By Ivy Livingston
Because the oldest literary Latin preserved in any volume, the language of Livius indicates many positive factors of linguistic curiosity and increases fascinating questions of phonolgy, morphology and syntax.
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Extra resources for A Linguistic Commentary on Livius Andronicus (Studies in Classics)
One such causative is vege re ‘to cause to be lively’. Among the iteratives, we find mede r i ‘to heal’ from *med - ‘measure’, although the o -grade of this root is well attested in Latin modus , modestus, and moderare . 7 Of course, in the case of mere%to- , vowel weakening does eventually prevail, giving the more familiar form merito- . 8 Hence, mereo(r) is morphologically compatible with the causatives and iteratives, but its meaning must be considered. Since mereo(r) cannot be interpreted as ‘cause to apportion’, it would be necessary to classify it with the iteratives, if the -e - of its stem goes back to *- e´i' e=o-.
By the same token, rubetum should, in the first instance, have meant ‘red thing’. Now rubus can mean both the blackberry and the prickly shrub on which it grows. Of course, despite the English name, the color of the fruit in question plausibly falls within the range of the root *h1 reu' d h-. Rubus itself goes back to *(h1 )rud h-o- and is likely to be old, since it has an exact cognate in Lith. 29 The sequence of events can be imagined in the following way. The substantivized adjective rubetum was adopted as a word for a patch of ‘red stuff ’ consisting of one or more bramble-bushes covered with their reddish fruit.
Skt. smarate ‘remembers’. See Div. 69 (Quod item dici de Moneta potest ; a qua praeterquam de sue plena quid umquam moniti sumus? 101. 8. The definitions are taken from the OLD , except where otherwise noted. This would be a feminine variant of myrte¯tum and occurs only at Vid . 93 (nescio qui servos e myrteta prosilit ). ) or may have arisen as a misinterpretation of the neuter nom. and acc. pl. The OLD suggests that Priscian has simply misquoted the text. It is somewhat interesting to note that each of the doublets olea and ol i¯va , both meaning ‘olive-tree’ and ‘olive’ has its own -e¯tum noun.
A Linguistic Commentary on Livius Andronicus (Studies in Classics) by Ivy Livingston