Friday, May 28, 2010

A False Quantity in the OLD

The OLD gives the verb sariō (sometimes written sarriō) 'I hoe' with long a.  As far as I can tell, this is wrong.  The verb apparently only occurs in verse one time at Plautus Captivi 663. The line is transmitted as nam semper occant prius quam sarriunt rustici, but sar- cannot be a heavy syllable and Nonius, who quotes the line, preserves the form sariunt and in fact this must be correct since the line only scans (ia6):

nam semper occant prius quam sariunt rustici
A      B    c       D   A    b b     C        d d A    B  c D

Why the spelling with a geminate r is so common and how it arises is another question, but there is no evidence for the macron of the OLD.

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