognomen, agnomen, signum, and patronymic, all together. Were Roman ...
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6 votes
1 answer
641 views

Do neuter plural nouns ever take singular verbs in Latin?

In Greek, it's well-known that neuter plural subjects take singular verb forms. This seems to be an old Indo-European feature, as it shows up in e.g. Anatolian languages as well. Does this feature ...
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10 votes
3 answers
491 views

An example sentence for Latin pronunciation

Latin pronunciation varies between times and locations, and to some extent individuals. If I want learn a new kind of pronunciation, make sure I have properly switched to a new pronunciation, or want ...
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5 votes
1 answer
104 views

Is there a Latin equivalent to ἐπίκοινος?

The Ancient Greek grammatical tradition, going back to Dionysius Thrax (or maybe farther), distinguishes five types of nouns: masculine, feminine, neuter, common, and epicene (ἐπίκοινος). Four of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
399 views

Is 'volo' ever used with a future infinitive?

One can certainly use volo with an infinitive to express a wish: Volo amari! I want to be loved! A future sense is often implied, as one would probably interpret that I'm not loved now if I wish ...
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5 votes
1 answer
229 views

How did the Romans refer to people of unknown gender?

Reference to other people's gender has become a delicate issue in today's world. I expect that the Romans had no controversy over it, but they must have encountered situations where they have to write ...
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3 votes
1 answer
214 views

When were /k/ and /q/ first distinguished in the Greek or Latin alphabet?

Nowadays, in languages which make a distinction between velar and uvular stops, it's common to use K for the first and Q for the second. This is best-known nowadays from transcriptions of Arabic names,...
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9 votes
1 answer
278 views

Substantive adjectives "Latīna, Graeca" as language names

For example, I want to say: Latīna placet mihi magis quam Graeca, quamquam in Graecā multō plūra et doctiōra dē philosophiā scrīpta sunt. I've seen people claiming that this use is incorrect and that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
125 views

An unambiguous example of 'īt'

The regular perfect them form for "he went" is iit. In an answer to this question about two short versus one long vowel, TKR mentions that this form can be contracted to īt. In a text without macrons ...
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can 'in-' mean both 'in' and 'no'?

The prefix in- can mean "in" or "into" or similar, as in inire. It can also mean "non-" or "un-", as in infelix. Both meanings of the prefix are attested, but I am not familiar with any case where ...
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2 votes
1 answer
176 views

What evidence is there for volēre over volere?

In this answer, fdb mentions the Classical verb volō, velle transforming into *voleō, volēre in Vulgar Latin. The main evidence for this is a form volendi in Augustine and reflexes like voglio, volere ...
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8 votes
4 answers
916 views

Do non-deponent Latin verbs ever have a "middle voice"?

In Ancient Greek, verbs often take a "middle voice", neither active nor passive. The forms usually look identical to the passive on the surface, but can take direct objects and cannot take an agent (...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does Latin have any neuter words for humans?

In Ancient Greek, diminutives are almost always neuter, regardless of the original noun's gender. This leads to words like paidíon, "small child" (from país "child"), which are neuter even though they ...
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4 votes
0 answers
75 views

Do we have evidence of clipped words in Latin?

In English, it's common for words to be clipped down to their first couple syllables: "brother" becomes "bro", "university" becomes "uni", "doctor" becomes "doc", "veteran" becomes "vet", and so on. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
159 views

Did the Romans make bilingual puns?

I know that the Romans appreciated wordplay. But there's a rare and specific type of pun that I'm curious about now: a pun based on words sounding similar between languages. For example: Have you ...
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6 votes
2 answers
283 views

Can 'non' with gerundive mean both lack of obligation and negative obligation?

If a gerundive is used with non, can it mean both lack of obligation and negative obligation? For example, can non loquendum est mean both "it is not necessary to speak" and "it is necessary not to ...
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10 votes
2 answers
232 views

Omission of a repeated verb in second part of a μέν ... δέ

This question is about the Greek equivalent of sentences like I do not fear the Greeks, but I do fear the Romans. Socrates didn't write dialogues, but Plato did. These sentences use or imply the ...
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16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can "ee" appear in Latin?

There are a few instances in Latin where words are spelled with two vowels next to each other, in hiatus: filii "sons", metuunt "they fear". Now, the last words of the Emperor Julian II are normally ...
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8 votes
1 answer
164 views

Do we know how Greek dialects sounded?

To some extent, we know how sounds varied between ancient Greek dialects: the Aeolians lost rough breathings but preserved digamma, for example, while the Attics changed many of their long alphas into ...
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6 votes
1 answer
822 views

Are there any words in Latin that are "light"?

In Latin, every syllable is either "light" or "heavy". A "heavy" syllable is one that has a long vowel and/or a coda consonant, and a "light" syllable is anything else. This distinction is important ...
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5 votes
1 answer
110 views

Is *rīcus attested?

The word for "rich" in most Romance languages looks something like, well, "rich". It declines like a first/second declension adjective, and seems to go back to Germanic *rīkijaz (possibly through ...
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3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Can "libella maris" be "sea level"?

I came across the expression libella maris in a scientific text from 19th century. There are many ways to parse it in the context, and one option that occurred to me is that maybe it stands for "sea ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

"There is" in Latin

In English you use the phrasal verb there+[to be] to mean something different than just an object being placed somewhere visible or known to the speaker and/or listener (i.e., there). According to ...
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5 votes
2 answers
102 views

Are the pronoun-looking forms of quire attested?

The verb quire is conjugated like ire, and there are some forms that look like an interrogative or relative pronoun. Those forms are quīs and quī. Are these attested in classical ...
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9 votes
1 answer
300 views

Is the nominative gerund attested?

I'd always heard that the gerund had no nominative, with the present active infinitive taking the place of the missing form: volāre difficile est, rather than *volāndum. However, in the comments on ...
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6 votes
1 answer
186 views

Vocative Gerund

I am 99.9999% confident there is no purpose for a vocative gerund. Yet nothing seems to specifically disallow for such a construction. In theory something such as "odi te currendum" (in English, "I ...
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5 votes
2 answers
124 views

Irreal condition expressed by a prepositional phrase

In English one can say: Without you I would not be here. This is roughly the same thing as: If you had not helped, I would not be here. The exact wording depends on context. In the second ...
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9 votes
1 answer
185 views

Garden path sentences in classical Latin

A garden path sentence is a sentence that leads the reader astray and forces them to reanalyze. The obvious first interpretation when one starts reading is a red herring and it comes clear that the ...
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11 votes
3 answers
810 views

Comparison of participles

Participles behave much like adjectives. Do they also have comparative and superlative forms? They are easy enough to form: ferentior, dicturissimus. More precisely, are any comparatives or ...
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5 votes
1 answer
250 views

Has any Latin literature survived through the Arabs?

Some pieces of Greek literature have survived only through the Arabs. But is there any classical Latin literature that has survived the same way? This could mean translations from Latin to Arabic and ...
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5 votes
1 answer
70 views

How has literature helped archaeology?

Is there a good example case where extant ancient literature has helped understand archaeological findings? This could mean, for example, a Roman author mentioning a tool and its use, which has helped ...
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8 votes
1 answer
182 views

What was the classic term for "damnatio memoriae"?

The Wikipedia article on the subject notes that the term damnatio memoriae, referring to the relegation of a person's name to oblivion, as if they never existed, is a neo-Latin expression first ...
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4 votes
1 answer
137 views

Ancient plagiarism

I have no doubt that plagiarism existed in the Greek and Roman antiquity: some authors must have copied material more or less directly from others without attribution. (The moral requirement to cite ...
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3 votes
1 answer
150 views

Politically (in)correct Latin

I am looking for an example of a pair of adjectives or nouns (broadly defined) in classical Latin which mean the same thing but one is considered rude and the other one polite. I could list several ...
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7 votes
2 answers
882 views

Regular passive forms of "facere"

Have regular passive forms of the verb facere ever been used? If so, what is the first occurrence? In all of the Latin I have seen, the passive forms of facere are replaced by fieri. Regular passive ...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

What is the earliest Latin crossword puzzle?

I think it is safe to assume that there have been crossword puzzles in Latin, and I think I have seen some in textbooks as well. But what was the earliest Latin crossword puzzle? I do not mean word ...
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8 votes
1 answer
107 views

What was the first name of Christmas?

What was the first Latin word or expression used for Christmas, the Christian event in the honor of Jesus' birth? I know what to call Christmas in Latin, but it occurred to me that there is no ...
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6 votes
1 answer
263 views

Are there Roman examples of "of Rome" instead of "Roman"?

In my experience it is extremely common to say, for example, rex Romanus instead of rex Romae. In fact, I do not recall ever seeing a genitive when a local adjective can be used. Translating to ...
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7 votes
2 answers
147 views

Are there attested prohibition signs?

Are there preserved inscriptions or other such texts from ancient Rome that contain a prohibition? I would prefer original signs that have survived, but mentions in the literature are also interesting....
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11 votes
2 answers
138 views

Are there any instances of long oblique cases of Iuppiter?

The name Iuppiter is declined weirdly. It has otherwise regular third declension endings with the stem Iov-, but the nominative comes with the suffix -pater, producing Iuppiter. At least this is what ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Latin plural of Curriculum Vitae?

Curriculum vitae (often abbreviated CV) is a common Latin locution present in a high number of languages, including English. In English, as in other languages, how to pluralize these foreign locutions ...
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