27

The different declensions started in Proto-Indo-European. Latin regularized and simplified them, giving the five somewhat-regular patterns you're familiar with. PIE nouns came in a few different types: Stems ending in *-eh₂ *h₂ was a "laryngeal" sound, so-called because we don't have a better name for it. Scholars can't agree on what its actual sound was; ...


26

It's often difficult to say "why" a sound change happened, so I'll focus on your other questions. Rhotacism in Latin happened via a series of sound changes. It only affected inherited *s in specific environments. The reconstructed steps of rhotacism, and their conditions The first step towards rhotacism is believed to have been voicing of single "s" to the ...


23

Introduction and Definition Why questions in linguistics are the hardest because we can only speculate. That being said, there is plenty of evidence to make an educated guess. Lundquist 2016 defines rhotacism as “the replacement of a non [r] sound with [r].” Evidence Inervocalic s (a letter, not a sound!) is found “only on the very earliest inscriptions” ...


20

The Latin ablative case represents a merger of three earlier Proto-Indo European (PIE) cases: the ablative (sometimes referred to as the 'from' case, because it was used to express ideas of source, separation, etc. – ideas where English often can use the preposition 'from'), the sociative-instrumental ('with' case), and the locative ('in'/'on' case). Of ...


19

The ablative absolute does not require a participle. It can be a noun and an adjective, as you say, or two nouns (Caesare duce urbem cepimus), or even an adjective and an accusative with infinitive (most probably, see the end of this post). However, there is a "verb-like" aspect to the construction that makes you want to add "being" if there is no ...


17

There is a locative case in Proto-Indo-European, but in many later languages it merged into other cases, Slavonic languages being an exception. (So Slavonic didn't invent the locative case.) Old Latin had a functioning locative case, but for a number of reasons (like shift in pronunciation), the locative case merged for the most part into the ablative in ...


16

It's impossible to pinpoint an exact date, but there is evidence. As usualy, Vox Graeca or Sihler's New Comparative Grammar is where to look. The earliest inscription we have of a Greek phi transliterated as a Latin 'F' comes from Pompeii in the first century CE, where the name Daphne was inscribed on a wall as Dafne. This might not have been monolithic, ...


16

According to the Handbook of Medieval Culture (Albrecht Classen, vol. 2): The first written evidence considered to be Italian rather than Latin is known as the Placiti Cassinesi, which are four legal documents containing vernacular testimonies in an Upper Southern dialect dated to 960–963. The text of the four placiti has been published in Storia ...


15

This is a fascinating question which taught me several new things about Roman culture! The extent to which we can answer this question affirmatively depends heavily on how we define "sign language." I will divide my answer into three levels. I will exclude, as an obvious first level, the universal human ability to communicate via bodily attitudes, such as ...


15

This is a very abbreviated answer, which I will intend to expand on in the future (unless others get in there before me). The short answer is that the ablative didn't replace any earlier case - it dates back to at least late Proto-Indo-European (PIE), which developed a complex system of cases (including the ablative) best preserved (in general) in Sanskrit. ...


14

There is indeed evidence for the u-consonant being pronounced as a voiced fricative during the Classical period, even as early as the middle of the 1st century. A wax tablet dated to AD 39 records a transaction by merchant Gaius Nouius Eunus, about which Clackson and Horrocks write: Eunus’s text provides us with one of the earliest examples of the ...


14

This pronunciation change was underway by the fifth century, but perhaps not finalized until the sixth or seventh. Paul M. Lloyd, in From Latin to Spanish, writes: There is no inscriptional evidence of [the palatalization of /k/ and /g/ before the front vowels] until the fifth century, although it may have begun long before, and it continued to be an ...


14

Ancient and late antique scripts Roman cursive was sometimes mixed indiscriminately with Roman square capitals: There was no difference in meaning between upper case and lower case letters. The differences in the shapes of the letters were simply the result of the handwriting of the individual writer.(Source — not the best, nor I have not found an ...


14

Two key mechanisms of disambiguation come to mind: Using hic (latter) and ille (former) is one way. Simple example: "A and B meet. The former eats, the latter drinks." — A et B conveniunt. Ille est, hic bibit. The pronoun se/suus usually refers to the subject of the sentence. Simple example: "B wrote a book. A compares his own book with B's." — ...


13

Old Latin bears the same kind of relationship to Classical Latin as English of, a few centuries ago does to modern English. The oldest Old Latin texts we have, unless I'm remembering incorrectly, are from the 3rd century BC, so there wasn't a whole lot of time for the language to change between then and 75 B.C. Old Latin has one more case than Classical ...


13

As usual, to answer this question we need to step into our comparative linguistics-fueled time machine and go back to Proto-Indo-European times, so we can see what function the ending -a, which we know as a neuter plural ending, had in PIE. In PIE, this ending -a (or rather *-(e)h₂) did not form plurals, but collectives. A collective refers to a group of ...


13

In addition to the familiar September–December, there were two more numerically named months before they were renamed in early imperial era: Quintilis and Sextilis. These should definitely go to your slots 5 and 6. In English you could call these Quintile and Sextile. You seem to have slightly misanalyzed the ending. What you add to the end of a ...


12

Sturtevant, The Pronunciation of Greek and Latin, says of the change in pronunciation of C before front vowels (p. 167): "The epigraphical evidence of this change is not abundant enough to inspire confidence before the sixth century". He doesn't discuss the evidence any further, unfortunately. Note that the change is a little more complicated than just "C ...


12

Yes, the forms of vōs did originally resemble those of nōs. But there was a sound change in Latin whereby the sequence vo became ve; this is an example of dissimilation. Apparently this only occurred when the o was short, which is why it did not happen in the word vōs itself. Other examples are adversum, veto, which were originally advorsum, voto. Weiss (...


12

Secundus is regular, eqvus isn't There's a sound change called the "Boukólos Rule", which started back in Proto-Indo-European. When labiovelar consonants (like /kʷ/ and /gʷ/) appeared next to /w/ or /u/, they dissimilated and lost their labialization, becoming /k/ and /g/. The rule is named after one of the first known examples, Greek βουκόλος "cowherd". ...


11

Since you’re asking about reduplicated perfect (and not reduplicated present, as in bibo < *pi-ph3-e or sero < si-sh1-e, Weiss 2009: 405), I will try to address perfect formation only. One of the problems is that synchronically we may not see all cases of reduplicated perfect in Classical Latin. However, by drawing on data from Old Latin and other ...


11

It is most natural (to me at least) to see ut/ne clauses corresponding to wishes as independent. A couple of examples should make this idea clear: Timeo, ne veniat. > Timeo. Ne veniat! > I fear. May he not come! > I fear that he comes. Spero, ut veniat. > Spero. Ut veniat! > I hope. May he come! > I hope that he comes. I have seen this explanation in Latin ...


10

The -ī of vīgintī "20" is originally a dual ending, the same one as in frēnī (PIE *-ih₁). This is why the ending of vīgintī is different from that of the other tens (trīgintā etc.)


10

The declensions are historical and developed from Proto-Indo-European. Per Sihler's New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin: See also Quiles/Lopez-Menchero's Grammar of Modern Indo-European:


9

The Lewis & Short entry for miro indicates that it is an “ante-classical form of miror”. Combining the examples in this entry with those found in An Etymological Analysis of Latin Verbs, I have found the following authors who use the active form instead of the deponent: Varro (d. 27 BC) Hospes, quid miras nummo curare Serapim? and Aut ambos mira ...


9

Using the texts stored in the Latin Library as a guide, we can see that the prevalence of eumdem waxes and wanes through history. Its earliest significant use in writing appears to be approximately the 4th century, and it reaches its height in the late Medieval period, but even then it does not displace eundem. Earliest usage Several works from the post-...


9

Roland Hinterhölzl (2009) Information Structure and Language Change p. 177 (via Google Books): Roman scribes would usually operate by "copying texts in scriptio continua – that is, without separating words or indicating any pauses within a major section of text (Parkes 1993: 10). Separation by spaces first appears in the Insular area (see Saenger 1997: 84-...


9

I see now that some people call this a "future passive participle", but it is conventionally called a gerundive. So I wouldn't think of "going to be read" at all if I were to translate it. A sense of prediction or obligation is inherent in any gerundive. The most literal translation is as follows—by most literal I mean the one that works in most situations, ...


9

Do not confuse relations of languages with relations of writing systems. Both Latin and Greek descended from PIE in oral form, prior to the introduction of (a preserved and widely used) writing system. Latin indeed borrowed its writing system from the Greek via the Etruscans, but this tells nothing about the relation of the languages involved. By analogy, ...


9

This is what I’ve been able to find – thanks to Oliver 1966. Oliver 1966 (in footnote 42) mentions two documents important to us, both of them most likely were schoolbook texts: A fifth-century fragment from Virgil (text number 11 in Cavenaile Corpus papyrorum Latinarum); a leaf from a parchment codex of Juvenal (sixth century AD) – it is text number 37 ...


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