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7
votes
4answers
632 views

Do non-deponent Latin verbs ever have a “middle voice”?

In Ancient Greek, verbs often take a "middle voice", neither active nor passive. The forms usually look identical to the passive on the surface, but can take direct objects and cannot take an agent (...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

How to say Mister (Mrs, Miss, etc.) in Latin

I will mark this question as contemporary-latin because there are obviously not any precise classical equivalents of the titles implied by such English honorifics as Mr (Mister or Master), Mrs (Misses)...
5
votes
3answers
313 views

On the absence of impersonal passives of deponent verbs

In a previous post there's a discussion on an intriguing example of a passive construction of a transitive (allegedly) deponent verb: Ab amīcīs hortārētur (Did Latin have any ergative verbs? ). The ...
4
votes
2answers
661 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
736 views

Memento Mori--Revisited

In Q:What does memento mori actually mean? there does not appear to be a natural conclusion. Apposite contributions appeared as comments but were not developed. Perhaps it was believed that the Q. had ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a Latin version of “Quick brown fox…”?

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an English pangram, i.e. a phrase or sentence that contains all the letters of the alphabet (Wiki). Pangrams are often used in font typography to show ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

The Latin word “Have” rather than “Ave” as a translation of the Greek word Χαῖρε?

According to BlueLetterBible, the Latin Vulgate translation of Matthew 26:49 states, The Greek text from the Textus Receptus states, ΜΘʹ καὶ εὐθέως προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπεν Χαῖρε ῥαββί καὶ ...
11
votes
2answers
514 views

Can esse be used with a present participle?

I do not recall ever seeing esse in any form used with active present participles (like faciens). One could imagine something similar to the English distinction between "he does" and "he is doing" in ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the complement of esse in nominative or accusative when esse is a subject?

Suppose I want to say something like "I like being a human". There are undoubtedly several ways to phrase that in Latin, but I want to do it so that it the subject is "to be a human". The complete ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How is Latium pronounced?

The Merriam Webster definition gives the following pronunciation: \ˈlā-sh(ē-)əm\. But this doesn't sound right to me. I have never heard the consonant 't' pronounced this way in Latin. Which leads me ...
10
votes
3answers
480 views

What is “user account” in Latin?

I was thinking about expanding our help page in Latin, and I realized I don't know a good expression for "user account" in Latin. A "user" can be reasonably translated as usor, but "account" is harder....
9
votes
1answer
214 views

Is the nominative gerund attested?

I'd always heard that the gerund had no nominative, with the present active infinitive taking the place of the missing form: volāre difficile est, rather than *volāndum. However, in the comments on ...
9
votes
1answer
780 views

What is the origin of the 3rd-person plural perfect ending “-ēre”?

Laudavēre is an (apparently older) alternative to laudaverunt. What is the origin of this ending? Is it connected with any other known endings or affixes? Clackson & Horrocks say it is from an ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Choosing between the prefixes e- and ex-

Before a consonant on can use either version of the prepositions e/ex. Both seem to appear in prefixes as well, but ex- is often assimilated. It seems that, for example, words beginning with F take ex-...
6
votes
3answers
381 views

Length of i in Vergilius' “ferentis”

In the famous line "quicquid id est timeo Danaos et dona ferentis" Vergilius uses an older plural accusative form ferentis instead of ferentes. (It is unimportant here whether quicquid or quidquid is ...
6
votes
1answer
452 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
300 views

Null expletive objects in Latin? “Cariotae cum ficis certandum habent” (Plin. Ep. 1,8)

How is the gerundive construction to be analyzed in the following example? Cariotae cum ficis certandum habent. (Plin. Ep. 1,8) 'Dates have to fight with figs'. Could you please provide me ...
5
votes
0answers
207 views

How did σσ differ from σ?

Varro mentioned in this answer: I think it's highly likely that originally Greek σσ had a distinct sound from σ which made it a closer match to a foreign [ʃ] than σ would have been, which is why it ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

How are “Arsaces” and “Gotarzes” declined, and why?

Declinatione nominum latinorum a nominibus graecis quae -ης finiuntur perturbor. Dictionarium L&S exhibet "Arsăces, is m." a nomine graeco Ἀρσάκης. (E in syllaba ultima de "Arsăces" longum esse ...
4
votes
0answers
128 views

Is active periphrastic conjugation compulsory in consecutio temporum?

There is a rule which I have learned to know and love by the name consecutio temporum, and it governs the tense of a conjunctive predicate in (many) subordinate clauses. All three Latin Grammars I ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

What is the grammatical “logic” of impersonal constructions like “Me non solum piget stultitiae meae sed etiam pudet” (Cic. De Dom. 29)?

What is the grammatical "logic" of the impersonal construction with psychological verbs like pudet, piget, paenitet, taedet, miseret? (here is a short descriptive characterization of so-...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What did Romans call their language?

I was taught that Latinus is an adjective related to the area of Latium. Latin would be called lingua Latina, "the language of Latium", never merely Latina. There is a single-word expression referring ...
33
votes
4answers
4k views

What effect should a macron have on the sound of a letter and its word?

Latin makes use of macrons (small lines above letters) to indicate a different pronunciation for that letter. Exactly what should the macron indicate about the pronunciation of the letter? Does the ...
28
votes
4answers
66k views

How do you say “yes” and “no” in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how the Romans would have said "yes" as in "yes please" or "no" as in "no thank you". I don't know if they would have said it exactly like that, but what would they have said if they had ...
29
votes
2answers
582 views

Why did the letters in the alphabet shift position?

When presented with the Greek alphabet, it is like this: Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Or the Etruscan alphabet: A B G D E V Z H Θ I K L M N Ξ O P Ś Q R S T Y X Φ Ψ But if we ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do some Latin adverbs have accent on the last syllable?

In the opening chapter of De Musica (written 387-391), St. Augustine gives an example of a Latin oxytone, i.e. a word with accentual stress on the ultimate syllable: MASTER: Now when we pronounce ...
16
votes
2answers
885 views

What colours did different colour words mean, exactly?

There are many different words for colours in Latin, but it's not easy to tell what kind of colour was exactly meant by each word. Do we know what different colour words meant? In particular, is there ...
29
votes
7answers
17k views

How do you say “please” in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how to say "please" in Classical Latin like "please" as in "can I PLEASE have that?" or "PLEASE go away" or something like that.
18
votes
3answers
10k views

Latin word for “code” or “program” (the verb)

As part of a(nother) assignment for my Latin class, we have to write a description of how we spend our free time. I'm trying to translate this: After my homework is done, I like to program. So far,...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Where to put the enclitic -ne?

The enclitic particle -ne can be used to form a binary (yes/no) question. I would like to know how attaching it to different words changes the meaning of the question. I have a clear idea of how it ...
7
votes
2answers
970 views

Are there any Roman/Latin equivalents of the English interjections um, huh, uh, etc.?

Listening in to any conversation, one will quickly realize that people don't always know what they are going to say when they start speaking. This causes them to say things like "ummm," "uhhh," or "...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

Why does Latin have five different noun declensions?

Do they originate in particular dialects or languages that influenced Latin? Is the question even answerable? With any degree of certainty? Just curious.
23
votes
1answer
884 views

Why do ablatives of the 3rd declension sometimes end on -e, at other times on -i?

Normally, substantive nouns of the 3rd declension get an -e in the ablative (patre), and adjectives of the 3rd get an -i (audaci). This is already odd: normally, substantives and adjectives, both ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

When did scriptio continua and interpuncts give way to spaces between words in Latin?

From this overview of punctuation in Classical Latin, I understand that word spacing as we know it didn't really exist at that time: either an interpunct was used to separate words, or there was no ...
20
votes
2answers
778 views

Is there a way to make a sentence ironic in Latin?

Is there a way (spoken or written) to make a phrase sound ironic in Latin? For example "good for you" would be "tibi bonum est"? Could there be intonation or another word to make it sound ironic?
19
votes
3answers
4k views

When did the consonant U (i.e., V) begin to be pronounced as the fricative [v] instead of [w]?

It's well established that the consonantal u (or v) was pronounced as [w] in Classical Latin (i.e., w as in wine). Of course, Romance languages developed voiced fricatives out of this u-consonant, ...
18
votes
2answers
535 views

Nonne “a fortiori, a priori, a posteriori” solecismi sunt?

Are the terms a fortiori, a priori, and a posteriori bad Latin? If so, how and when did they become established? I understand that the dative case never takes a preposition in Latin—a most welcome ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What was a draco?

The Latin dictionaries I checked suggest that the word draco is attested in classical literature and it is often translated as "dragon". However, it is my impression — which may well be wrong! &...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Where to find ancient mathematics in Latin?

I am a professional mathematician and an avid Latinist, and I would like to be able to read and write mathematics in Latin. I prefer classical style, so I would like to read some ancient mathematical ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

What is a Latin version of Inshallah?

Anyone who served in the military in Iraq (and probably anyone who has done business in the Gulf) in the last 15 years is familiar with the term 'Inshallah.' I suppose it means 'God willing,' as in, "...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

When were macrons first used to mark Latin text?

A macron is a diacritical mark, which, in modern Latin texts, is sometimes used to mark a long vowel: ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, ȳ. From Roman uses of diacritical marks, I understand that the ancient Romans did ...
13
votes
2answers
917 views

How do I use gerundives of obligation for deponent verbs?

(Inspired by the comments on this answer.) The gerundive of obligation is a wonderful little idiom in Latin, as in Cato's famous mantra Carthāgō dēlenda est "Carthage must be destroyed" In this ...
11
votes
1answer
617 views

Comparison of omnes, cuncti, and universi

The three adjectives omnis, cunctus, and universus appear to be essentially synonymous. They are often used in the plural. The entries in L&S suggest very strong similarity, but I find it unlikely ...
11
votes
2answers
269 views

-NL- and -LL- in Classical Latin

I just stumbled upon an old meta question about the name of our chat room, and a comment gave me the impression that the classical spelling would be conloquium rather than colloquium. (Let me ignore ...
10
votes
1answer
380 views

Is the palatalization of “d” between “a”, “i” or “o” and “ie” or “iu” only a Medieval Latin phenomenon?

In Italian and the other Romance languages, the palatalization especially concerns "c" and "g" before "e" or "i". But some words in Italian (or early Italian in the case of meriggio) show the same for ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

How to say “everything will be good” in Latin?

I wanted to find out how to say in Latin "everything will be good" (like in "all'll gon'a be fine"). I came up with Omnium bene futurum. Is this o.k., or am I too ill-Latined?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the future imperatives of sum?

I have a book: 501 Latin Verbs: fully conjugated. In the conjugations for the verb sum, it leaves out the future imperatives. Are there no future imperatives for sum? So how would, "You must be noun/...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

When did “c” before “e” or “i” start to be pronounced as [ts] (in contrast to classical [k])?

In Classical Latin, "c" was always pronounced as "k". Since Renaissance Latin grammar reform, the correct pronunciation of "c" before "e" or "i" was codified to [ts]. So in Renaissance the true ...
24
votes
2answers
438 views

Why does the ablative case also include the locative?

In Latin we have the ablative case. Its common uses can be described as instrumental and locative (ablativus loci). But in Slavonic languages we have a distinct locative case. Did the instrumental ...
21
votes
1answer
779 views

Did ancient Romans raise the intonation of their voices when asking questions?

I understand that in Classical Latin, when someone asks a question, the -ne causes stress patterns for some words to be modified, so that both the -ne and the new stress pattern indicates that the ...

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