Questions tagged [romance-languages]

For questions related to the process of vulgar/medieval Latin becoming modern Romance languages

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Septīmus or septĭmus?

In the past, I'd vaguely assumed that the word for "seventh" was septīmus, because we see an i instead of an e in the Romance languages (Italian settimo, French septime, etc). However, Lewis ...
Draconis's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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Did Latin have the same gender labels that the Romance languages have?

I'm curious about the concept and origin of gendered nouns. In a modern romance language such as Spanish, nouns are masculine or feminine which I'll describe as anthropomorphic labels. From my ...
pinoyyid's user avatar
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7 votes
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Does "laviniaque" from Vergil's Aeneid point to Romance palatalization?

The second i in "laviniaque" from the 2nd line of Aeneid is supposed to be consonantal to fit the hexameter; therefore the pronunciation should be something like: /la'wi.nja.qʷe/. My ...
VivatLinguaLatina's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
119 views

Why does the Italian word for comedy, "commedia", have a double 'm'? [closed]

Why does the Italian word for comedy, "commedia", have a double 'm'? It comes from Latin "comoedia", with a single 'm'.
FlatAssembler's user avatar
1 vote
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I can't find via Google "Flumen" diminutives

I have difficulties finding this word' possible diminutives.. this substantive ending in most declesions problematic -en. I answer Google: Google does not give me hypotetic resultates.
ephesinus's user avatar
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Possibility of Vulgar Latin or Old Romanian origins of "Akoldo" and "Dir" in medieval Primary Chronicles of Kievan Rus

The names "Akoldo" (that's how he was called for the first time, and later he is mentioned as Askold) and "Dir" are mentioned as the first Varangian rulers of Kiev in the medieval ...
Damir's user avatar
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2 answers
246 views

Parallel examples of the change of Apothēca to boutique?

French boutique, Spanish bodega etc. are by etymology said to be from Latin apothēca (REW). Are there other cases of word-initial a- being lost in Romance languages? From the top of my head, words ...
vectory's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
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When do the demonstratives ille, illa, illud become reduced definite articles?

More specifically, what are the first attestations of the nascent reduced forms of the definite articles in Latin (or Proto-Romance) e.g. Latin illam > la?
VivatLinguaLatina's user avatar
6 votes
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Etymological connection calx-calcaneum, callis, callum

Calx-calcaneum (heel) has resulted in many parallel and similar words across Romance: călcâi in Romanian, cãlcãnju in Aromanian, calcagno in Italian, Galician calcañar/calcaño etc. Callis (rough ...
cipricus's user avatar
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Is the word "pitikkus" (meaning small) attested in Vulgar (or other) Latin?

Being interested in the obscure etymology of popular Romanian word "pitic" (n.m. "dwarf", adj. "of small stature") I have oddly concentrated only on a possible Greek-...
cipricus's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why is Latin more different and hard to learn for a Romance-language speaker than the other Romance languages?

I am a native Romanian and I can master more or less only English, French and Italian - while Spanish and Bulgarian are transparent to me: but German is not - nor Latin! It seems to me obvious that ...
cipricus's user avatar
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Is the ancient word Greek πῐ́θηκος / píthēkos ("monkey") attested with the meaning "dwarf" more than once?

I am interested in the obscure etymology of popular Romanian word "pitic" (n.m. "dwarf", adj. "of small stature"). It might have a connection with the Latin line that led ...
cipricus's user avatar
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1 answer
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Bisyllables ending in -ex/ix: Does the accusative stress always fall on the same part?

Bisyllables ending in x. Does the accusative stress always fall on the same part as Felix-Felīcem Helix-Helicem(strangely in Italian it results Hêlica) Fenix-Fenīcem (Fenîce) Syrex-Syrīcis (Sírice in ...
ephesinus's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Did Classical Latin sound like singing at times like Italian does?

Plesae note that this question is different from a previous question of mine! Songs being sung in Classical Latin literature Did Classical Latin sound like singing at times and if so did Classical ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
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How did Latin's inchoative verb endings (-sco) get very productive in the Romance languages?

How did this particular suffix scheme get so common in the daughter Romance languages? Take Latin: finire, finio Then look at Spanish: fenecer, fenezco Italian: finire, finisco French: finir, je finis ...
VivatLinguaLatina's user avatar
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Has the word 'focus' ever meant 'fire' in Latin literature?

I ask this because in virtually all the Romance languages, the respective descendants simply mean fire, yet when I come across the term in classical literature specifically, it usually meant 'hearth'. ...
VivatLinguaLatina's user avatar
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0 answers
85 views

How did sedeo, sedere supplant some forms of sum, esse in Vulgar Latin?

I had learned that the Romance languages' copulas come from Latin's sum verb obviously, but not all of its forms transferred over. Specifically the verb's present subjunctive forms seem to have been ...
VivatLinguaLatina's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
475 views

Intonation pattern in Classical Latin that is the same intonation pattern Dora Marquez of Dora the Explorer does at times when she is speaking English

Listening to Classical Latin literature I have noticed that Thomas Bervoets launches into the same intonation pattern that Dora Marquez of Dora the Explorer does when she is speaking English at times! ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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Latin version of "non ho che un" or "je n'ai qu'un"

At least Italian and French have an idiomatic way to say "I have only one friend": Non ho che un amico. Je n'ai qu'un ami. Finnish has the same thing: "Minulla ei ole kuin yksi ystävä....
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
718 views

What were the original Latin verbs for the Spanish verbs?

Spanish has evolved from Latin. The Spanish -ar, -er, and -ir verbs are also from Latin. Accordding to http://spanishlinguist.us/2013/10/the-origins-of-spanish-ar-er-and-ir-verbs: Latin’s -āre verb ...
Arunabh Bhattacharya's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
349 views

Why is *salāta feminine? What was the original noun it is modifying?

OED traces the "salad" family of words (Portuguese salada, Fra. salate, Spa. ensalada, Ita. insalata etc.) to spoken Latin *salāta, from the verb salāre. One notices that salāta as well as ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Which modern language out of French, Italian, and Spanish is most similar to classical latin?

Since Spanish, Italian and French languages are all Romance Languages, which one of them is the most similar one to Classical Latin? I found this Diagram of the Romance Languages on Wikipedia.
Nabla's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Vowel hiatus and non-diphthong vowel pairs (compared to Romance languages)

Classical Latin's 6 major diphthongs are clear-cut, phonologically speaking. We know ae is pronounced as one phoneme, such as in [ˈsae̯.pɛ], "saepe." However, we often come across words that have 2 ...
Kai Garcia's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there Latin words known only by reconstruction from Romance languages?

I presume that many Latin words made it to the Romance languages, but were never attested in writing, whether because they were limited to Vulgar Latin or just because by chance no writer used them ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
760 views

Why is specifically "Latin America" called that when numerous other regions' languages are also based on the Latin language?

There's an entire major region, spanning the entire South America and parts of North America, called "Latin America". People there tend to speak Spanish and closely related languages. There's also the ...
Kingzion Holeman's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
267 views

Can gender be kept from Latin to a descend language? Are there patterns for this?

I read this in a random forum: "Words neuter in Latin become masculine in Spanish" (For instance "vāsum" = el vaso) Could it be some patterns making predictable the gender from Latin to a descend ...
Quidam's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the origin of the deponent verbs and their evolution in Romance languages?

How deponent (and semi-deponent) verbs appeared in Latin, and why? How did they evolve in descend languages? They seem extincts in descend languages (why?) but there are probably specific structured ...
Quidam's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
444 views

What evidence points to a long ō in the first syllable of nōscō's present-tense form?

I've read in various sources that the verb nosco 'know' had a long vowel in the first syllable in Classical Latin pronunciation: nōscō [noːskoː]. I'm wondering what the linguistic evidence is for the ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
227 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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auscultare < aus - clutare

A question was asked on French stackexchange about ausculter as a medical term and when it started being used in that sense. The meaning seems to go back to the early 19th century and Laennec, the ...
grandtout's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
198 views

Is long vowel feature completely lost in deviated languages?

In Latin, some vowels are marked by a macron, they are long vowels. However, I found that in French and Spanish there's no macron in their writing. Is the long vowel feature completely lost in the ...
zzzgoo's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
267 views

When did the penult stress rule disappear?

Classical Latin stress was famously based on the "penult rule": stress goes on the penult if heavy, the antepenult otherwise. In later Latin, vowel length seems to have been lost very early: before ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
133 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why did "cattus" replace Latin "feles"?

The word for cat is now, in almost every European language, derived from Latin cattus, as stated in Etymonline. It also says that the word was [...] in general use on the continent by c. 700, ...
Charlie's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
316 views

Can the use of articles be traced back to Late/Vulgar Latin?

The Romance articles developed from Latin ille. Was ille already used in a way that resembles articles more than demonstratives in very late or Vulgar Latin? Or did it this use only emerge after Latin ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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