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
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1answer
100 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 ...
7
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1answer
179 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 ...
8
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1answer
101 views

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 ...
11
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3answers
659 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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2answers
2k views

Are there examples of passive imperative forms of non-deponent verbs in ancient literature?

Imperative forms and deponent verbs are quite common ancient Latin literature, and imperative forms of deponent verbs also occur. But are there examples of passive imperative forms of non-deponent ...
7
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1answer
346 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 ...
6
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1answer
116 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 ...
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 ...
6
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1answer
497 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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0answers
65 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
633 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 ...
9
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1answer
113 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 ...
8
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3answers
406 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 ...
10
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2answers
207 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 ...
1
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1answer
55 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
382 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 ...
3
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0answers
72 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 ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Examples of species whose Latin and scientific names are different

Biologists have given scientific names to many species, and these names are in Latin. A fraction of all named species was also known in ancient Rome (and medieval Europe), and they had a Latin name as ...
22
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3answers
2k views

What did Romans call their language?

I was taught that Latinus is an adjective related to the area of Latium. Latin would be called lingua Latina, "the language of Latium", never merely Latina. There is a single-word expression referring ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Are there any complete Latin inscriptions written in boustrophedon?

The Wikipedia entry for Lapis Niger mentions that the inscription was written in boustrophedon, alternating reading direction between every line. This inscription is far from complete. Are there Latin ...
5
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2answers
284 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 ...
5
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1answer
98 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 ...
6
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1answer
333 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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2answers
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 ...
10
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2answers
466 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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1answer
191 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
187 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
248 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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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 ...
7
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4answers
633 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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1answer
132 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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2answers
135 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....
8
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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 ...
14
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6answers
17k 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 ...
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0answers
64 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. ...
3
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1answer
120 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
263 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 ...
7
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1answer
135 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 ...
3
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1answer
98 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 ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Is there a plural of Jesus in Latin?

The name Iesus has peculiar declension in Latin. The declension of this word in every source that I have seen only gives singular forms. However, I can imagine situations where a plural is needed: a ...
9
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1answer
215 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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2answers
93 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
87 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 ...
5
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1answer
153 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
107 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 ...
9
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1answer
149 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 ...
5
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1answer
197 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
64 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 ...
5
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0answers
54 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 ...