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18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does “ῤάρος” have a smooth breathing?

I recently discovered that LSJ lists exactly two words beginning with ῤ (rho with a smooth breathing mark): ῤάρος and its diminutive ῤάριον. Most beginning Greek students are taught, of course, that ...
16
votes
4answers
462 views

Where did the Romans think Latin comes from?

Did the Romans have a theory for the origin of their language? I assume there were several ideas, and it would be great to see a summary of them. No need to go very deep on any individual theory; a ...
15
votes
1answer
734 views

Are there any other neuter words of the second declension that end on -us than “virus”?

Virus is a neuter word of the second declension even though it ends on -us, as evidenced by its genitive on -i (it has no plural). Are there any other such words? Bonus question: is it possible that ...
14
votes
2answers
792 views

Which common nouns have a locative?

I recently mentioned to someone the mnemonic I'd learned for the locative: "cities, towns, islands smaller than Rhodes, and domus and rus". In other words, only the names of cities, towns, and small ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Were voiceless stops (p, t, c, qu) aspirated in Classical Latin?

In English, the voiceless stops/plosives (p, t, k, "hard" c) are aspirated, particularly when beginning a word. That is, speakers release a burst of air when saying pop, tea, kaluha, or coffee (put ...
13
votes
1answer
211 views

Can a verbum deponens go along with an accusativus?

In Plinius I encountered: "Confitentes iterum ac tertio interrogavi supplicium minatus" Is supplicium some sort of accusativus belonging to minatus, which comes from deponens minor? If a form is ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive verb form in classical Latin? I can't think of a time it would be used, but I can think of an English translation: "if subject were to have verbed, then ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

What should the corona virus be called in Latin?

The corona virus (or a specific kind thereof) is a hot topic, and one should of course be able to discuss it in Latin. But what should we call the thing in Latin? Both corona and virus are Latin words,...
11
votes
2answers
507 views

Is -um (instead of -ōrum) a typical genitive plural ending outside of poetry?

I understand that Vergil often uses the -um genitive plural ending for some second declension nouns, instead of -ōrum. For example: huc delecta virum sortiti corpora furtim (Aeneid, Book II, line ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What is “living room” in Latin?

I would like to find a good Latin word for "living room". I know some options, but my list might not be complete and I am not sure what is the best choice. It may well be that different words are ...
10
votes
1answer
425 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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)...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use the Greek accusative?

The Greek accusative or the accusative of respect (accusativus Graecus or accusativus respectus) is used like the ablative of respect (ablativus respectus). This construction is a loan from Greek, ...
8
votes
1answer
225 views

Which mora of a stressed long vowel or diphthong bears the emphasis?

When a stress falls on a long vowel or a diphthong as in, for example: dīcō (IPA /ˈdiː.koː/) coepiō (IPA: /ˈkoe̯.pi.oː/) should I think that the emphasis: falls on the first mora, falls on the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “s” between two vowels voiced or unvoiced?

I am phrasing the question as an absolute though I am well aware that the answer could be "we don't know" or "depends on your pronunciation." I often hear church choirs pronounce miserere with a ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

When did unsyncopated forms become archaic?

I'd always learned that the regular way to say "you loved" was amāvisti, with the "syncopated" version amāsti being poetic and uncommon. However, Unbrutal_Russian says differently (with good ...
7
votes
4answers
520 views

Softeners for conversational topic transitions: “Well, …”, “So, …”

In conversation, we often introduce a new topic or make a transition with a little introductory word, like "Well, …" or "So, …" in English or "Allora …" in Italian. For ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there movies or subtitles for movies in Latin?

First and foremost, I am looking for films mostly spoken in Latin (not just a few scenes). My search so far has been fairly unfruitful. Most of the "films" available seem to be amateur (by students of ...
6
votes
1answer
114 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
237 views

Plura or pluria?

Before answering this recent question about the US motto, I had to check whether the neuter version of plures is plura or pluria. I had recalled right: plura appears to be indeed the sole form used in ...
4
votes
4answers
969 views

Dative of Reference

North & Hillard Ex. 204; Q1: the following is to be translated into Latin: "If he had not mocked me, I should perhaps have forgiven him." (Impossible conditions: past tense: pluperfect subjunctive ...
4
votes
2answers
253 views

About supplemented word ὀλόφῳ in a fusion of Lobel-Page fragments from an Italian Sappho anthology

This Italian Sappho anthology, on p. 57-58, has a fusion of several Lobel-Page fragments (cfr this question of mine), among which is 67(a). In l. 3 of that fragment, which is l. 16 of the fusion, the ...
2
votes
1answer
386 views

Subject-verb agreement when the subject is a dominant participle construction

My question is whether constructions similar to the following English one, which is drawn from Jespersen (1909-1949, vol. V: 138), can exist in Latin, i.e., constructions where (i) the subject is ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Is there any difference between “minime” and “minume”?

Prompted by cnread's answer to another question, I wanted to ask: is there any difference between mĭnĭmē and mĭnŭmē? The linked L&S entries do not offer any obvious commentary. A quick corpus ...
43
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is “ille” used in Winnie ille Pu and Hobbitus Ille?

I learned early on that Latin has no articles. So why is it, then, that Winnie the Pooh and The Hobbit are translated Winnie ille Pu and Hobbitus Ille? Wouldn't it be more correct to not translate ...
24
votes
4answers
12k views

How do I say “Brexit” in Latin?

Londinium, Britannia, 284 AD. The military commander Carausius is leading a movement to take Britannia out of the Imperium Romanum. He thinks there is a conspiracy between locals and foreigners to ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

“Miserando atque eligendo”

There seem to be two schools of thought about the meaning of the motto on Pope Francis's coat of arms: miserando atque eligendo These words are taken from the 21st homily of the Venerable Bede, ...
17
votes
1answer
558 views

What did the Romans consider the “basic” form of a verb?

Many of us are used to using the (active present) infinitive form of a verb as a "label" or "basic form" or "representative" of the verb. By this I refer to uses like dictionary entries or grammatical ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Is any animal neuter in Latin?

The word animal itself is neuter in Latin, but at least all of the common animal species seem to be masculine or feminine (or common gender): canis, feles, equus, pardus, leo/leaena, lupus/lupa, ursus/...
14
votes
2answers
489 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Proper parsing of “Ite, missa est”

In the Catholic liturgy at the dismissal, the Latin phrase used is "Ite, missa est." The usual translation for this is "Go, the Mass has ended." Can someone suggest a proper parsing of this somewhat ...
14
votes
1answer
942 views

Examples of the use of Claudian letters (Ⅎ, Ↄ, Ⱶ)

Emperor Claudius introduced three additional letters to the Latin alphabet: Ⅎ, Ↄ, and Ⱶ. What are some examples of the words in which these letters were used?
13
votes
1answer
929 views

Prepositions/adpositions with genitive?

In Latin, there are prepositions that may be followed by a noun in accusative (like ad), ablative (cum) or both (in). I once thought ope was a preposition to be used with genitive, which I found ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Which verb for drinking is least related to alcohol?

In English, like in many other languages, "to drink" often means "to drink alcohol". I dislike this connotation, and I would like to be able to talk about drinking with minimal alcoholic connotations. ...
12
votes
2answers
8k views

Happy Birthday and the accusative of exclamation

I'd like to say "Happy Birthday [to you]!" in Latin. I see two possibilities in Traupman's Conversational Latin: Fēlīx nātālis tibi! Fēlīcem nātālem [tibi exoptō]! The first is used in ...
12
votes
2answers
683 views

How do the verbs do and δίδωμι come from *deh₃-?

I was a little surprised to find that the PIE root of do and δίδωμι is *deh₃-, not *do-. How did we get the "o" vowel sound from eh₃? I don't actually know how to pronounce h₃, but I'm assuming that *...
12
votes
1answer
407 views

When to use -ris vs. -re as a passive verbal ending

Anyone who has read Cicero's famous line, Quo usque tandem, Catalina, abutere patientia nostra? ...knows that the 2nd person singular passive personal ending "-ris" is often changed to "-re": ...
12
votes
2answers
389 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
340 views

“How about” in Latin

How do you propose an idea for someone else to accept, reject, or counteroffer, as in this conversation? A. Where would you like to have dinner tonight? B. How about Rex Aztecorum on Fourth Street? ...
11
votes
1answer
230 views

Can you place “et” inside a prepositional phrase?

I became curious about this question as I was translating a passage written by a textbook author. The passage begins, Poeta Ovidius fabulam de dea Latona et de femina Niobe narrat. (Latin via Ovid)...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Genitive vs Ablative of Price

In Latin, worth or value can be expressed by the genitive or by the ablative. Here are some examples: Genitive Non pono utrique par pretium: pluris aestimo beneficium quam iniuriam. (Sen Ep. Mor. 81....
10
votes
4answers
786 views

Aut “rex Azteca” aut “rex Aztecus”?

In Spanish, azteca as an adjective doesn't seem to inflect for gender, though it does for number: azteca, aztecas. Hence the phrase el rey azteca. In Italian, azteco seems to be a perfectly regular ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Parallels for the infinitive in “memento mori”?

The famous phrase memento mori (the subject of this question) means something like "remember that you will die, remember you are mortal". But this use of the infinitive seems odd. Memini is often ...
10
votes
2answers
489 views

How is the supine related to the derived fourth declension noun?

I asked yesterday about the word venatu. There was a good answer and good comments, but I want to ask a broader related question more specifically — especially due to TKR's comment. I want to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Joke variant of US motto

As a joke, I'm imagining someone being confused about the US motto, and thinking it was "e unum pluribus", which hypothetically might mean "out of the one, many" or similar. But I bet that isn't ...
9
votes
1answer
303 views

Why does the Misal rico de Cisneros uses the word “Qiſſa”, and what is it supposed to mean? Why not “Miſſa” (Missa)?

The Misal rico de Cisneros, produced by archbishop Cisneros, the archbishop of Toledo, Spain, in the early sixteenth century, is a Latin Catholic missal also known as the Missale secundum ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Can 'in-' mean both 'in' and 'no'?

The prefix in- can mean "in" or "into" or similar, as in inire. It can also mean "non-" or "un-", as in infelix. Both meanings of the prefix are attested, but I am not familiar with any case where ...
9
votes
3answers
409 views

Can the ablative take a non-human agent or a human instrument?

In the study notes for chapter 6 of Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, I read about the ablative of agent and the ablative of instrument or means: In the passive, as we have seen, the personal agent ...
9
votes
1answer
239 views

Deriving adjectives from city names

One can often derive adjectives from city names, the most famous example probably being Romanus from Roma. Such derivatives are typically formed with -anus or -ensis. My impression is that -anus is ...
9
votes
1answer
291 views

On two types of S in a text from 1759

I ended up studying this poem last year: This is a congratulatory poem in a dissertation at the Academy of Turku from 1759. It is on page 4 of the full dissertation. I also published an English ...

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