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Origin of fero, tuli, latus

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Origin of fero, tuli, latus

Postby Evito » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:06 pm

I'm curious as to how this particular verb developed. It's obvious fero comes from the Greek verb phero, which means about the same thing. But I'm not quite sure where tuli and latus came from.
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Re: Origin of fero, tuli, latus

Postby annis » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:35 pm

Evito wrote:I'm curious as to how this particular verb developed. It's obvious fero comes from the Greek verb phero, which means about the same thing. But I'm not quite sure where tuli and latus came from.


Ooh, ooh. Fero and [face=spionic]fe/rw[/face] come from the same source, but despite cultural closeness, Greek and Latin are actually about as far apart on the Indo-European family tree as they could be. The Romans might object to the implication that Latin came from Greek. :)

In any case, how did "go, went, gone" develop? Who knows. There may be theories of how this (called suppletion) develops, but I don't know if any is conclusive. It is, however, terribly common. In some languages there are words where the singular of a noun is from a completely different root than the plural.

Sometimes in archaic English you'll hear "I wend my way..." It's the past of this word that ended up being used for the past of just "go" (which in Old English was the even odder eode).

So, all the bits of fero, ferre, tuli, latum come from roots with related meanings but which somehow lost their other parts and settled into this remarkable pattern. This is just something that happens.

It's interesting, now that I think about it, how the different parts in Greek for [face=spionic]fe/rw[/face] are equally erratic. The future is [face=spionic]oi)/sw[/face], the aorist [face=spionic]h)/neika[/face] (Homeric form), and all other forms derive from the same root as the aorist.

So, this is a longwinded way of saying "we're not sure how this happens, but it's not uncommon."
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:40 pm

You know Old English? :shock: What is its difficulty compared to the Classics?
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Postby annis » Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:40 pm

Episcopus wrote:You know Old English? :shock: What is its difficulty compared to the Classics?


I've forgotten most. I discovered my love of historical linguists in the Old Germanic bunch: Old English, Old Norse, and most especially Gothic.

In any case, it's rather easier than Greek or Latin. I'd say it's directly comparable to learning German (the grammars are very similar). While poetry is trickier, Old English prose is not usually so trickified as Latin or Greek, which really does make reading easier.

Difficulty scale for a native speaker of modern English, from least to most: Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, Latin, Greek
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Postby benissimus » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:01 pm

William is right of course. I do happen to know a little bit about the origin of fero...

The first two principal parts appear similar to each other but then it can be confusing with the last two parts which look completely different from both each other and the first two principal parts. The last two parts are in fact related to each other, but of a separate origin from the first two. In very old Latin, the fourth principal part was tlatus, but unlike Greek, Latin eliminated those difficult sequences of letters and it was shortened to latus.

Tlatus and tuli are certainly odd looking, but at least they appear similar to one another. These third and fourth principal parts are from the verb tollo, tollere "to lift, take away" and are related to tolero, tolerare "to endure, tolerate", both obviously similar in meaning to fero, ferre "to carry, bear".
Last edited by benissimus on Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ulpianus » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:18 pm

. . . as a result of which tollo, having donated its perfect to fero had to share with suferro: tollo tollere sustuli sublatum. Quite a little game of musical chairs.
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Postby tdominus » Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:11 pm

I'll elaborate on the IE origins of phero.
The (reconstructed) indo-european is *bher-. The * in linguistics denotes that the form is reconstructed and hasn't actually been attested in literature.
From "A dictionary of selected synonyms in the principal indo-european languages" :

Indo-european *bher- ...
Grk phero, modern greek pherno, irish biru, berim, gothic bairan, Old English beran, etc., once general germanic for carry', now in part restricted (Du. baren, NHG gebaren 'bear' children, NE bear in this sense, also = 'endure', and in many phrases, as bear in mind, but no longer generic 'carry' in common speech); Sanskrit bhr.-, Avestan bie 'bring'; Toch. par- 'carry,bring'; but Church Slavic bera, birati 'bring together, collect'.

..
Grk . Eneika or Enika = Enegka, in most dialects except Attic, fr. en- and the root of ikO, ikneomai, 'come, reach, arrive at'.
Grk fut. oisO, also aorist infinitive anoisai, etymology unknown, possibly eimi 'go', oimos 'way', through a caus. notion.

..
Latin. perfect tuli, old tetuli, pple, latus, (*tlatos) : Lat. tollere 'raise, lift', etc; the primary sense of the root *tel- probably 'support'.

...
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