Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The stem-vowel of the gerund and gerundive

On pg. 444 I address the variation in the vowel before -nd- in gerunds and gerundives formed to 3rd and 4th conjugation verbs.  In addition to the observations recorded there I should also have mentioned the discussion of Alfonso Traina in the 2nd edition of his book, Forma e suono. Da Plauto a Pascoli. Bologna: Patron, 129–143. Based chiefly on an examination of the invariant cases of transmission in the manuscripts of Terence, Traina establishes the following tendencies:

After -u, -ṷ-, -qu- the form is always -end- (vivendus).

After a syllable containing o or u the form is predominantly -end-

After i the form is predominantly -und- (faciundus).

Thus it seems likely that the choice of vowel was governed largely by avoidance of two segments with identical values for roundness.

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