15 votes

"Semitic languages" in Classical Latin

While fdb is absolutely correct that the ancient Romans had no conception of language families, we can come up with a plausible calque—a literal translation of each component of a word or phrase. ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes

In what ways Latin is considered to be "imprecise"?

The context of the comment, combined with my own intuition, makes me think this comment was referring mainly to vocabulary. As a random example of a Latin word that is not notably "precise" ...
Asteroides's user avatar
9 votes

What's the cool killer app of Latin?

I get the sense you are most interested in unusual linguistic features of Latin, which I'm not qualified to talk about. It's also worth noting that 'why study Latin' is a well-addressed question in ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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7 votes

"Semitic languages" in Classical Latin

The ancient Romans had no concept of language families, nor of Semites (the supposed descendants of Noah’s son Shem). There is consequently no word for “Semitic languages” in Classical Latin.
fdb's user avatar
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6 votes

Can gender be kept from Latin to a descend language? Are there patterns for this?

"Words neuter in Latin become masculine in Spanish" This is generally correct! In Latin, the most common type of masculine noun and the most common type of neuter noun look almost identical. They're ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes

Did Latin ever have a rule of lengthening vowels in monosyllables ending in /s/?

This is just to provide evidence for cōs-cōtis from classical poets: saepe etiam duris errando in cotibus alas (Vergilius, Georgica, 4.203) cote cruenta (Horatius, Carmina 2.8.16) nil tanti est. ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes

What's the cool killer app of Latin?

What interests you might not interest me; however, I have studied the languages you mention, among others, and might have some similar tendencies in what I find stimulating in language study. I ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
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4 votes

"Semitic languages" in Classical Latin

As pointed out, the Romans did not have a concept of language families as we understand them today. They did however have a concept of some peoples speaking languages that were similar to or "the ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 551
4 votes
Accepted

Why could initial iota not create diphthongs?

Latin had a phonemic /j/ and /w/ separate from the vowels /i/ and /u/, hence contrasts like Julius vs Iulus. The short answer is that "Ancient" Greek—as in Classical Attic—simply didn't. ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

How is "vinum rubrum" right?

Rubrum is an adjective that agrees with vinum. The context of your phrase makes it clear they're both in the accusative (formally they could also be in the nominative or vocative), because vinum ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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3 votes

How do I say "semantician/semanticist" in Latin?

There is the adjective semanticus: Designating, having an indicative force, Mart. Cap. 9, §§ 985, 988. Seems as though the only citation is that by 5th-century satirist Martianus Minneus Felix ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 8,530
2 votes

Derivation of the Latin Word "fores"

The Proto-Indo-European sound usually reconstructed as *dʰ regularly becomes f at the beginning of a word in Latin, like *dʰh₁-k- becoming faciō. On its own, the Latin evidence doesn't tell us much ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes

What do brackets and italics mean?

I first came across an answer to this in the USB Greek New Testament, which uses brackets to "indicate that the enclosed word, words, or parts of words may be regarded as part of the text, but ...
Vtex's user avatar
  • 916
1 vote

Should apposition in ancient Greek be identified as juxtaposition or coordination?

I believe that co-ordinated and juxtaposition with respect to Greek grammar refer to specific grammatical structures, including order. So, for example, co-ordination implies the presence of ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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