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Unanswered Questions

219 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
14
votes
0answers
83 views

Dating the penult rule

When did initial-syllable stress give way to the penult rule? W.S. Allen suggests that the former persisted "until around Plautus's time", and provides metrical evidence from Plautus and Terence that ...
13
votes
0answers
913 views

Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes

The famous phrase "Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes" does not come from the Bible but from the English Burial Service of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, reading: "we therefore commit his body to the ...
13
votes
0answers
177 views

Where did the Romans think Latin comes from?

Did the Romans have a theory for the origin of their language? I assume there were several ideas, and it would be great to see a summary of them. No need to go very deep on any individual theory; a ...
11
votes
0answers
73 views

Use of Greek article in Latin to clarify use of foreign indeclinable nouns

This question concerning the pluralization of letter names has led me to ask a somewhat related question on the use of Greek to clarify indeclinable nouns in Latin. The background to this question is ...
11
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0answers
100 views

Third conjugation passive infinitive: why -i and not -eri?

The active infinitive is uniform (-re from -se by rhotacism) across the regular Latin conjugations, but the passive one is not: the third conjugation loses the consonant. We have amare/amari, habere/...
10
votes
0answers
88 views

Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I asked this on the HistorySE site, without much luck, so thought I'd try here. If it's inappropriate for this forum, please let me know and I'll delete it. I have just been reading this which is ...
10
votes
0answers
282 views

What are New Latin's comma rules?

What are New Latin's comma rules? Specifically, where do New Latin's comma rules differ from modern English's comma rules (e.g., as documented in the 16th ed. of the Chicago Manual of Style §§6.15-6....
9
votes
0answers
121 views

Are there attestations of Greco-Latin contact languages from antiquity?

When speakers of different languages meet they often develop some contact language or pidgin containing elements of both languages. Surely speakers of Greek and Latin met in the antiquity at several ...
9
votes
0answers
109 views

How to speak a language with a third declension adjective?

Most Latin adjectives related to names of countries and languages are of first and second declension: Latinus, Graecus, Anglicus… If I want to express that I speak in any such language, I will ...
9
votes
0answers
88 views

Where did the passive infinitive come from?

The etymology of the present active infinitive seems well-documented. Proto-Italic had an infinitive-like suffix *-si, so *dōnā- + *-si = *dōnāsi > dōnāre by regular sound changes (s → z → r between ...
9
votes
0answers
147 views

Etymology and pronunciation of words ending in “-iasis”

Unfortunately, I don’t own any Latin or Greek dictionaries or etymological texts, but I tried to research this topic on the internet. Here is what I found: Perseus: words ending in “iasis” in L&S ...
9
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0answers
713 views

Contracted perfect and historical infinitive

The present infinitive is sometimes used as a predicate in a past tense sentence. The use context is similar to praesens historicum. My grammar gives two examples: Nihil Galli respondere, sed in ...
8
votes
0answers
98 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
61 views

Is there an aoristic-perfective distinction in the Latin perfect?

I have just recently learned that the perfect tense in Latin can serve also as an aorist tense as well as a perfect tense and that the perfect tense in Latin is simply the result of the original Proto-...
8
votes
0answers
67 views

Where can I find standard translations of mathematics/physics terms in Latin?

Suppose I want to write a math paper in Latin. I need to translate terms such as "manifold", "holomorphic", "martingale", etc. The Latin Wikipedia only has a limited number of terms available and ...

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