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3
votes
1answer
74 views

How was iī pronounced?

Most of the time, Latin doesn't allow two instances of the same vowel next to each other: forms like *mee (from meus) are replaced with alternatives like mī. However, in I-stem second nouns, the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Are there iota or hypsilon contract verbs?

In Greek, verbs are classified as "consonant-stem" or "vowel-stem". Vowel-stem verbs, aptly, have a vowel at the end of their stem. And in the Attic dialect, if this vowel is a short alpha, epsilon, ...
6
votes
3answers
152 views

How many syllables are there in 'mortuus'?

I asked yesterday why the participle mortuus has two us. When Rafael asked whether one of the us were consonantal, I had no other evidence than being taught that they are both vocalic. Arguing by ...
7
votes
0answers
45 views

Where did the passive infinitive come from?

The etymology of the present active infinitive seems well-documented. Proto-Italic had an infinitive-like suffix *-si, so *dōnā- + *-si = *dōnāsi > dōnāre by regular sound changes (s → z → r between ...
3
votes
0answers
21 views

Which vowel combinations contract?

In Attic Greek in particular, there are well-understood patterns of "vowel contraction" that replace two vowels in hiatus with a single vowel or diphthong. But in Latin, contraction seems much more ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Are there verbs in -o-?

Verbs conjugated in -a- (amō, amāre, amāvī, amātus), in -e- (habeō, habēre, habuī, habitus), and in -i- (audio, audīre, audīvī, auditus) are common and well-known. Verbs in -u- (acuō, acuere, acuī, ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Why vesperascit instead of vesperescit?

I was recently working on a little translation project and my intuition and memory suggested that "evening comes" is vesperescit. Checking dictionaries corrected me: it is vesperascit instead. Why is ...
11
votes
1answer
145 views

Did the Romans ever distinguish long vowels in writing?

In most modern writing of Latin, long vowels are distinguished from short vowels by using macrons (e.g, āēīōū). As far as I know, however, ancient authors rarely, if ever, distinguished long vowels ...
9
votes
2answers
185 views

When is there a U instead of an E in gerund(ive)?

Tuomo Pekkanen's Latin grammar mentions (§52.3) that the -e- added to the present stem before -nd- in the gerund and gerundive (in the third and fourth conjugations) can be replaced with a -u-. For ...
10
votes
1answer
123 views

How can one predict the length of theme vowels in verbs?

The theme vowels a, e, and i in infinitives are long. But, in other forms of those verbs, they can be short. But when, exactly? What are the rules for this? And how about the suppletive vowels used ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Forming a compound with the second word starting with a vowel

For both Latin and Greek, what rules govern the formation of a compound of two words, with the second word starting with a vowel? I'm specifically most interested in the rules for Latin, since this ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

Homo from hemo?

I stumbled upon a Latin grammar from 1916 today, and it mentions that nemo comes from ne and an old version of homo, namely hemo. Is this theory considered valid these days? What support is there for ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Could the u in e.g. aufero be related to the u in Mycenaean a-pu-do-ke?

I came across this Mycenaen word when I was trapped in a Wikipaedia chain: the verbal augment is almost entirely absent from Mycenaean Greek with only one known exception, (𐀀𐀟𐀈𐀐), a-pe-do-ke (...