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Questions tagged [semantics]

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4
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1answer
80 views

Requests with 'posse'

In English and many other languages, asking "can you close the window?" is not an inquiry on the ability to close the window but rather a request to do so. Can the (classical) Latin posse be used the ...
4
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0answers
77 views

What is the difference between nego, ignoro, and nescio?

Trying to understand the subtle differences between the three words "nego", "ignoro", and "nescio". This question is not about the meanings in modern English, but the original meanings of the ...
8
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1answer
134 views

When to use “ac” instead of “et”?

What's the difference between the conjunctions: "et", and "ac"? Which one corresponds to what kind of situation? Allow me to elaborate for clarification, and to distinguish from similar questions. ...
7
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1answer
56 views

Are there any Latin words with sharply contrasting meanings?

The English word madam can mean A polite form of address for a woman or lady. (slang) A woman who runs a brothel, particularly one that specializes in finding prostitutes for rich and ...
4
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1answer
38 views

How did 'ex-' + 'serere' compound to signify 'thrust out, put forth'?

Etymonline avers the etymology for 'exert' to be from: 1660s, "thrust forth, push out," from Latin exertus/exsertus, past participle of exerere/exserere "thrust out, put forth," from ex- "out" (...
6
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1answer
119 views

Did “paganus” mean a non-believer before Christianity?

The adjective paganus is derived from pagus and seems to originally mean roughly "belonging to a village". According to the L&S entry the sense "non-military" is also classically attested. In ...
8
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2answers
732 views

Are Deponent Verbs a feature of the Latin Language or Means of Translation?

sequi as an example is a deponent verb. All forms are translated active, but look like passive forms. Is this a feature of the Latin language (i.e. were contemporary linguists aware of such a feature)...
5
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2answers
181 views

Has the meaning of any Latin adjectives narrowed in a way similar to English “gay” transitioning from a meaning of “happy” to “homosexual”?

The English words "gay" and "queer" are originally adjectives with a broad range of possible use contexts, but currently they are used almost exclusively in reference to certain minorities. It has ...
5
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3answers
180 views

Can aliquis function as an adjective?

Aliquis is typically a pronoun, but can it also function as an adjective like aliqui? For example, aliqui homo currit versus aliquis homo currit.
7
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1answer
104 views

Semantic differences between Greek comparatives/superlatives of “good”, “bad”

(This is more of a reference request than a question, since I'm looking for a more detailed discussion than is normal for an SE answer.) The Greek adjectives for "good" and "bad" each have several ...
7
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1answer
201 views

Is memento(te) semantically a future imperative?

The verb meminisse is irregular. It has only the active perfect system (memini, meministi, meminit…) and the imperatives memento and mementote. These imperatives are future imperatives by form, ...
7
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1answer
579 views

How to emphasize adjectives?

In English, and most modern European languages, we have one single word, "very," which is accepted as the regular way to make an adjective more extreme. Is there a common way to do this in Latin? Ways ...
2
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1answer
33 views

What underlying semantic notions connect 'involvō' to mean 'entail'?

Source: p 175, Introducing Philosophy for Canadians: A Text with Integrated Readings (2011 1 ed). [...]  "essentia involvit existentiam" [essence entails existence]. Wiktionary (and the Lewis &...
3
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1answer
74 views

What is the semantic field of 'cȳma'?

[ Wiktionary : ] Etymology From the Ancient Greek κῦμα ‎(kûma), from κύω ‎(kúō, “I am pregnant, I conceive”). *κυμαί ‎(*kumaí), the first-declension nominative plural form which would give ...
9
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3answers
262 views

Semantic differences between verbs of thinking

Latin has lots of verbs which can be translated as "think", including puto, opinor, arbitror, existimo, reor, censeo, cogito, and doubtless many others. How might one get a handle on the semantic ...
7
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1answer
644 views

“Fighting with someone” and the different uses of “with” in Latin

I am learning latin on my own and I came across this (quite comical) picture. When looking up the word "with", I found the following translations: apud, cum, per, and qum. But I am unsure of what the ...
3
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1answer
45 views

What underlying semantic notions explain the meaning of 'toward' for the prefix 'in-'?

[ Etymonline :]  [...] invitare "invite, treat, entertain," originally "be pleasant toward," from in- "toward" (see in- (2)).   [...] I am conjecturing that entry by an object in a target ...
14
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1answer
229 views

Is there a semantic difference between the two perfect tenses in medieval Latin?

In medieval Latin active perfect forms started to use the auxiliary verb habere with perfect participle. Thus amavi would be replaced with amatum habeo. These two constructions must have coexisted for ...
8
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1answer
60 views

What nuances distinguish “minor” and “ínstó” when they mean “threaten”?

The prefix of ínstó seems to suggest pressure or movement in a way that minor doesn't, but is that suggestion borne out in their actual use? Quí minátur quasi fíxus est, quí ínstat in aliquem movet?
11
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1answer
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What underlying semantic notions explain the meaning of 'against' for the preposition 'in'?

[Wiktionary :] 1. (governs the ablative) in, at, on (space)  [quotations ▼] 2. (governs the dative) within (time) 3. (governs the accusative) into, to  [quotations ▼] 4. (governs the ...