Questions tagged [romance-languages]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
0 answers
91 views

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'. ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
52 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
345 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! ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
234 views

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....
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
338 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
170 views

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 ...
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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
390 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
197 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,666
5 votes
1 answer
873 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,666
7 votes
2 answers
410 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 ...
user avatar
  • 20.8k
2 votes
1 answer
176 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 ...
user avatar
  • 50.7k
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
2 answers
116 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 ...
user avatar
  • 261
4 votes
2 answers
197 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 ...
user avatar
  • 50.7k
5 votes
1 answer
110 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 ...
user avatar
  • 50.7k
8 votes
1 answer
3k 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, ...
user avatar
  • 2,119
11 votes
1 answer
251 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 ...
user avatar
  • 18.4k