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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 ...
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16 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 ...
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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 ...
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11 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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10 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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' ...
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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:
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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&...
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7 votes
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How long was the privative alpha?

Alpha privative was 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 vowel). Alpha ...
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7 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: ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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- "...
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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.
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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)...
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4 votes

Do vowels before /j/ make diphthongs?

It would be strange if Latin had diphthongs that could only appear before /j/ -- why the arbitrary restriction? The examples you mention seem to be most naturally analyzed as containing a geminate /j:/...
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4 votes

When is there a U instead of an E in gerund(ive)?

To clarify a little more. In Gramatica Latina (latin grammar) by Santiago Segura: Participe of passive future: It is also called verbal adjective in -NDUS and gerundive and is formed by adding to ...
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4 votes

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 ...
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4 votes

How many syllables are there in 'mortuus'?

Weiss writes that “there was no general anaptyxis between a consonant and u” (p. 145). The outcome is different and seems to be unpredictable. In some cases Cu > Cu or CC or C: equus (*h1ekuos), ...
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3 votes
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How was iī pronounced?

I don't think we can know for certain, but the fact that the spelling "filii" occurred makes it likely that the word was perceived as having three syllables, and was so treated in poetry. There are ...
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  • 4,548
3 votes

Are there iota or hypsilon contract verbs?

There are certainly verbs whose stems end (or used to end) in -i- and -u-, but what would contraction with a following stem vowel mean? "Contraction" here should be expected to result in a rising ...
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3 votes

How many syllables are there in 'mortuus'?

According to Yellow Sky's description (which lacks citations but lines up with all the words I can think of), the suffix -vus (from PIE *-wós) has three different forms: -vus after A, E, I, O, L, or ...
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