edited by Meagan Ayer et al.
Derivation of Verbs
256. Verbs may be classed as Primitive or Derivative.
- Primitive Verbs are those inherited by the Latin from the parent speech.
- Derivative Verbs are those formed in the development of the Latin as a separate language.
257. Derivative Verbs are of two main classes.
- Denominative Verbs, formed from nouns or adjectives.
- Verbs apparently derived from the stems of other verbs.
258. Verbs were formed in Latin from almost every form of noun and adjective stem.
259.1. Verbs of the 1st Conjugation are formed directly from ā-stems, regularly with a transitive meaning.
fugāre put to flight
2. Many verbs of the 1st Conjugation are formed from o- stems, changing the o- into ā-. These are more commonly transitive.
stimulō, -āre to incite
from stimulus a good (stem stimulo-)
aequō, -āre to make even
from aequus even (stem aequo-)
hībernō, -āre to pass the winter
from hībernus of the winter (stem hīberno-)
albō, -āre to whiten
from albus white (stem albo-)
piō, -āre to expiate
from pius pure (stem pio-)
novō, -āre to renew
from novus new (stem novo-)
armō, -āre to arm
from arma arms (stem armo-)
damnō, -āre to injure
from damnum injury (stem damno-)
3. A few verbs, generally intransitive, are formed by analogy from consonant and i- or u- stems, adding ā to the stem.1
vigilō, -āre to watch
from vigil awake
exsulō, -āre to be in exile
from exsul an exile
auspicor, -ārī to take the auspices
from auspex (stem auspic-) augur
pulverō, -āre to turn (anything) to dust
from pulvis (stem pulver- for pulvis-) dust
aestuō, -āre to surge
boil, from aestus (stem aestu-) tide, seething
levō, -āre to lighten
from levis (stem levi-) light
260. A few verbs of the 2nd Conjugation (generally intransitive) are recognizable as formed from noun stems; but most are inherited, or the primitive noun stem is lost.
albeō, -ēre to be white
from albus (stem (albo/e-) white
cāneo, -ēre to be hoary
from cānus (stem (cāno/e-) hoary
clāreō, -ēre to shine
from clārus bright
claudeō, -ēre to be lame
from claudus lame
algeō, -ēre to be cold
cf. algidus cold
261. Some verbs of the 3rd Conjugation in -uō, -uere, are formed from noun stems in u- and have lost a consonant i.
statuō (for †statu-yō), -ere to set up
from status position
metuō, -ere to fear
from metus fear
acuō, -ere to sharpen
from acus needle
arguō, -ere to clear up
from inherited stem †argu- bright (cf. ἄργυρος)
Note— Many verbs in u are inherited, being formed from roots in u.
fluō, fluere flow
so-lvō (for †sē-luō, cf. λύω), solvere dissolve
Some roots have a parasitic u.
loquor, locūtus speak
262. Many ī- verbs or verbs of the 4th Conjugation are formed from i-stems.
mōlior, -īrī to toil
from mōlēs (-is) mass
fīniō, -īre to bound
from fīnis end
sitiō, -īre to thirst
from sitis thirst
stabiliō, -īre to establish
from stabilis stable
a. Some arise by confusion from other stems treated as i-stems.
bulliō, -īre to boil
from bulla (stem bullā-) bubble
condiō, -īre to preserve
from condus (stem condo-) storekeeper
īnsāniō, -īre to rave
from īnsānus (stem īnsāno-) mad
gestiō, -īre to show wild longing
from gestus (stem gestu-) gesture
Note— Some of this form are of doubtful origin.
ōrdior begin, cf. ōrdo and exōrdium
The formation is closely akin to that of verbs in -iō of the 3rd conjugation (§ 188).
b. Some are formed with -iō from consonant stems.
cūstōdiō, -īre to guard
from cūstōs (stem cūstōd-) guardian
fulguriō, -īre to lighten
from fulgur lightning
Note— Here probably belong the so-called desideratives in -uriō (see § 263.4, Note below).
Verbs from Other Verbs
263. The following four classes of verbs regularly derived from other verbs have special meanings connected with their terminations.
Note— These classes are all really denominative in their origin, but the formations had become so associated with actual verbs that new derivatives were often formed directly from verbs without the intervention of a noun stem.
- Inceptives or Inchoatives add -scō2 to the present stem of verbs. They denote the beginning of an action and are of the 3rd Conjugation. Of some there is no simple verb in existence.
calē-scō grow warm
from caleō be warm
labā-scō begin to totter
from labō totter
from sciō know
con-cupī-scō conceive a desire for
from cupiō desire
from alō feed
So īrā-scor (get angry); cf. īrā-tus.
iuvenē-scō grow young
cf. iuvenis young man
mītē-scō grow mild
cf. mītis mild
vesperā-scit it is getting late
cf. vesper evening
Note— Inceptives properly have only the Present stem, but many use the Perfect and Supine systems of simple verbs.
calēscō grow warm; caluī
ārdēscō blaze forth; ārsī
proficīscor set out; profectus
- Intensives or Iteratives are formed from the Supine stem and end in -tō or -itō (rarely -sō). They denote a forcible or repeated action, but this special sense often disappears. Those derived from verbs of the 1st Conjugation end in -itō (not -ātō).
from iaciō throw
dormī-tō be sleepy
from dormiō sleep
from volō fly
vēndi-tō try to sell
from vēndō sell
from quatiō shake
They are of the 1st conjugation, and are properly denominative.
a. Compound suffixes -titō -sitō are formed with a few verbs. These are probably derived from other Iteratives: thus, cantitō may come from cantō, iterative of canō (sing).
b. Another form of Intensives—sometimes called Meditatives, or verbs of practice—ends in -essō (rarely -issō). These denote a certain energy or eagerness of action rather than its repetition.
cap-essō lay hold on
from capiō take
fac-essō do (with energy)
from faciō do
pet-esso, pet-issō seek (eagerly)
from petō seek
These are of the 3rd conjugation, usually having the perfect and supine of the 4th.
arcessō, arcessĕre, arcessīvī, arcessītum summon
lacessō, lacessĕre, lacessīvī, lacessītum provoke
Note— The verbs in -essō, -issō, show the same formation as levāssō, impetrāssere, iūdicāssit, etc. (§ 183.5), but its origin is not fully explained.
- Diminutives end in -illō, and denote a feeble or petty action.
cf. cavilla raillery
cant-illō chirp or warble
from cantō sing
Note— Diminutives are formed from verb stems derived from real or supposed diminutive nouns.
- Desideratives end in -turiō (-suriō), and express longing or wishing. They are of the 4th conjugation, and only two are in common use.
par-turiō be in labor
from pariō bring forth
ē-suriō (for †ed-turiō) be hungry
from edō eat
Others are used by the dramatists.
Note— Desideratives are probably derived from some noun of agency: as, ēmpturiō (wish to buy) from ēmptor (buyer). Vīsō (go to see) is an inherited desiderative of a different formation.