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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   thematic vowels in Latin verbs
Author:   Bruno Maroneze
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Subject Language(s):  Latin

Language Family:  Indo-European


Query:   Dear linguists,
I have a question on the meaning of the thematic vowels in Latin verbs. I was always thaught that the only function of thematic vowels was to indicate the inflection class of the verb (first, second, third of fourth conjugation). But I think it is very strange that there exists a morpheme which has only a grammatical function and doesn't have meaning. My hypothesis is: in earlier stages, the thematic vowel was a ''full morpheme'', (maybe even unbound), which had a meaning possibly related to the Aktionsart or the valency of the verb. Later, this morpheme suffered a grammaticalization process and lost its meaning. I wish to know if this problem was already studied; could someone point me some bibliographical references on this matter?
I will post a summary if there are enough responses.
Best regards,
Bruno O. Maroneze
University of Sao Paulo - Brazil
LL Issue: 15.391
Date posted: 28-Jan-2004



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