32 votes
Accepted

A Latin adjective for New York?

The Catholic Church seems to use (say, Archiepiscopus) Neo-Eboracensis very consistently. See, for example: here for 'FRANCISCUS titulo Ss. Ioannis et Pauli Presbyter Cardinalis SPELLMAN, ...
27 votes
Accepted

Are there feminine and neuter versions of "professor"?

There are indeed a few examples of such words from ancient texts, but they are very rare. They are still formed from the supine stem, meaning that the original dental consonant (d or t) is replaced ...
  • 843
18 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I have another entry for this exhibit that answers your question with a resounding yes. Enter Plautus, in the Menaechmi, with three verbs derived from proper names in his prologue: Atque hoc ...
  • 37k
16 votes

A Latin adjective for New York?

Just a few days ago I was looking up the scientific name of the Northern Waterthrush: the Parkesia noveboracensis. The name occurs in several other names. However, I haven't found an example of it ...
  • 37k
16 votes
Accepted

Is there an English word derived from τάσσω, with a similar meaning of arranging/organising?

The word you are looking for would be taxonomy, from τάσσω, fut. τάξω, to arrange in a certain order, e.g. of troops. Τακτικός is that which is required for the arrangement: the tactics.
  • 1,173
14 votes
Accepted

Did grammarians consider the adverbial -e a case ending?

In a recent paper (included in The Latin of the Grammarians), I have made the point that Latin grammarians, unlike their Greek predecessors, did not expressly stress the uninflectional nature of ...
14 votes
Accepted

What construction is "διδαχή?"

διδαχή is indeed built on διδάσκω, though without the inchoative infix -σκ-: the root is διδαχ-, as can be seen in the aorist ἐδίδαξα, and -σκ- is one of those infixes that only show up in the present....
  • 6,617
13 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between -us and -io?

Unfortunately, it seems that people have tried for centuries to answer this question, with limited success or at least limited consistency. For example: In his 1841 Dictionary of Latin Synonymes, ...
13 votes
Accepted

What does the suffix -mentum add to a word's meaning?

According to Miller (2006: 76, 78), the endings -men and -mentum form a deverbal (with one exception) noun with the semantics of means, instrument or result of action of the verb. Relevant quotations ...
  • 1,929
12 votes
Accepted

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

Yes, double diminutives are possible in Latin. I found a few other examples from a search on Perseus of Lewis and Short (I looked for words ending in "llula", "llulus" and "llulum"): arcellula < ...
  • 22.3k
12 votes
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Verbing in Latin

There are at least some cases in which this can be done, with different shades of meaning. graecisso (-izo), āre, v. n., = Γραικίζω, to imitate the Greeks, to adopt a Grecian manner or tone: atque ...
12 votes
Accepted

Variations on the diminutive: -olus and -ulus

A word search confirms that -olus is used instead of -ulus after a vowel. A Perseus search for words ending in -olus reveals (among a few false positives, like malevolus) that every diminutive form ...
  • 37k
12 votes
Accepted

Niveus and nivosus

In general, the -osus ending indicates plenty. Lacrimosa isn't just "teary-eyed," but weepy. Same with nivosa. Niveus is often used with mountains to describe the snow-topped peaks, and from the ...
  • 41.9k
11 votes
Accepted

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

Remember than infinitives are “typically frozen case-forms” of verbal nouns (Fortson 2010: 107; see also Weiss 2009: 445). So, in several IE branches (Balto-Slavic, Indo-Iranian and Italic), there is ...
  • 11.3k
9 votes
Accepted

Constructing Latin diminutives

I think abdomunculum would be the most regular diminutive of abdomen. But it seems a bit difficult to me to give a clear answer because the rules about "proper" diminutive suffixes are often based on ...
  • 22.3k
9 votes

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

The supine is, in fact, the remnant of a fourth-declension nominal form, a verbal noun which stood for the action itself. The Plautine comedies still record an intermediate stage of this syntactical ...
  • 1,101
9 votes
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How productive was the participle in -menus in Latin?

Weiss cites, besides alumnus, femina (from a root meaning 'give suck'), calumnia (derived from *kalwo-mno-, from the root of calvor 'deceive'), and possibly also columna and the divine name Vortumnus (...
  • 28.7k
9 votes

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

The example that I'm familiar with is meretricula, found in, e.g., Plautus, Rudens 62-63: ipse hinc ilico conscendit navem, avehit meretriculas.
  • 18k
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

There are agent nouns for all genders. For example, saltare gives rise to saltator, saltatrix, and saltatrum. For more details, see this question. The stem is revealed by the genitive form. For my ...
9 votes

Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

The stem of sāl is săl-. This is documented in many dictionaries, including Lewis and Short. Most derivatives are taken from the stem of the noun, not the nominative. The only outlier with respect ...
9 votes
Accepted

Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

As has been pointed out, it's the long vowel in the nom. and voc. sg. of sāl that requires explanation, not the short vowel everywhere else, and it doesn't look like we have a good consensus. Sihler, ...
  • 6,617
9 votes

Is there an English word derived from τάσσω, with a similar meaning of arranging/organising?

Another common English word is syntax: literally the "ordering together" of words, from συντάσσω > σύνταξις.
  • 37k
9 votes

For what Vulpes --> Vulpecula, but Sorex never will be Soreculus

Latin has various diminutive suffixes. Although both words are spelled with "cul", the "c" in vulpēcula is part of the diminutive suffix, while the "c" in sō̆riculus is ...
  • 22.3k
8 votes

Did grammarians consider the adverbial -e a case ending?

As far as I can see, the Roman grammarians did not consider the adverbial -e to be a case ending. On the other hand, from the standpoint of historical linguistics most Latin adverbs are indeed ...
  • 16k
8 votes

Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I don’t know how far you want to stretch your definition of classical Latin, but Christianizo is used by Tertullian, and Judaizo in the Vulgata.
  • 16k
8 votes
Accepted

Is mensa somehow derived from mens?

According to Mensa's About Us page, the name is taken from Latin mensa, which means "table": What does "Mensa" mean? The word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin. ...
  • 37k
8 votes

Is mensa somehow derived from mens?

According to De Vaan's Etymological Dictionary, these two words are not related. Here are his notes on mēns: PIt. *mnti-. PIE *mn-ti- [f.] 'thought, mind'. IE cognates: Skt. mati- [f.] '...
8 votes
Accepted

How does one show that a person or thing is the performer of an action?

Assuming we're in a codified state (from the tags), there are two primary ways. The first is use the present participle as a substantive. E.g. Cic. Div. 68.141 (from G-L § 437): Nihil est magnum ...
  • 41.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Nominalized adjective in Latin?

Latin doesn't need any changes at all. Since there are no definite articles, there's no need for anything but using the adjective substantively. The only requirement is following normal grammar rules ...
  • 41.9k
8 votes
Accepted

A verb for Googling in Latin

I can think of many ways of going about this, but for such an unapologetically modern idea I think the best approach may be to observe how other related modern languages have solved this problem and ...
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