Questions tagged [vowel-quantity]

For questions about vowel length.

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9
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I know where to place macrons?

How do I use macrons? I understand what they do and how they do it, I just don't understand how you know when and where to place them.
12
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
380 views

Are vowels long before “gn”?

Allen and Greenough, §10d, provide a general rule: A vowel before ns, nf, gn, is long: as in cōnstāns, īnferō, māgnus [emphasis modified] This seems to agree with Priscian: 'gnus' quoque vel '...
7
votes
2answers
156 views

Are there other verbs in -uō?

Someone asked me recently about the conjugation of the obscene verb futuō, futuere, futuī, futūtus—and in particular about the quantity of the ū in the participle. I intended to look at some other -...
4
votes
2answers
644 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
309 views

Vowel length in future perfect indicative and perfect conjunctive

I want to compare future perfect active indicative and perfect active conjunctive. They look identical, apart from first person singular (cogitavero ≠ cogitaverim). But is there a difference in the ...
10
votes
1answer
275 views

Interpretation of circumflex in a poem from 1621

A poem from 1621 contains one ô and one â. The ô is the interjection ô and the â is in the relative pronoun quâ. No circumflexes are used elsewhere in the poem. Does the circumflex (or caret or ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What makes a syllable “heavy” or “light”?

The rules for positioning of syllable stress in Latin are relatively simple; they are as follows: In two-syllable words, the stress always falls on the first syllable. In three or more syllable ...
8
votes
4answers
231 views

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

In contemporary spoken Latin, such as (I think) occurs among canon lawyers in the Vatican and at Latin-only conventicula, do people clearly lengthen the -ā at the end of first-declension nouns in the ...
8
votes
3answers
535 views

Vowel shortening before another vowel: Exceptions

I am rather ashamed to admit that I used to pronounce Alexandrea (or Alexandria, cf. Ἀλεξάνδρεια) incorrectly in Latin, that is I mistakenly applied the famous rule "vocalis ante vocalem ...
4
votes
2answers
249 views

Understanding Lewis and Short: Why sūbĭcĭo and not subjĭcĭo?

I just searched for Christmas questions on our site, and ended up reading this question and its answer. There was a mention of the Lewis and Short entry on the verb subicere, and I was puzzled by the ...
4
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
359 views

Did the Romans confuse a long vowel with two short ones?

Consider the words sūs and sŭŭs. The former has one long u, the latter has two short ones in two syllables. For another similar pair with a different vowel, consider īmus and ...
9
votes
1answer
225 views

Understanding vowel quantity in fieri

The verb fieri has an unusual conjugation, and one of the weird aspects is the long I before many vowels: fīō, fīās, fīet… Why is the I long? Does the origin of ...
7
votes
2answers
372 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
207 views

Is there any rule to the length of “e” in “-ensis<”?

Is there any rule to the length of e in -ensis? I looked up the following words in Perseus (which give entries from 'Lewis & Short' and 'Elem. Lewis') and Wiktionary, without being able to ...
3
votes
0answers
134 views

“Alēctō” or “Allēctō”?

"Alēctō" is the name of one of the Furies, made surprisingly famous in the Harry Potter books. It seems to come straightforwardly from Greek ă- "not" + lēg- "stop" + -tos "[adjective]", so "...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Do contracted perfects have long or short vowels?

Many verbs have a suffix -v- in the perfect tense, which tends to disappear (or "contract" or "syncopate") before the ending: amā- > amāvisti > amāsti "you loved", audī- > audīvisti > audīsti "you ...
7
votes
1answer
146 views

Short vowels in lucubrando

I came across a poem from 1621 written in Sapphic stanza. It contains this line: pervigil Christi, lucubrando sudans To scan that, the third word must be lŭcŭbrandŏ. L&S ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

Why is there a short ŭ in rŭtus?

In Cerberus's list of u-stem verbs, rŭō, rŭere, rŭī, rŭtus is the only one with a short ŭ in the participle stem. Why is this? Does it go back to different types of verbs in PIE, as with stătus ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

Does any Greek word have a geminate consonant after a long vowel?

I recently noticed a pattern in loans from Hebrew into Greek: the letter šin (or sin, or łin if you're really archaic) is transcribed σσ after a short vowel, σ elsewhere. My knowledge of Classical ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Vowel compensation for intervocalic -ss- > -s-

I was recently reminded (by this question) that intervocalic single -s- turned into -r- by rhotacism, and later new instances of intervocalic -s- were produced from -ss-. If the vowel preceding -ss- ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

How long was the privative alpha?

In Ancient Greek, the "privative alpha" is a negating prefix, cognate to Latin in- (as in "in-conceivable", not "in-flammable") and English "un-". It survives in English in words like "a-typical" and "...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

vowel length in “pro” before “f”

When I'm reading macronized texts, the prefix "pro" always seems to be marked long, with the exception of a few words in which it's followed by the letter "f": profugus, for example, and proficīscī, ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Does any text corpus allow quantity-sensitive searches?

Is there a text corpus, preferably of classical Latin, in which one can or even must search with specific vowel quantities? This came up when I wanted to search for patĕre but not patēre and had ...