rettuli vs. retuli

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
Post Reply
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:16 pm
Location: Amsterdam

rettuli vs. retuli

Post by GJCaesar » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:10 pm


Does anyone have an idea where the first of these two forms, rettuli, comes from? I think rettuli is quite strange, and the extra t between the prepositional re- and the perfect stem tuli- is a bit weird. The fact is that a dictionary actually says that rettuli is the normal form, and can also be written as retuli!

vincatur oportet aut vincat

User avatar
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:28 am

Re: rettuli vs. retuli

Post by swtwentyman » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:20 pm

"Red-" is another form of "re-", usually used before vowels (and sometimes dentals), as in "redimere", "redire", or "reddere". "Ret-" is just assimilation to the unvoiced T in "tuli". Ed: I'm not sure why the "red" form is used here. I guses syllable stress plays a role? (I should have thought your question through more thoroughly before posting: it seemed like a simple question about the existence of "red-" before I realized what you were asking. Sorry!) Ed2: I looked at a dictionary and it seems that "red-d" is used only when it's stressed, and it's always "re-d" when it's not. I'm not claiming a hard and fast rule; it's just what I've observed.

Textkit Fan
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 11:21 am
Location: Upsalia, Suecia

Re: rettuli vs. retuli

Post by Alatius » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:32 pm

I don't think we have to explain it with "red-". Rather, as I once got it explained to me, the perfect stem was originally duplicated: tetuli (cf. cecini, pepigi, etc.). The first syllable is completely lost in the plain verb (fero tuli), but a vestige remains in rettuli.

Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3292
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: rettuli vs. retuli

Post by mwh » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:49 pm

Good, but that doesn't explain early Latin's perfect passive spelling rellatum, sometimes metrically guaranteed (e.g. Lucr. 2.1001). Is that by some kind of analogical extension, or metri gratia lengthening of "l" (cf. Gk. epic ἔλλαβεν = ἔλαβεν), or what?

Post Reply