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21 votes
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Can "ee" appear in Latin?

First, Galilaee sounds right. See this question about the vocative of Gnaeus for details. There are situations where one finds -ee- in Latin without the first e belonging to ae. What I found is not ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
17 votes
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Is there a relationship between the phonology in Old Latin and later Vulgar Latin?

Almost everything in Romance languages that comes from Old Latin passed through Classical Latin. u/o changes In the case of u/o, it's probably a coincidence that some Old Latin o corresponds to ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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12 votes
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When is "ei" a diphthong?

Very few Latin words contain "ei" as a diphthong. Some possible examples are deinde, dein, deinceps, rei, spei, and in fact, the pronoun ei (but not always). The exact list of examples ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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12 votes

Can "ee" appear in Latin?

The Vulgata is full with proper nouns having double -ee, specially as endings (e.g. Bersabee, Phacee, Osee). I imagine you are not particularly interested in these. Below are all the other words I ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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12 votes
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How can one predict the length of theme vowels in verbs?

Whether or not this is how the forms really developed, this is how I organize it in my head. And it has proven quite efficient, so I consider it a good description of what classical Latin conjugation ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
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Did the Romans ever distinguish long vowels in writing?

The following is based mostly on Clackson and Horrocks 2007/2011, Leumann 1977, and Wallace 2011. First of all, something to keep in mind, as Weiss 2009/2011 puts it, is that "Long vowels were ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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11 votes
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What makes a syllable "heavy" or "light"?

Any syllable containing a long vowel is heavy, but not all heavy syllables contain long vowels. Syllabification is a fairly abstract concept, so unfortunately, there are multiple conflicting ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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11 votes

Was the "U" in Urbs pronounced as "ʊ" in classical pronunciation?

Phonemically and historically speaking, the distinction between u and ū seems to have been solely one of length. When you lengthen a u (like before /ns/), you get a ū; when you shorten a ū (like ...
Draconis's user avatar
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10 votes
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How long was the privative alpha?

Alpha privative was regularly short in Ancient Greek, as shown in Smyth (1920) §885 (a long vowel would have been written with a macron, rendered on the Perseus website as an underscore after the ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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10 votes
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Are there minimal pairs between vowels and semivowels?

v and u There are some minimal pairs between [w] and [u]. All of the examples that I have found so far involve words that contain the perfect formative [u] preceded by a sonorant and followed by a ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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9 votes

Why sōns but absēns?

Ruppel 2013 seems to offer the kind of explanation that I was thinking of, that absens and praesens were simply adapted to make their endings fit better with the usual morphology of Latin third-...
Asteroides's user avatar
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8 votes

What makes a syllable "heavy" or "light"?

The answer to your question is simple and difficult at the same time. As Christian Lehmann (Lehmann 2010) puts it rather succinctly, "A light syllable is one ending in a short vowel; all other ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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8 votes

What makes a syllable "heavy" or "light"?

A syllable is can be heavy in two ways. It is heavy by nature if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong. It is heavy by position if the vowel is followed by a "consonant cluster". If neither happens, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes

Can "ee" appear in Latin?

Rarely ee can be used as geminatio vocalium, i.e. to denote that the e is pronounced long. This was mainly used in Oscan and sometimes borrowed to Latin. For example leege in this inscription: ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
8 votes
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How many syllables are there in 'mortuus'?

Here is metric evidence in support of three syllables. I went through all occurrences of mortuu- in Vergil(ius) and Ovid(ius), and I found no occurrences that would require scanning mortuus or mortuum ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes

βυκάνη < būcina: vowel reduction undone in borrowings from Latin?

I looked up the Greek word in the etymological dictionaries of Chantraine and Beekes. They both say that your hypothesis #1 (an Oscan loan) was indeed proposed by Cuny in 1908, but that this was ...
TKR's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there a context where every vowel makes a valid word?

I have a few. The best example is m_ris, which has plenty of examples for each vowel (disregarding length), except meris, which is only attested twice. You can also switch out the -is for -e, although ...
cmw's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there a context where every vowel makes a valid word?

Inspired by cmw, you can do m_rī: marī: dative singular of mās "male", or dative or ablative singular of mare "sea" merī: masculine/neuter genitive singular or masculine ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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8 votes

How to define a long or a short vowel in Latin words?

No way to know. That's what the macrons are for! For example, alium means "another", while ālium means "garlic"; anus means "old woman", while ānus means "ring";...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
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When is there a U instead of an E in gerund(ive)?

Weiss writes that "The u-forms are characteristic of legal and archaizing style, e.g. pecuniae repetundae (the recovery of extorted money), and are found in the isolated forms secundus 'following' ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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7 votes
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Homo from hemo?

Yes, this is still considered valid. The proto-Italic word is reconstructed as *χem-ō, χe/om-on-m. de Vaan has the best summary:
cmw's user avatar
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7 votes
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Do vowels before /j/ make diphthongs?

If this question has an answer, the most likely answer is "No, they don't". But in my opinion, the question is not really meaningful. As far as I know, things like the [ej] in "ejus&...
Asteroides's user avatar
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6 votes

When is "ei" a diphthong?

The diphthong ei is found before vowels: eius, peior. The intervocalic i is typically geminated (see this question about I and J) so that eius is pronounced like /ej.jus/ which is practically the same ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
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Could the u in e.g. aufero be related to the u in Mycenaean a-pu-do-ke?

The υ of ἀπύ (also attested in Arcado-Cypriot, which is the most conservative group of Greek dialects and often shows similarities with Mycenaean) is a secondary development within the Greek dialects, ...
TKR's user avatar
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6 votes
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Where did the passive infinitive come from?

According to Vine's "The Morphology of Italic", all the infinitive endings originated with the third/consonant conjugation, and were extrapolated from there. Many consonant-stem verbs in Latin used ...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes

Determine length of vowel

There are a few ideas that could help, depending on how you are learning Latin and (maybe) what for. (Besides a lot of experience): Audio: If you happen to learn from hearing (from a teacher or ...
Rafael's user avatar
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5 votes

Are there verbs in -o-?

Lewis and Short give only three Latin words ending in -oo, all of them verbs: boare/boere, "to cry" reboare, "to echo" (the previous one with re-) inchoare, an alternative spelling of incohare Apart ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
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Forming a compound with the second word starting with a vowel

In Latin, the rule is simply that the connecting -i- does not appear before a vowel, as in your magn-animus, or using a third-declension adjective (like rapax): grandaevus "aged" < grandi- "...
TKR's user avatar
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5 votes

Does trisyllabic laxing occur in Latin words like 'decision' before entering English?

decido and decisio(nem) both have a long i in the second syllable. I do not understand why you think these words are evidence for a "trisyllabic laxing" in Latin.
fdb's user avatar
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5 votes

Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

An interesting discussion. Re aqua, it is a thorny problem. There are two (indirectly three) cases in Lucretius (and, save for an anonymous tragic line and an anonymous inscription, in Lucretius alone)...
DJB's user avatar
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