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The Early Latin Verb SystemArchaic Forms in Plautus, Terence, and Beyond$
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Wolfgang David Cirilo de Melo

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199209026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199209026.001.0001

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Some Problems of Reconstruction

Some Problems of Reconstruction

(p.305) 11 Some Problems of Reconstruction
The Early Latin Verb System


Oxford University Press

In theory the sigmatic forms could go back to Proto-Indo-European desideratives or aorists. While diachronic morphology on its own remains inconclusive, the perfective meaning of the forms and their prevalence in prohibitions point strongly to aoristic origin. Even though some of the forms are undoubtedly old, the frequent faxō ‘I shall do’ must be relatively recent. Both duim and dem ‘I may give’ go back to aorist forms, but only dem was reanalysed as a present subjunctive. The -u- in duim is of Proto-Italic age.

Keywords:   aorist, desiderative, relative chronology, Proto-Italic, Proto-Indo-European

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