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English words with Latin roots in ferre

A discussion of word histories and origins.

English words with Latin roots in ferre

Postby Garzo » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:38 pm

What a boring thread this will be! Just look at its title for a start. Are you really so bored that you thought reading this would be a good idea? Oh, okay...

I looked up the etymology of relate today, and was predictably usherred to relatus, the perfect participle of referre, from which we get the English refer. Therefore, relate and refer are both derived from the same Latin verb. I thought that was quite a discovery: I'd never thought of it before, even though I knew that latum was the irregular supine of ferre.

So, I looked for other word pairs from this irregularity. The pairs I've come up with are confer/collate, differ/dilate, offer/oblate, suffer/sublate, transfer/translate. I think circumference and circulate might qualify (but am a bit unsure). Also, perhaps the perfect/supine base pair extol/elate count. Most of these I'm just guessing at: would anyone like to comment?

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:04 pm

As much as I have always loved the principle parts of "ferre:"

ferro ferre tuli latus

I had never seen it in "relate" and such words, thanks, Garzo!

(We word people are wacky, aren't we?)

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Postby tcward » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:59 am

Wow! I feel as if I have just been told the secret to immortal life, but I don't know why! :lol:

What a stroke of genius, Garzo!

It even follows with prefer and prelate, offer and oblate!

I think it could even be stretched to cover proffer and prolate!

Being silly, you could even say that if you defer something it will probably be late...! :lol:

This was worth not being able to sleep for... ;)

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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:29 pm

Indeed, I find Garzo's pairs quite intriguing, but for me the most fascinating question of all is how did a nice verb like «ferre» get that (most) irregular supinum form «latum» ? Is there, for example, a PIE explanation that is generally accepted ? What is going on here ?...

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曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby tcward » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:16 pm

So I'll be the first to admit that I never studied Latin or any other language that uses the supine verb form.

Henri, I'm guessing that the history of Latin ferre and latum is similar to English go and went...?

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Postby tcward » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:44 pm

Henri (et al.), I was able to locate the following information at the Cornell University website:

F. ferô, ferre, tulî, lâtum ‘carry’
1. In PIE probably a Narten Present with a middle, which was one of the sources of the thematic paradigm.37
*¿´êrti *¿érflti
*¿ére(ti)

2. Latin may preserve an athematic paradigm in part. But it cannot be excluded that fers and fert are by syncope from *feresi and *fereti.
ferô ferimus
fers fertis
fert ferunt

3. The PIE root *¿er- was another root that probably only formed a present stem. The Latin perfect system is suppletive. tulî << OL tetulî (e.g. Plaut Amph. 716) and the p.p.p. lâtus < *tlâto- from the root *tel¤- ‘lift’. Cf. Lat. tollô, Grk. ¶tlhn aor. ‘endured.’
4. In Romance the simplex of this verb was replaced by the regular verb portâre.38


Not all the characters in the original PDF document were copied and pasted successfully... but I think you should get the drift.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:49 am

As always, Tim, excellent work ! I should have suspected that the solution to the conundrum lay in a dropped initial syllable - we have a tendency to deal with (frequently-used) words the way the Greek bandit Prokrustes dealt with his victims : chopping off appendages from those found too tall and stretching out those found too short. All this in the interest of the regression towards the mean. So can it go !...

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Postby Garzo » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:33 am

Yes, I think this is all true. I knew that the supine form latum is derived from the perfect stem tuli: the supine was, originally, tlatum, and dropped the t for obvious reasons. The verb tollo, I raise, is related in here. It is one of those irregulars where you learn the rules and try and get on with it. However, when I thought about the number of compounds that are found in English which are based on either fer- or lat-, it became a little quest. How satisfying? At least a little!

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:23 pm

Garzo wrote:... the supine was, originally, tlatum, and dropped the t for obvious reasons. ...

But Garzo, don't you find «tlatum» a delicious word ? Why I could go around all day, just saying «tlatum, tlatum» (but not in the hearing of my fellow psychiatrists, who might be moved to initiate commitment procedures)....

Henri
Last edited by M. Henri Day on Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:23 pm

Tlatum looks Nahuatl to me. A lof of Mexican proper names begin with a tl, and I think I read somewhere that the t is actually not pronounced.

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Postby gailr » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:55 pm

Nahuatl has been invoked often, considering the young age of aa, which makes me think the "old timers" are kinda missing those posts...

Fair warning, here: at the next reference to it I shall channel buzz and reconstruct a proper Nahuatl proof of the topic at hand. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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hmmm, which may be derived from the nahuatl gueguelihui, very loosely translatable into English as to be tickled [to do something].
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Postby anders » Fri Apr 22, 2005 7:01 am

Wikipedia gives several examples for adjectives, but no explanation.

It could be that, for unknown reasons, forms got lost, and the gaps were filled from synonyms.

It is interesting that the verb for "be" seems to be chock full with suppletives, making it "irregular", in most languages.
Irren ist männlich
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:41 am

M. Henri Day wrote:
Garzo wrote:... the supine was, originally, tlatum, and dropped the t for obvious reasons. ...

But Garzo, don't you find «tlatum» a delicious word ? Why I could go around all day, just saying «tlatum, tlatum» (but not in the hearing of my fellow psychiatrists, who might be moved to initiate committment procedures)....

Henri


Henri, I find it more tempting to say stlocus, gazing at the Pesach full moon. Quintilianus records it as the archaic form of locus, place.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:57 am

Flaminius wrote:...
Henri, I find it more tempting to say stlocus, gazing at the Pesach full moon...

Sounds almost Tibetan to me (not that I know any Tibetan)....

Henri
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:30 am

It might well be so. I checked AHDE but could not find the Indo-European etymology of locate.
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