Roots and Stems

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228. Roots1 are of two kinds:

  1. Verbal expressing ideas of action or condition (sensible phenomena).
  2. Pronominal expressing ideas of position and direction.

From verbal roots come all parts of speech except pronouns and certain particles derived from pronominal roots.

229. Stems are either identical with roots or derived from them. They are of two classes: (1) Noun stems (including Adjective stems) and (2) Verb stems.

Note— Noun stems and verb stems were not originally different (see § 268), and in the consciousness of the Romans were often confounded; but in general they were treated as distinct.

230. Words are formed by inflection: (1) from roots inflected as stems and (2) from derived stems (see § 232).

231. A root used as a stem may appear in the following forms.

a. With a short vowel.

duc-is (dux), DUC
nec-is (nex)
i-s, i-d

So in verbs

fer-t (cf. § 174.2)

b. With a long vowel. The difference in vowel quantity in the same root (as DŪ˘C) depends on inherited variations (see § 17.a).1

lūc-is (lūx), LUC
pāc-is (pāx)

So in verbs.

ī-s for †eis, from , īre
fātur from fārī

c. With reduplication.


So in verbs

gi-gnō (root GEN)
si-stō (root STA).



1. For the distinction between Roots and Stems. see §§ 24 - 25.

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7.