Sunday, April 29, 2012


To the Basic Latin resources quoted on pg. 15 fn. 34 add Liesner, Malte. 2012. Arbeitsbuch zur lateinischen historischen Phonologie. Wiesbaden: Reichert.  This book will be a great complement to my book if you are teaching a class in the historical grammar of Latin and your students know German.  It's got great problem sets and exercises and I'm sure that anybody who worked her/his way through this book would have a very solid knowledge of Latin phonology. Since U.S. students almost never know German, you might find it useful to translate some of the exercises for them. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

More on perfect 3rd sg.

On pg. 393 I discuss the evidence for an Old Latin 3rd sg. perf. ending -īt, but I didn't say anything about an interesting phenomenon in Classical Latin poetry which has recently been studied by Marina del Castillo Herrera. In Ovid there are 42 examples of 3rd sg. perfects ending in -iit before a vowel which scan as -iīt and no examples of the prevocalic scansion -iĭt.  This contrasts with the treatment in Vergil where 20 examples of -iĭt and one (maybe two) of the scansion -iīt (Alcides subiit, haec illum regia cepit Aen. 8.363).  The probable explanation is that the one example in Vergil is  a metrical lengthening on the Ennian and Homeric model whereas Ovid's usage suggest a real (i.e. not metrically lengthened) long vowel.  The probable explanation for Ovid's -iīt is that -iit contracted to -īt, a form attested already in Plautus, and that -iīt is a conflation of the contracted and uncontracted forms.

See del Castillo Herrera, Marina. 2009. "Las formas de perfecto de indicativo en -iit." Cuad. Fil. Clás. Estud. Lat. 29.2:5-20.