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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

VERBS/ Present stem

176. The Present Stem is formed from the Root in all regular verbs in one of the following ways:—

a. In the First, Second, and Fourth conjugations, by adding a long vowel (ā-, ē-, ī-) to the root, whose vowel is sometimes changed: as, vocā-re (VOC), monē-re (MEN, cf. meminī), sopī-re (SOP). 1

Note— Verb-stems of these conjugations are almost all really formed from nounstems on the pattern of older formations (see § 174).

b. In the Third Conjugation, by adding a short vowel e/o 2 to the root. In Latin this e/o usually appears as i/u , but e is preserved in some forms. Thus, tegi-s (root TEG), ali-tis (AL), regu-nt (REG); but tegĕ-ris (tegĕ-re), alĕ-ris .

  1. The stem-vowel e/o ( i/u ) may be preceded by n , t , or sc : 3 as, tem-ni-tis , tem-nu-nt , tem-nĕ-ris (TEM); plec-ti-s (PLEC); crē-sci-tis (CRĒ).
  2. Verbs in -iō of the Third Conjugation (as, capiō , capĕre ) show in some forms an i before the final vowel of the stem: as, cap-i-unt (CAP), fug-i-unt (FUG).

c. The root may be changed—

  1. By the repetition of a part of it ( reduplication ): as, gi-gn-e-re (GEN).
  2. By the insertion of a nasal ( m or n ): as, find-e-re (FID), tang-e-re (TAG).

d. In some verbs the present stem is formed from a noun-stem in u- , as, statu-e-re ( statu-s ), aestu-ā-re ( aestu-s ); cf. acuō , acuere . 4

Note 1— A few isolated forms use the simple root as a present stem: as, fer-re, fer-t; es-se; vel-le, vul-t. These are counted as irregular.

Note 2— In some verbs the final consonant of the root is doubled before the stemvowel: as, pell-i-tis (PEL), mitt-i-tis (MIT).

e. Some verbs have roots ending in a vowel. In these the present stem is generally identical with the root: as, da-mus (DA), flē-mus (stem flē-, root form unknown). 5 But others, as rui-mus (RU), are formed with an additional vowel according to the analogy of the verbs described in d.

Note— Some verbs of this class reduplicate the root: as, si-st-e-re (STA, cf. stāre).

XML File

Most verbs of the First, Second, and Fourth Conjugations form the present stem by adding the suffix -ye/o- to a noun-stem. The ā of the First Conjugation is the stem-ending of the noun (as, plantā-re , from plantā- , stem of planta ). The ē of the Second and the ī of the Fourth Conjugation are due to contraction of the short vowel of the noun-stem with the ending -ye/o- . Thus albēre is from albo/e- , stem of albus ; fīnīre is from fīni- , stem of fīnis . Some verbs of these classes, however, come from roots ending in a vowel.
This is the so-called “thematic vowel.”
In these verbs the stem-ending added to the root is respectively -ne/o- , -te/o-
These are either old formations in -ye/o- in which the y has disappeared after the u (as, statuō for †statu-yō ) or later imitations of such forms.
In some of the verbs of this class the present stem was originally identical with the root; in others the ending -ye/o- was added, but has been absorbed by contraction.