Latin minimal pairs distinguished only by vowel length

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
lūcis (gen. sg. of lūx)
lūcīs (dat./abl. pl. of lūcus)
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
pedes 'on foot', 'foot soldier' (nom. sg.; gen. peditis)
pedēs 'feet' (nom. pl. of pēs, pedis); 'lice' (from pedis, pedis); 2sg. subj. of pedō, -āre 'furnish with feet' (rare)
pēdēs 2sg. fut. of pēdō, pepēdi, pēditum 'fart'

cf. also peda 'footstep' (rare), pedō, -ōnis 'someone with broad feet' (also a surname), pedum, -ī 'shepherd's crook', Pedum, -ī (name of a town), which lead to:
pedis ('of the foot')
pēdis ('you sg. fart')
pedīs (dat./abl. pl. 'with footsteps', dat./abl. pl. 'with shepherd's crooks', acc. pl. 'lice')

peda 'footstep' vs. pēdā 'fart!'

pedō 'to/with a shepherd's crook', 'flat-footed' (or from the place name), 'I furnish with feet' vs. pēdō 'I fart'

and so on... whew.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Jive Turkey
These are divine things thou utterest.

But is there really a verb of the shape pēdō pēdāre? Or am I missing something?
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
But is there really a verb of the shape pēdō pēdāre? Or am I missing something?
Yes.

 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That's pedere, not pedare.
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
pedō, not pēdō, is first conjugation; though L&S only cite forms of the participle and gerundive. I did say it was rare.
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
Oh yes - sorry, that was my confusion.

Guess it could be a 2nd sg. subj. form with archaic elision of 's' :devilsmile:
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
Is the last vowel of the latter short or long?
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
nōn omnīnō intellegō. syllabam quā terminet verbum, sī nīl aliud additur, dīcimus ancipitem esse, ita, sed vōcālis nihilominus habet suam propriam longitūdinem. sed rēctē dīcis - sī secunda vōcālis longa fuisset, vērisimiliter correpta esset ob iambum. sed fortasse aliquis cui maiior facultās Plautum scandendī potest accurātius hoc cōnfirmāre.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Isn't Plautus written in iambic septenarii and octonarii and other such lovely stuff? :eek::eek::eek:
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Persaepe fit. Dubito tamen quos poetas dicas seriores — alii enim alios "seriores" putant.

Catullus scripsit:

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam fortasse requiris.
Nescio sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

Passim fit, ut dixi; hoc tamen exemplum solum continuo succurrit.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Quae tamen in tempore mutari potest. Legi -o corripi imprimis apud seriores poetas, etiam nonnunquam apud classicos, exempla tamen dare nequeo.
Not every single -o, but the -o of 1st person singular verbs, the -o of future imperatives (memento), and the -o of a nominative singular (like in Naso) can be both long or short* (I think there were other examples, but I don't remember them off the top of my head ... I remember that my dictionary said this could also happen with the gerund in the ablative singular, but I've never seen an example of that).
So, yes, theoretically, the o in cēdo can also be short, although that seems a lot less common to me.

* I'm obviously talking about cases where it cannot be explained by iambic shortening.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Not every single -o, but the -o of 1st person singular verbs, the -o of future imperatives (memento), and the -o of a nominative singular (like in Naso) can be both long or short*
Ita est. In ablativo casu non fit, quoad sciam, nisi apud seriores poetas ::D — valde seros dico, ut puta quarti quintive saeculi... (Non tamen accurate scio, quis quandove id primo fecerit.)
 
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