28

The origin of ordinal names seems to be unknown, but one theory dating back to Varro is that ordinal praenomen were originally used for children based on the month in which they were born (a custom which is however not attested in the historical period). You can find more details in this blog post by Peter Gainsford: "Why are there no Romans named ‘...


10

"Is this just a phonetic thing in this word, rather than a semantic one?" Yep. In fact, as Smyth says, αἰδώς is the only such "-οσ- stem" word in Attic. (In Homer you will also find ἠώς "dawn", which in Attic declines as an "Attic declension" noun, on which see below). So it might as well be considered irregular. The ...


9

@TKR is right about the specific case of αἰδώς and mentioned the Attic declension, but there's more to say: there is a good number of Greek nouns ending in -ως even outside the Attic declension, and the question of whether it's a meaningful suffix for forming words out of other words there is worth asking. Going through Wiktionary's list of Greek nouns and ...


5

Here is de Vaan's entry for both forms: By this account (which I think is uncontroversial), both forms come from the locative singular of the demonstrative *so- "this", with an added enclitic *-ke in the case of sīc. This enclitic is the same form that shows up as -c, -ce in demonstratives like hi-c, huius-ce, etc., as well as some other words ...


4

It is from the same root as κοπάζω, and also from that of the more common verb κόπτω "hit, strike". Presumably it comes from the latter meaning, so that it originally meant something like "easy to hit" (the prefix εὐ- can mean "easy" as well as "good", as in e.g. εὐδιάβατος "easy to cross"), with a later ...


4

I feel like -logy and -nomy are more pertinent here, with the -ists being secondary developments from those. -logy goes back to -λογία, which is a combination of λέγω 'to speak; to collect', λόγος 'word; reason; ratio; ...', or -λογέω 'to speak' (a variant of λέγω appearing only in compounds) and the suffix -ία, which forms abstract nouns. All of these ...


3

At an earlier stage the connection between singular and plural forms was sometimes clearer, with -s serving as a straightforward plural marker in at least some of the cases. Sound changes and analogical levelling have made that much harder to see, though. Possibly the clearest view is in the masculine thematic nouns (Latin second declension). Consider e.g. ...


2

Universal human laziness would have favored dropping the voiceless velar before the voiced dental. Under rapid speech, I don't think the /k/ sound would survive long. You don't always need a universal sound change rule for every change in a language. Some changes are bound to be random or unique. That's the second law of thermodynamics (which takes ...


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