Questions tagged [loanwords]

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8 votes
1 answer
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What can we say about the pronunciation of Z?

The letter Z was borrowed into the Latin alphabet in order to transcribe Greek loanwords, along with Y. Presumably, educated Latin-speakers pronounced it like its source, Greek zeta. However, Greek ...
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5 votes
1 answer
176 views

βυκάνη < būcina: vowel reduction undone in borrowings from Latin?

So I've come across this word βῡκάνη, ostensibly borrowed from Latin būcina ('an ox-horn trumpet'), from bou- ('ox') + canere ('to sing'). The lack of vowel reduction is immediately striking; ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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Are "μπ" and "ντ" indicators that the word didn't exist in Koine/Ancient Greek?

I am learning Modern Greek on Duolingo, in the hopes that it will help me learn Koine and Ancient Greek, eventually. I have also watched a few other videos, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/...
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10 votes
2 answers
821 views

Present participles of the verb esse

Inspired by the answers to this question, I want to ask about the different present participles of esse over time and their fate. I am aware that esse is a defective verb that classically does not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
73 views

What are the conventions for transcribing Semitic languages into Latin?

(Inspired by this question) Latin definitely had contact with Semitic languages over the course of its existence, most notably Punic. When words and names from these languages were transcribed into ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What are the conventions for transcribing Semitic languages into Greek?

The surviving Koine Greek corpus contains quite a lot of transcribed Semitic words, borrowed from Hebrew, Aramaic, and maybe others. (For example, the LXX is full of Hebrew names.) Were there ...
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5 votes
2 answers
313 views

Does any Greek word have a geminate consonant after a long vowel?

I recently noticed a pattern in loans from Hebrew into Greek: the letter šin (or sin, or łin if you're really archaic) is transcribed σσ after a short vowel, σ elsewhere. My knowledge of Classical ...
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5 votes
1 answer
192 views

From which Greek dialect did Hebrew borrow *awēr* "air"?

The Hebrew for "air" is אוויר avir, earlier awīr or awēr. This is obviously a borrowing of the Greek word that appears in Attic as ἀήρ, and would be ἀϝήρ in other dialects. The Hebrew word must have ...
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4 votes
0 answers
58 views

How were Greek patronymics stressed in Latin?

According to Wikipedia, the Scipios (as in Africanus) were known collectively as the Scīpiadae rather than the Scīpionēs. This was a rather poetic Greek way to say "sons of Scipio", as in the Atreïdae ...
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7 votes
2 answers
200 views

Do barbarians have nomina?

The word nomen means, literally, "name". But it also refers to the most important part of a Roman citizen's name, the part indicating which gens they belong to. Barbarian names were frequently ...
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8 votes
2 answers
186 views

Why choose σ versus σσ in Hebrew loans?

The LXX provides a wide variety of Hebrew, Aramaic, and other Semitic words transcribed into Greek. Most of the transcriptions are straightforward: the letter lamedh ל, for example, is always ...
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7 votes
2 answers
297 views

Are there well-assimilated Latin words from Semitic languages?

I've generally assumed that Latin words coming from Semitic are usually transformed by Greek: even Elissa is a Greek transcription of the original. But this answer indicates that the well-attested ...
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