Unanswered Questions

373 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
12 votes
0 answers
124 views

the kiskis and kankan debate: primary sources

There's a very famous story about how in the middle of the sixteenth century the Sorbonne University filed a legal claim to the Parlement de Paris re: the correct pronunciation of qu- in Latin, viz. ...
12 votes
0 answers
124 views

Which verbs come from *deh₃ and which from *dʰeh₁?

Latin has quite a few prefixed verbs looking like -dō, -dere, -didī, -ditus (condō, abdō, reddō, trādō, ēdō, etc). I'd previously thought these came from the verb dō, dare, dedī, datus (< *deh₃ &...
12 votes
0 answers
172 views

Why is "porticus, porticūs" a feminine fourth-declension noun?

The fourth declension was one of the less common inflection pattern for Latin nouns, and the vast majority of fourth declension nouns are masculine nouns ending in the deverbal abstract noun suffix -...
12 votes
1 answer
366 views

Received pronunciation in Ancient Greek

As S. Teodorsson argues in his work on the phonemic system of the Attic dialect, there is evidence that already in the IV century BC, 'popular' Athenian speech underwent changes such as the merger of ...
10 votes
0 answers
110 views

How can I use Perseus for Boolean searches?

Background and question Encouraged by Joonas Ilmavirta in chat, as ‘Corpus tool questions are a useful thing to have for reference’, I boldly go forth asking this publicly: Does anyone know how to do ...
10 votes
0 answers
150 views

Coordinating positive and negative imperatives

For positive commands, Latin uses the imperative: Da mihi librum "Give me the book." For negative commands, it uses a number of constructions of which noli + inf. is most common: Noli mihi ...
9 votes
0 answers
124 views

How to say "having the last laugh" in Latin

The expression "to have the last laugh" means to come out on top in a dispute or contest eventually, even if it may at first not seem so. This is particularly so if the person was laughed at ...
9 votes
0 answers
120 views

What are some examples of famous brands in the ancient Roman world?

In the Wikipedia article about brands, they give a few different examples of brands that existed in antiquity. A couple examples are given for ancient Rome, such as Umbricius Scaurus, a manufacturer ...
9 votes
0 answers
124 views

Construction with ecce

According to the usual authorities the particle ecce is construed with the accusative in pre-classical Latin, but with the nominative in classical and post-classical Latin. Thus, Lewis and Short: “(...
9 votes
0 answers
250 views

edere panem vs. comedere panem

Consider the following minimal pair: edere panem 'to eat (the) bread' comedere panem 'to eat up the bread' When a resultative prefix is present (e.g. com- in comedere), panem is necessarily understood ...
9 votes
0 answers
418 views

On the syntax of some datives in a beautiful Ciceronian structure

I was wondering if you would like to share your thoughts on the grammar of the datives in the following texts from Cicero. The second example is a very interesting one provided by Kingshorsey in an ...
8 votes
0 answers
86 views

What are the research topics of Latin scholars?

Given that dozens of grammars and dictionaries exist I wonder what questions the Latin scholars are working on. Are there any big unknowns left? The only one I can think of is the author of classic ...
8 votes
0 answers
81 views

Are there records of Latin-based pidgin languages?

A pidgin language is a simplified form of communication that arises naturally when two groups lacking a common language need to interact. Such interactions must have been common in the ancient world, ...
8 votes
0 answers
61 views

How should a question be formulated to call for an ablative of respect as the answer?

Imagine a sentence that contains an ablative of respect: Quintus est pedibus aeger. Now that same sentence with the ablative of respect removed: Quintus est aeger. What is the best way to formulate a ...
8 votes
0 answers
247 views

Why is the infinitive used instead of a genitive gerund (e.g. "consilium ceperunt ex oppido profugere")?

I was wondering about the grammatical reason(s) whereby a(n expected) genitive gerund/gerundive is sometimes replaced by an infinitive. Here are some representative examples of this phenomenon: ...

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