Questions tagged [morphologia]

For questions about morphology.

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7
votes
2answers
1k views

“Tu quoque, Brutus, mi fili?” Grammar question

Someone told me these were Caesar's actual last words. Google confirms this. But I can't find an explanation for what looks to me like weird grammar. First of all, shouldn't "Brutus" be &...
10
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2answers
732 views

How to decline a whale?

The Latin word cētus (a whale or some other major sea creature) behaves peculiarly. In singular it is a normal-looking masculine cētus, but in plural it is a neuter cētē. The ...
5
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2answers
196 views

What are the θη-future and θη-aorist?

I see on quite a few resources tenses referred as θη-future or θη-aorist and I don't understand what it exactly means. Are θη-future and θη-aorist another way to say future passive and aorist ...
17
votes
1answer
584 views

What are the relative frequencies of cases in Latin?

Latin has seven cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, vocative, locative. What are their relative frequencies in classical Latin? I suppose an answer would have to be based on ...
11
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2answers
441 views

Which Latin declension is most common?

Does anyone know the rough proportions of Latin words that fall into each of the five declensions? Which is most common? Which is least common?
18
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2answers
2k views

Why do we learn the genitive singular of each Latin noun?

When Latin nouns are listed for memorisation they are listed with the nom. sg., the gen. sg. and their gender. E.g. agricola, agricolae, masculine. Why are each of these forms necessary for ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Livy Book 1 27.1 type of subjunctive, sequence of tenses

Invidia vulgi, quod tribus militibus fortuna publica commissa fuerit, vanum ingenium dictatoris corrupit. What kind of subjunctive is fuerit and why. What tense is corrupit — perfect with or ...
4
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1answer
166 views

effeminare = evirare (?)

Assuming that (i) the meanings of vir and femina are indeed opposite and (ii) the meaning of the prefix ex- is quite transparent, why are the verbs evirare and effeminare then synonymous? Are there ...
6
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1answer
221 views

Irregular aorist imperative from ἔχω

Why does ἔχω exhibit a 2 s. aorist imperative σχές instead of what I would expect to be σχέ ? Do other verbs do this, or is this peculiar to this verb?
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Are there unprefixed location verbs in Latin?

Two basic types of prefixed denominal locative verbs can be distinguished in Latin: the ones in (1) can be said to “agglutinate” a prepositional phrase expressing (dis)location, i.e., the place (cf. ...
8
votes
3answers
542 views

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

I recently read a joke about the use of Latin -tor and -trix nouns in modern English. The punchline was that "trix is for kids". This got me wondering: Is there a way to make diminutives from agent ...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

Why had the word “gold” morphed from “ausum” into “aurum”?

Etymologists/Linguists posit that the prefix for gold in Proto-Indo-European was: *aus- Which gave way to *auzom in Proto-Italic languages and ausum in Classical Latin. At some point, ausum ...
9
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1answer
156 views

In Ancient Greek, why ἑπτά vs. ἕβδομος?

I was marveling today at the word hebdomadal, from the Greek ἑπτά for seven. But that had me wondering why words derived from seven sometimes use /bd/ and other times /pt/. I notice, for instance, ...
7
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2answers
272 views

How can I find a verb root in ancient greek?

If I have a verb in ancient greek, how can I find its root? For instance, if I have λείπω νέω ἔμαθον μανθάνω how can I do to know that, respectively, these verbs have λιπ-/λειπ-/λοιπ- νευ- (<*...
5
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1answer
185 views

Does an ig- prefix mean there's an underlying g in the root?

There seem to be certain words in Latin which start with an underlying /gn/, such as noscō /gnosko:/ [nɔsko:]—this "hidden" /g/ appears when prefixes are added, as in cognoscō /congnosko:/ [cɔŋnɔsko:] ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Is it better to memorize verb's 1st person perfect tense?

Is it necessary to memorize verb's perfect form like paro, parare, paravi? Or can I predict a verb's perfect forms if I remember the rules by which perfect stems are formed. Like, the suffix -v/iv or ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Dies and the fifth declension

In an answer to this question on Ζεύς Draconis mentions (quoting his own post on another site): The accusative form of the root, *dyēm (cf AGrk Zēn), also survived in Latin, in the form *diēm > ...
4
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1answer
268 views

Why “amatus est” instead of “*amavitur”

Is there any diachronic reason whereby synthetic perfective passive forms like *amavitur (and similar ones) are not possible and analytic forms like amatus est (and similar ones) are selected instead? ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Does anyone know of a resource that lists 'root morphemes' of latin words?

I having been searching the web like crazy trying to find a resource that list Latin root morphemes. That is, words which all share the same base meaning and are listed in their word families. For ...
3
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3answers
258 views

The lexical root of the perfect tense forms differs from the lexical root of the infinitive form

Do the Latin have any other verbs, whose perfect tense forms base on the lexical root, that differs from the lexical root of the infinitive form (by analogy with the verb fero > tuli)?
3
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0answers
77 views

When did the infinitive in -ier fall out of use?

At one point, the Latin passive infinitive was formed with a suffix -(r)ier, as in agier "to be driven", amārier "to be loved". Allen and Greenough call this an "ancient form[…] found chiefly in ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Composites from -σις words

How does one form composites from words in '-σις'? For example, if one wishes to name the fear of vaxing fat, using πάχυνσις, is it παχυνσοφοβία; or παχυνσεοφοβία?
4
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2answers
2k views

How to find the stem of any word?

I am wondering if the stem of every word has an exact form? For example: For the word genus, how could you determine is it gen or gener? For the word līber, how could you determine is it līber or ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Present Participles: can “respicienti” be part of an ablative absolute in this sentence?

Suetonius, Caius (Caligula) 58: ...alii Sabinum summota per conscios centuriones turba signum more militiae petisse et Caio "lovem" dante Chaeream exclamasse: "accipe ratum" respicientique maxillam ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Do contracted perfects have long or short vowels?

Many verbs have a suffix -v- in the perfect tense, which tends to disappear (or "contract" or "syncopate") before the ending: amā- > amāvisti > amāsti "you loved", audī- > audīvisti > audīsti "you ...
6
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1answer
123 views

When were different agent noun endings used in Ancient Greek?

In Ancient Greek, it seems that there were various endings for agent nouns. Thomas Dwight Goodell's School Grammar of Attic Greek (1902) mentions -τηρ, -τωρ, -της, -εύς, -τειρα, -τρια, -τρις (-τριδ-), ...
5
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1answer
115 views

Genitives like “axeos”

I recently encountered a text written in Latin in Finland about two centuries ago using the form axeos. From context it was clear that it was a genitive, and it looks just like the Greek genitive of ...
6
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2answers
405 views

What consonants can a noun stem end in?

As TKR mentions, third-declension nouns in Latin have stems ending with a consonant (*). Off the top of my head, I can think of stems ending in various different consonants: rex, for example, has a G ...
7
votes
1answer
177 views

When did unsyncopated forms become archaic?

I'd always learned that the regular way to say "you loved" was amāvisti, with the "syncopated" version amāsti being poetic and uncommon. However, Unbrutal_Russian says differently (with good ...
16
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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Why aren't cardinal numbers over three inflected?

I've been looking through some etymologies and it seems to me that cardinals past trēs aren't inflected. Is this correct, and if so, what's the logic in forming words with indeclinable numbers? Take, ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

'plecto, plectere, plexi', -tor/-sor form (agent noun)

How would one add the agent noun suffix (normally -tor) to the verb 'plecto' (I weave/twist)? It's been a few years — about 10 — but if I recall correctly, verbs whose stem ends in 't' ...
7
votes
1answer
244 views

Is there a gerundive of “faciō”?

Faciō, "to make" or "to do", is a common Latin verb. It's famous for being suppletive: it's missing most of its passive forms, and instead uses the active forms of the separate verb fiō "to become". (...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

“Deus meus”, aut “Deus mī”?

I was taught that meus had a special irregular vocative, mī. (So "my father" in the vocative would be pater mī, not pater meus.) However, there's a line that shows up a few times in the ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

Why is it Iuppiter rather than Iuppater?

Iuppiter comes from the vocative of the Indo-European *dyeus-patēr, cognate with Zeus in Greek. However, as *a > a in Latin and 'pater' survives elsewhere in Latin, one would expect Iuppater. How has ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

Different greek cases for Theos

Trying to improve my understanding of biblical greek and ran across something odd. Theos - Θεός is nominative. Theon - Θεόν is accusative. TheO - Θεῷ is dative. Theou - Θεοῦ genitive. Theoi - θεοί ...
6
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1answer
61 views

how to interpret ‘formosus’ via its morphological components

The adj. formosus can be decomposed as follows: forma + -os-us where forma means ‘shape, form’ and -os- ‘with abundance’. However, when the two notions come together, the whole, which literally ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

on the word–analysis of ‘viridis’

According to OLD, the adj. viridis derives from the verb vireo, but nothing is mentioned about the suffix that turns the verb to the adj. Could anyone tell about the suffix that transforms the verb ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

How to choose correct word variants?

I asked a question earlier. For some time now, it's occured to me that a pattern is forming: All my questions about the Latin language are basically the same. The subjects change, but the underlying ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Plural in 4th declension

I know that virtually all masculine and feminine nouns in Latin have an e or i in the nominative plural and that the genitive singular is often similar. This is quite widespread in Indo-European ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

Do non-Attic-Ionic dialects distinguish the accusatives of the ἀσπίς and χάρις types?

In Attic-Ionic Greek, nouns with dental stems show two types of accusative singular endings, depending on the position of the accent: If the accent is on the final syllable of the stem, the ...
9
votes
2answers
433 views

Can enclitics be chained?

I am active in a small Latin Discord group; a member brought up a question concerning the validity of the following phrase with chained enclitics: Valēsneque? (with the enclitics distinguished) ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Adjectives that decline as consonant stems in the neuter plural nominative/accusative

From what I have read, most third-declension Latin adjectives other than comparatives take the i-stem endings -ī, ium and -ia in the ablative singular, genitive plural and neuter nominative/accusative ...
11
votes
1answer
208 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
votes
1answer
87 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
votes
2answers
641 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
344 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 ...