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For questions about morphology.

5
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1answer
115 views

What’s the difference between meminisse and memini?

I’d love to get a tattoo saying ‘remember’ in Latin, but would rather not use memento. Would it be possible to either use meminisse or memini? I’d like remember to be like a reminder for myself to ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Forming compound words in Latin: helicopter

I would like to understand the formation of Latin compound words through the example of the word "helicopter". This obviously has a Greek origin, and I would like redo the construction with two Latin ...
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0answers
37 views

Future: why -am instead of -em?

The future tense of third and fourth conjugation verbs is marked by -ē-, as in trahes and audies. The regular personal endings are added after this vowel. But in the first person singular the ...
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65 views

Third conjugation passive infinitive: why -i and not -eri?

The active infinitive is uniform (-re from -se by rhotacism) across the regular Latin conjugations, but the passive one is not: the third conjugation loses the consonant. We have amare/amari, habere/...
4
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1answer
51 views

Does 'fiebam' contain the same root twice?

I learned from this question and its answers that the imperfect marker -ba- comes from the same PIE root as fui and fio. What about the form fiebam (and other persons) then? Does it contain the same ...
6
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2answers
413 views

What is the origin of the future suffix -b-?

I read in this answer that there may be a relation between the future endings -bo, -bis, etc. on the one hand and the verb fio "become" on the other. Is this true? If so, do we have any more details ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Where does the infinitive 'fieri' come from?

What is the origin of the infinitive fieri? It is unusual in many respects. The stem seems to be fi- and the infinitive ending -eri is only found in the second conjugation. However, the second ...
8
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1answer
132 views

Active perfect stem conjugation and forms of esse

Many forms formed from the perfect stem (habitav-, fec-, tetig-, and others) resemble forms of esse. It looks as if a form of esse was directly attached to the perfect stem. In perfect conjunctive an -...
8
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2answers
180 views

Vowel length in future perfect indicative and perfect conjunctive

I want to compare future perfect active indicative and perfect active conjunctive. They look identical, apart from first person singular (cogitavero ≠ cogitaverim). But is there a difference in the ...
3
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2answers
58 views

Understanding 'percepset' instead of 'percepisset'

When looking at the L&S entry for percipio, I came across a surprising perfect form: percepset. The contraction percepisset > percepset lookst similar to cogitavisset > cogitasset. Are ...
5
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1answer
65 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 ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Why does Latin use declensions instead of just cases and gender?

What is the purpose of declensions? I know that 1st declension is female second is male and 3rd is neuter, but then why 4 and 5? What is the purpose of several declensions?
5
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1answer
92 views

Why do some pronoun nominatives look like vocatives?

The forms ipse, ille, and iste look like vocatives instead of nominatives, and one would expect to see ipsus, illus, and istus instead. In fact, ipsus is attested but far rarer than ipse, but the ...
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82 views

How did “glutaeus/gluteus” come from Greek “gloutos”? Would “glutiaeus” be more correct?

In anatomy, the muscles of the buttocks are referred to collectively as the "glut(a)eal muscles" in English, and are individually given the following Latin names: glut(a)eus maximus, glut(a)eus medius ...
4
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2answers
168 views

Is visne > vin unique?

There is a contraction from the regular visne to vin. Is the same contraction with -ne attested with other verbs in classical Latin? I don't recall seeing questions like loquerin Latine or haben equum ...
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0answers
77 views

Plura or pluria?

Before answering this recent question about the US motto, I had to check whether the neuter version of plures is plura or pluria. I had recalled right: plura appears to be indeed the sole form used in ...
7
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1answer
181 views

The length of the final vowel in first declension nouns (Greek)

How can you tell whether a first declension noun ends in a short or long vowel? Background When the word is written and accented, I may be able to tell. (Not always. E.g. θύρᾱ if without the macron)...
14
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1answer
152 views

What is the origin of the -a in words like “collega, advena”?

There are a couple of masculine (or common) nouns of the first declension. Some are from masculine Greek -ês, like poeta, nauta. But others, like collega, advena, parricida, scriba, incola, agricola, ...
7
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2answers
170 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 ...
3
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0answers
54 views

Is there a neuter noun (word) that has different nominative and accusative form? [duplicate]

I thought neuter noun's accusative and nominative forms are always the same but is there any exception? I need any neuter word that has different nominative and accusative form. Doesn't matter if it's ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

How do we end up with three vowels at the end of Περικλέους? (Greek)

According to Wiktionary, the genitive of Περικλῆς, or Περικλέης, is Περικλέους; and similarly, that of Σοφοκλῆς, or Σοφοκλέης, Σοφοκλέους. Question: How do we end up with three vowels, εου, at the ...
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3answers
216 views

What is meant by “collateral” in dictionaries?

Lewis & Short often use the abbreviation collat., standing for collateral according to the appendix of abbreviations. An example: ŭtĕrus, i, m. (collat. form ŭter, Caecil. ap. Non. 188, 15; ...
5
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2answers
114 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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2answers
70 views

How did the mixed-root “anticipātiō, anticipātiōnis” form?

I was considering the English word anticipation the other day, and wondered at how it ended up with a Greek prefix followed by a Latin root.1 After a quick search I found that the word derives from ...
3
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2answers
306 views

Why is the comparative adjective of “clarus” not “clariusis”?

The neuter genitive singular comparative of clarus is clarioris. Why is this? Shouldn't it be 'clariusis', since the form of neuter adjectives in the comparative form ends on -us?
9
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2answers
176 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 ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Quinquies and quinquiens

Consider the word quinquies/quinquiens ("five times"). It has two alternative spellings. Having the options -ies and -iens seems to be common for numerals of this kind. What is the origin of these ...
5
votes
2answers
259 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
78 views

Comparing decem and -decim

The Latin cardinal numbers starting at ten are decem, undecim, duodecim… Does the -decim (roughly "-teen") come from decem or from the same root? (I faintly recall decem and δέκα coming from ...
13
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2answers
345 views

Latin passive endings: Why is -mini sticking out

The Latin passive ending usually feature an additional letter R compared to the active endings: laud-or, -aris, -atur, -amur, -antur. However, the second person plural is different, using the ending -...
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0answers
69 views

Why ĭdem instead of iddem or īdem in neuter?

The pronoun idem/eadem/idem appears to be the combination of is/ea/id and -dem. I can understand why isdem > īdem in the masculine, but why do we have iddem > ĭdem? Shouldn't the vowel be ...
5
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1answer
60 views

The middle A of quadraginta

Consider these Latin cardinal numbers: quadrAginta, quinquAginta, sexAginta, nonAginta. The -ginta seems to stand for tens (cf. triginta, octoginta) and the initial parts quadr-, quinqu-, sex-, and ...
10
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1answer
246 views

Why sequundus > secundus?

It seems quite clear that secundus comes from sequundus, a gerundive of sequi. But why did -quu- become -cu-? This change is not universal, since some Latin words do preserve -quu-, at least the end ...
9
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2answers
189 views

When is there a U instead of an E in gerund(ive)?

Tuomo Pekkanen's Latin grammar mentions (§52.3) that the -e- added to the present stem before -nd- in the gerund and gerundive (in the third and fourth conjugations) can be replaced with a -u-. For ...
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0answers
47 views

When and how did the distinction between the gerund and the gerundive develop?

The gerund and the gerundive look similar and have similar meanings, but they are still distinct as any Latin grammar will tell us. But how did classical Latin come to have these two close but ...
12
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1answer
150 views

Why is it “dare” and not “dāre” when most first conjugation verbs spell like “amāre”?

Why does dō conjugate differently from other first conjugation verbs in that you find a short a where otherwise you might expect a long ā? BACKGROUND Examples: amāre (dare), amārī (darī), ...
20
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3answers
183 views

Did the Romans ever combine Greek and Latin morphemes?

Recently I was thinking about words in English which were formed from a Greek and Latin morpheme pair. An example of this is 'television', where 'tele-' is a Greek-originating prefix while 'vision' is ...
9
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1answer
93 views

How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é?

How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é? Considering the two following examples: modern French état ("state; status") and été ("been"). Both derives ultimately ...
12
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2answers
206 views

Understanding the stem(s) of 'struere'

The present, perfect, and participle stems1 of the verb struere are stru-, strux-, and struct-. The -s- in the perfect stem and the -t- in the participle stem are nothing unusual, but they seem to ...
10
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2answers
270 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 ...
8
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1answer
78 views

Do the locatives militiae, terrā, marī occur by themselves?

Textbooks tell us that the only common (in the sense of not proper) nouns that have a locative case are rūs "countryside" and domus "home". However, I'm familiar with two expressions that use ...
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3answers
733 views

Why do Latin nouns (like cena, -ae) include two forms?

So I recently learned the first declension nouns concept and my list of new vocabularies to learn suddenly changed. Words were usually presented as: sagitta pecunia etc. Now, they indicate the ...
10
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1answer
139 views

Did the Romans borrow any inflection from other languages than Greek?

Some Greek loan words in Latin use Greek declension. For example, I recall seeing Aeneida and Aeneidos instead of the regular Latin declension Aeneidem and Aeneidis. Some elements of Greek inflection ...
14
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1answer
228 views

What is the optative?

Some conjunctive forms end in -im (and -is, -it, -imus, -itis, -int), but this is rare. The examples I recall are sim, possim, velim, nolim, malim, and duim (alternative to dem). These forms are ...
7
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2answers
274 views

Why does Ago become agit, agitis, agis, etc? [conjugate with an *i*?]

I am working on word endings in Latin, and I came across the word Ago. And I was looking at the different conjugations for this word and it did not make sense to me. Observe: Endings are: ...
8
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3answers
289 views

What are the normal genitive and dative singular forms of “alius”?

Some sources mention a genitive singular alius, but I've also seen aliae. And I don't recall seeing a dative singular ali, but neither do I remember alio. I think several forms exist, including even ...
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0answers
28 views

How did 'ad' + 'hūc' compound to mean 'so far, thus far, hitherto, still'? [duplicate]

[ Adverb   adhūc : ]   Etymology     ad "to" + hūc "here" so far, thus far, hitherto, still [2.1] again; [2.2] furthermore; [2.3] moreover; [2.4] besides (used in scholastic debates to ...
5
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2answers
159 views

What is the plural of virus, vulgus and pelagus?

There are three neuters in the second declension ending in -us: virus, vulgus and pelagus. (See this previous question for origin and listing of such words.) My grammar tells me that these words are ...
13
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1answer
439 views

Are there any other neuter words of the second declension that end on -us than “virus”?

Virus is a neuter word of the second declension even though it ends on -us, as evidenced by its genitive on -i (it has no plural). Are there any other such words? Bonus question: is it possible that ...
9
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1answer
183 views

Which islands appear in the locative?

Textbooks, when describing the use of the locative, often say it's used with the names of "cities and small islands" (as well as a few nouns like rus). What counts as a "small island"? Wikipedia says ...