Monday, September 20, 2010

More Root Aorists in Latin

In his review James Clackson correctly points out that I underestimated the role of the root aorist in the formation of the Latin perfect system.  I said on pg. 412 that "Latin does not continue any clear traces of the root aorist".  In the footnote thereto I mentioned the possible explanation of the lengthened grade of vēnī as generalized from 1st sg. *gwēm < *gwem-m and 2nd sg. *gwēn < *gwem-s. It's true that no personal ending of the perfect system can be directly traced to a root aorist, but there are a number of perfect forms that I failed to mention that most plausibly continue root aorists.  The best cases are:

1. OL fūī ' I was' matches Ved. ábhūt.

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