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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5
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
3
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1answer
156 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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1answer
127 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 ...
4
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0answers
83 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 ...
9
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4answers
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 ...
2
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1answer
85 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 ...
6
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4answers
305 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 (...
6
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1answer
1k 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 ...
4
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0answers
59 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. ...
2
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1answer
66 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 ...
6
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2answers
236 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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3answers
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 ...
6
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1answer
103 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 ...
4
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1answer
262 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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0answers
47 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 ...
3
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1answer
82 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 ...
8
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1answer
1k 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 ...
5
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2answers
84 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 ...
8
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1answer
114 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 ...
5
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1answer
101 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 ...
5
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2answers
92 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 ...
8
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1answer
105 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 ...
10
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3answers
368 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 ...
5
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1answer
153 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 ...
5
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1answer
61 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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0answers
42 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
83 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 ...
3
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1answer
102 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 ...
7
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2answers
429 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 ...
2
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1answer
62 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 ...
8
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1answer
76 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 ...
6
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1answer
148 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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2answers
122 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....
11
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2answers
104 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
8
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1answer
603 views

Are there Latin puns? [duplicate]

This may seem like a lame question without much thought, and it really is, but did any (mainly Classical because we're all brainwashed into believing that this is the optimal stage of Latin, but other ...
10
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2answers
298 views

Did the Romans use war-dogs?

I was surprised a few days ago to find myself in an argument with a reputable historian about the Romans' use of dogs in war, which I dismissed as a fantasy — or possibly a mere misunderstanding of ...
5
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2answers
159 views

Classical example of homesickness

My dictionary translates "homesickness" as nostalgia or desiderium loci natalis, but the dictionary gives no source or era information. Both of these are understandable, but I haven't found classical ...
5
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1answer
111 views

Are there other perfect imperatives than memento?

I learned from this previous question about the semantics of memento(te) that memento(te) is not morphologically a future imperative. It turned to be a perfect imperative (semantically present), as it ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How did the Romans wish happy holidays?

The Roman year included many festive occasions. In today's world it is customary to wish merry Christmas, happy Easter, and other such things. Did the Romans do the same during their own festivals, ...
4
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1answer
226 views

Latinitas for other languages

Latinitas could be described as high quality Latin. If I want to refer to the same thing for other languages, can I use nouns like Graecitas, Anglicitas or Finnicitas? (I am not sure if Anglitas and ...
12
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2answers
767 views

The lowest form of humor

Many Ancient Greek jokes are preserved in the Philogelos, ranging from wordplay to stereotypical foreigners to utter nonsense. And certain epigrams from Lucillius and Argentarius contain excellent/...
10
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2answers
133 views

Choosing conjunctive tenses in a clause subordinate to a subordinate clause

I will phrase my question through an example. Consider this sentence in English: I do not know whether you wrote where you are. This has one governing clause ("I do not know") and two indirect ...
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6answers
15k views

How did the Romans wish good birthday?

I know how to wish a happy birthday in Latin: Bonum diem natalem! (There are other options as well.) It just occurred to me that I do not recall coming across any ancient birthday congratulations. Do ...
4
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2answers
216 views

Sapiens: tasty or smart?

The verb sapere can mean tasting like something or having a sense of taste. The latter can be understood figuratively close to "to be wise or sensible". Dictionaries list the participle sapiens ...
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1answer
85 views

Deriving lactuca from lac

The word lactuca refers to lettuce, and Lactuca sativa is the scientific name. Some of the plants in this genus seem to contain some kind of milky liquid which must be the reason for deriving the word ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Conflict between form and content in ancient literature

I am looking for examples in ancient literature with conflict between form and content. I believe such conflict is typically satirical, but there may be other reasons as well. I would like to know in ...
6
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1answer
122 views

Synizesis in perfect tense 'ui'

Can synizesis happen when the perfect stem ends in 'u' and the ending starts with a short 'i'? For example, can the 'ui' in fuisti be synizesized1 into a diphthong? In my understanding the two vowels ...
10
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1answer
437 views

Victorum: victus or victor

The (masculine) plural genitive of both the participle victus and the derived noun victor is victorum. If I write, for example, uxores victorum infelices erant, it is unclear which wives were unhappy. ...
7
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1answer
181 views

Does the name take the same case as “appellatus”?

Consider the following sentence with a tentative Latin translation: Let us meet in the building called Taberna. Conveniamus in aedificio Taberna appellato. In which case should I decline the ...