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Day: May 11, 2017
Why had Middle English dropped the leading e- in words borrowed from Old French that began with es-[plosive]-?
I’ll start by giving the passage on this change from Elementary Middle English grammar : James Wright, as a change specific to French loans. §231. Initial e– disappeared before s + tenuis as Spaine, spȳen, staat beside estaat, stüdien, scāpen beside escāpen, squirel (O.Fr. escurel). Initial vowels also often disappeared before other consonants, as menden […]
In ancient Greek, how is the root determined in τὸ τεῖχος?
Humphry Smith’s answer is right, but let me spell it out a bit more. We come up with stem suffixes in proto-Greek, to explain the diversity of case endings of classes of nouns—a diversity between dialects of Greek, as well as trying to make intuitive sense of where they came from. The nouns in your […]
Did Caesar say “I could kill you faster than I could threaten to kill you?”
At a first stab (so to speak): Plutarch • Life of Caesar After this speech to Metellus, Caesar walked towards the door of the treasury, and when the keys were not to be found, he sent for smiths and ordered them to break in the door. Metellus once more opposed him, and was commended by […]