Questions tagged [prefix]

Use this tag for questions about prefixes.

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Why is the prefix con- sometimes short, sometimes long?

A friend sent me this image: Her question was simple: Is the Latin any good? The Latin indeed is good, and if one accepts the English to be in LOLcat, the English checks out as well. However … I also ...
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12 votes
0 answers
123 views

Which verbs come from *deh₃ and which from *dʰeh₁?

Latin has quite a few prefixed verbs looking like -dō, -dere, -didī, -ditus (condō, abdō, reddō, trādō, ēdō, etc). I'd previously thought these came from the verb dō, dare, dedī, datus (< *deh₃ &...
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Did "interpolare" mean "polish up" or "polish among"? Why wasn't sup- used?

Does inter- mean "up" as Ayto vouches below? Is Etymonline wrong that inter- means "among, between"? Why didn't Latin use sup-, the prefix for "up", here? interpolate [...
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0 votes
1 answer
125 views

How does "ad-" work in adduco and allego?

I'm grappling with the prefix ad- in Latin. I don't know why, but I can't pinpoint its meaning. Or it just feels redundant. Here are some examples of my befuddlement. The ad- in adduco feels ...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

Why did Latin prefix a(d)- to vis(um)?

In other words, why didn't visum itself shift to mean "opinion"? What does ad- contribute to this semantic shift? advice [13] Like modern French avis, advice originally meant ‘opinion’, ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
64 views

How does "send to" mean "allow to enter"?

Ayto doesn't expound the shift from "send to" toward "allow to enter"? I don't understand the "hence". admit [15] This is one of a host of words, from mission to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
281 views

How did "dis-" contribute to the meaning of "directus"?

Ayto doesn't expound how *addrictiāre shifted to mean "direct something, such as a letter, to somebody". address [14] Address originally meant ‘straighten’. William Caxton, for example, ...
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3 votes
0 answers
126 views

What would the perfect stem of 'apparere' be?

Lewis and Short only give present stem forms of the verb appărĕre, appărio. They say, quite rightly so, that it comes from ad+părĕre, and one would therefore expect the conjugation to be as that ...
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9 votes
0 answers
250 views

edere panem vs. comedere panem

Consider the following minimal pair: edere panem 'to eat (the) bread' comedere panem 'to eat up the bread' When a resultative prefix is present (e.g. com- in comedere), panem is necessarily understood ...
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5 votes
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What exactly does the prefix 'in-' signify, in 'impartire'?

It seems that the Latin verb impartire (more commonly impertire) means "to share with another, to communicate, bestow, impart". The English verb impart comes from this. What does the prefix in- mean ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Could the prefix ex- mean 'without'?

Could the ex- signify 'without' in the OED below? Or did English misuse it in 1b below? 1. In Latin phrases (some of which are in English written as single words), as ex animo n., ex parte adj., ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Where does au-fugiō come from?

Hittite has a verbal prefix u- that indicates motion away from something. Kloekhorst connects it to Latin au-fugiō, "to flee from", saying they both come from PIE *h₂-u-. However, I'd always thought ...
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3 votes
2 answers
219 views

Is "ex-" (old, past) seen in Latin

I just really don't know where English ex-, as in "ex-friend" exactly came from. So far I havent seen such meaning in Latin (or Greek), but I know little. It would bolster the following idea,...
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What is the correct etymology of ignōscō "pardon"?

The verb ignōscō, with the meaning "pardon, forgive", is explained in some sources as coming from the negative prefix in- and (g)nōscō. For example, Lewis and Short says "lit., not to wish to know, ...
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9 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
257 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:] ...
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Has 'com-' been a causative prefix?

constitute {verb}     Etymology : [..] con- intensive + statuĕre to set up, place: [...] 6. To make (a person or thing) something; to establish or set up as. (With obj. and compl.) Cf. 2. 8. To make ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
410 views

'in-' vs 'ex-' in intendo vs extendō

Please see the side-by-side definitions of extendo and intendo below. in/ex-tension obviously share the same root. Did the difference in prefixes engender and explain the differences in their ...
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3 votes
0 answers
118 views

"Laughing our heads off" in Latin

As a follow-up of an interesting question on a typological classification of Latin (Are Latin verbs of motion satellite-framed or verb-framed? ), I was wondering if Latin has (semi)idiomatic ...
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Are Latin verbs of motion satellite-framed or verb-framed?

Are Latin verbs of motion satellite-framed, verb-framed, both, or neither? Native English verbs of motion are said to be satellite-framed: the verb usually indicates the manner of motion and a "...
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Ad- instead of co- as a prefix for morphism

I want to find a prefix for morphism to get the meaning "relevance of the form of an entity to given criteria" Does it make sense to use ad- for this? Co- also makes sense but the word "comorphism" ...
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6 votes
2 answers
621 views

Prodigo = pro + ago?

According to Wiktionary, prodigo is a verb which etymology comes from "pro + ago". The same is suggested by L&S. However, I cannot see how ago fits here. The conjugation of this verb seems at odds ...
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5 votes
1 answer
89 views

Could applying assimilation affect meaning?

The two grammatical terms "adposition" and "apposition" are related to adpositiō, which has an alternative form appositiō. In appositiō assimilation applied, while in adpositiō assimilation does not ...
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9 votes
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What augmentative options are there in Latin?

Augmentative, the opposite of diminutive, is a derived word that means greater size or extent. Diminutives are common and productive in Latin, but how about the opposite? Some Romance languages have ...
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6 votes
1 answer
297 views

What does con- in "conceptus" mean? How does it relate to "a thing conceived"?

Why Do Languages Change? (2010) by R. L. Trask (1944-2004). p. 105. (Latin conceptus is literally ‘with-taking’) Does the prefix con- truly mean “with” here? But Etymonline says that it's "...
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5 votes
2 answers
746 views

How can you tell whether prefixed ‘in-’ is the preposition ‘in’ or Indo-European ‘in-’?

Background The verb īnsum has the prefix in-. Prefixing in/in- to words, changes their meaning to ‘in’, ‘on’ et sim., or ‘un-’, ‘non’ et sim. (ɔ:¹ negation).² However, according to Wiktionary, the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
819 views

What is the meaning and origin of the "se-" prefix?

There are a lot of Latin words that begin with se-. It adds the notion of being "apart" or "separated": secerno secludo secubo seduco seiungo sepono etc. The linked entry calls it an "inseparable ...
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2 votes
2 answers
57 views

Can 'ex' in 'excurare' signify 'out'?

Etymonline states 'ex-' to signify 'out' Scour: "cleanse by hard rubbing," c. 1200, from Middle Dutch scuren, schuren "to polish, to clean," and from Old French escurer, both from Late Latin ...
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7 votes
2 answers
697 views

Accents in compound words and words with enclitics

I've been learning Latin on my own for the last 4 months or so using Wheelock and Moreland & Fleischer. I've not been able to find answers to the following accentuation questions in either of ...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Prae- & Ante- (before)

The prefixes prae- and ante- both have the same meaning of 'before' in place or time. Why is the existence of both words necessary?
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6 votes
1 answer
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How did the figurative meaning of 'iniungere' develop from the literal one?

The verb iniungere (a compound of in- and iungere) literally means "to join, fasten, attach". However, an Etymonline entry also gives it a figurative meaning "to inflict, to attack, impose". How was ...
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2 votes
2 answers
271 views

What does the prefix 'ab-' mean in the Latin verb 'abundare'?

abound (v.) early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + ...
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4 votes
1 answer
189 views

What's the logic of sub- in words like suppleo and sufficio?

The words suppleo and sufficio both derive from the prefix sub- ("under"), in which the 'b' of sub- is assimilated into the following consonant. Both these words carry the connotation of "being enough"...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the correct Latin prefix for 'two-and-a-half-times'?

Question. What is the latin prefix for "2½ times" ? Remark. The question asks for the correct analogue of the prefix "sesqui-" which, of course, is the prefix for "1½ times".
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9 votes
2 answers
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Is the prefix "di-" more Latin-like than "bi-"?

Question. (1) Is there anything close to scientifically-meaningful to say about whether the prefix "di-" is more Latin than the prefix "bi-", when indicating two-ness? (2) Are there published ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is "anti" used in Latin?

Apparently, anti is a word already available in Greek, meaning against. However, it seems this word did not reach Latin. Still, Wikipedia entries of common English words that have anti as prefix are ...
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8 votes
1 answer
289 views

Why does 'a' change to 'i' in verbs derived from 'habere'?

The verbs derived from habere usually have an 'i' in the stem rather than an 'a'. For example, adhibere, exhibere, inhibere, and prohibere, leading to the modern English verbs adhibit, exhibit, ...
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10 votes
1 answer
412 views

Comparing per- and de- as intensifying prefixes

Both per- an de- can be used as intensifying prefixes. It seems that per- is far more common, but also de- occurs (detritus, defetisci, deplorare…). There is also deperire, where de- seems to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
211 views

Is there a prefix, suffix or adjective to indicate that something is the most numerous?

Is there any way (prefix, suffix, or adjective) to indicate that a noun is the most numerous in some aspect? For instance, if I want to tell everybody that my horse carries the largest number of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
727 views

Comparing utopia and atopia

For the purposes of this questtion, let me spell the English word "atopy" as "atopia". I have no idea why the the same kind of etymological background (same derivative on the same Greek word τόπος) ...
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6 votes
1 answer
351 views

Is "vicepraesidens" valid for "vice president"?

This phrase appeared in Nuntii Latini last December: In causa erant discordiae inter praesidentem et vicepraesidentem ortae. Is vice- a good prefix in Latin, and does it really produce the same ...
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4 votes
1 answer
106 views

Capitalization of adjectives with prefixes

When answering a recent question about the prefix per-, I gave an example of a national adjective (Finnus) with a prefix, to produce Perfinni. If I attach a prefix to an adjective that always starts ...
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7 votes
2 answers
338 views

Can "per-" be applied to any adjective?

A long while ago, I came across a few dictionary entries under per-, meaning "very." I saw peracer, perbonus, and some others. But, I'm not sure if per- can be used as a prefix for any adjective. Can ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Choosing between the prefixes e- and ex-

Before a consonant on can use either version of the prepositions e/ex. Both seem to appear in prefixes as well, but ex- is often assimilated. It seems that, for example, words beginning with F take ex-...
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4 votes
1 answer
65 views

Why was rēfringō prefixed with « re- »?

[ Etymonline : ]  [...]   refringere "to break up," from re- "back" (see re-) + comb. form of frangere "to break" (see fraction). [ Wiktionary : ] Etymology From re- +‎ frangō. I ...
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10 votes
2 answers
564 views

Prefix chaining in Latin verbs

In Greek, it is very common to chain more than one prepositional prefix at the beginning of a verb, e.g.: συν-εκ-βαίνω: "go out together" ἀντι-κατα-δύνω: "set over against" περι-εκ-χέομαι: "flow out ...
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3 votes
2 answers
138 views

Why was 'imperō' prefixed with 'in-' and not 'ad-'?

[ Wiktionary: ]   Etymology   From in- +‎ parō. (with dative) I command, give orders to I rule, govern I demand, impose Because the 3 definitions above matches the meaning that one ...
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13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Imperatives of derivatives of facere, dicere and ducere

Three verbs are well known to have an irregular short imperative: fac, dic, duc. Do the imperatives remain short in the presence of a prefix? For example, which ones are correct out of effic/effac/...
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4 votes
1 answer
79 views

Can I use in and advenire together?

Is it grammatical to combine in and advenire to say, for example, in Finniam advenit? This sounds otherwise fine to me, but I'm slightly worried about mixing the prepositions in and ad so I want to ...
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8 votes
1 answer
559 views

Word or morpheme for “middle” or “not above or below”, as opposed to “super” and “sub”?

What is a latin morpheme for “middle” which can be used as a prefix, instead of “sub“ and “super”? The context is the use of such a construct in English. So the following mentions some English ...
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