Etymology of the verb "habilitō"?

I would like some thoughts about why -itō was used in the formation of habilitō. I have thought that -itō forms frequentive verbs from existing verbs, but I know of no verbs from habilis other than habilitō. Of course, it seems clear that habilis, rather than habeō, forms the basis for this. Am I wrong in thinking that -itō was only used thusly, or rather, was there some verb like habilō which formed the basis for habilitō?
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
Without making special inquiries I think habilitare = habilem facere (to make suitable) was formed per analogiam to nobilitare = nobilem facere, debilitare = debilem facere, humilitare = humilem facere &c.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
It may be that most forms in -itō are deverbatives, but it doesn't have to be so. Analogy often translates to: 'if it sounds good & it makes sense, we'll do it, no matter the regular rules'. It's also worth noting that the short (atonic) i sometimes deletes, as in cantō and nātō ( < canō & ). This would've possibly left a form like *haptō (cf. scrībō, scrīptum), which they might not have liked.

There's also the fact that verbs in -itō are commonly derived from 1st and 3rd conj., but not 2nd (I could be wrong; can't think of other examples off-hand). This taken with Agrippa's post would mean the only viable option would be some denominative of the 1st decl. or the like.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
I suppose there's vīsō, from *vissō < *vid(i)tō, but that's also a rare bird, as it belongs to the 3rd conj.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
Hm, although wiktionary derives that from an old desidero-intensive weids-, which I think is more likely.
 
Without making special inquiries I think habilitare = habilem facere (to make suitable) was formed per analogiam to nobilitare = nobilem facere, debilitare = debilem facere, humilitare = humilem facere &c.
Absolutely, that is clear. But why weren't the verbs rendered as: habilō, debilō, nobilō, and humilō?
It may be that most forms in -itō are deverbatives, but it doesn't have to be so.
That is probably the answer to this: that my thinking about the use of -itō was incorrect. Obviously, it was appended to other than verbs in the formation of frequentives.
Analogy often translates to: 'if it sounds good & it makes sense, we'll do it, no matter the regular rules'.
Hey...that's my philosophy! Take, for example, my coinage of term here: http://latindiscussion.com/forum/threads/“they-will-say-i-was-an-underachiever-”.33856/ Alas, while it sounded good to me, it apparently did not make sense enough...:oops:
 
Last edited:

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It seems the ending -ito, which in this case is probably something separate from the similar-looking frequentative suffix, tends to be used to form verbs with the meaning "to make (someone or something) such and such" from third-declension adjectives, as you, Michael, figured out for yourself in another thread. However, I can think of exceptions like humilio...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Unless these verbs are frequentatives, from non-attested forms like *debilio and *habilio, and humilito happens to have an attested simple form humilio!
 
It seems the ending -itō, which in this case is probably something separate from the similar-looking frequentative suffix, tends to be used to form verbs with the meaning "to make (someone or something) such and such" from third-declension adjectives, as you, Michael, figured out for yourself in another thread. However, I can think of exceptions like humilio...
Hmmm...that would make sense, if it were, seperately from the frequentive suffix, used as a causative verb forming suffix alternative to -iō (I am assuming that humilio is humilis + -iō). I haven't read about that usage of -itō anywhere, though. Perhaps in third declension adjectives in -is, -ālis, and -bilis/-ibilis, -itō was used in place of -iō to form the causative, in some type of haplologic way?
 
In an effort to consolidate Pacifica's hypothesis in regards to this, I did a bit of reading on sound change in word formation. Consequently, I am wondering if this might involve an example of ephenthesis, paticularly of excrescence. You can read a little about ephenthesis on Wikipedia, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epenthesis
The suffix here is certainly not -tō , because -tō is appended to the supine stem of a verb, and is also not known to form causatives. I note that -iō has formed causative verbs from third declension adjectives, as in alleviō < ad- +‎ levis +‎ -iō, as well as from first and second declension adjectives, as in ūniō < ūnus +‎ -iō. Why, then, would -itō have been used in the formation of such causatives as we are considering, when -iō already performed that function for adjectives of the third declension? This leads one to think that either Pax is right in conjecturing that:
Unless these verbs are frequentatives, from non-attested forms like *debilio and *habilio, and humilito happens to have an attested simple form humilio!
...(thus giving debilito, habilito, and humilito the meanings: "I continually debilitate", "I continually enable/habilitate", and "I continually humble/humiliate", respectively, with Pax's hypothetical/unattested *debilio, *habilio, and *humilio having taken the meanings "I debilitate", "I enable/habilitate", and "I humble/humiliate", respectively) or, alternatively, that it is possible that we are looking at forms created using -iō, but with the introduction of the "t" sound after occasions of escrescence (perhaps to assimilate the terminal "-is" of the third declension)? Perhaps I am overthinking this...but I find it intriguing that I can find no authoritative etymology, or explanation of why -itō can function to produce an apparent causative from an adjective.
 
Last edited:
Top