Studies in Latin etymology and phonology

The well-known American Indo-Europeanist and classicist Brent Vine will visit the University of Copenhagen to give a three-day seminar on Latin etymology and phonology highlighting his recent studies.

The program for the seminar is as follows:

Monday October 8 at 12-14 in room 24.4.01
“Some Latin f-Words (and some qu-words, g-words, etc.): Initial-syllable                                                 Syncope and the Prehistory of Italic Accent”
Etymological highlights: Lat. focus, fimus, flōs, crās, quaerō, quirīs, glōs, grūs,                                     bonus (dvenos)
Phonological highlight: “initial-syllable syncope” and early Italic mobile accent

Tuesday October 9 at 10-12 in room 21.1.21

“A Crass, Gross (but Classic) Problem”
Etymological highlights: Lat. crassus (and crassundia), grossus, classis (and                                     related words: calāre, Calābra, clārus, etc.)
Phonological highlights: • rhotacism (and a certain class of exceptions)
                                   • the treatment of PIE *ghr- and *ghl- in Latin
                                   • the Latin version of “Grassmann’s Law”

Tuesday October 9 at 16-18 in room 21.1.21
“Bird-Watching in Ancient Italy: Umbrian avieka- ‘auspicā-’, Latin ōmen, and                                     Italic Augural Phraseology”
Etymological highlights: Umbrian aviekate (and related forms), Lat. ōmen
Phonological highlight: dissimilatory front-vowel lowering

Wedensday October 10 at 10-12 in room 24.4.01
“A Visit to the PIE Dentist”
Etymological highlights: (i) Lat. gingīva and salīva; (ii) Lat. famēs
Phonological highlights: • the Latin version(s?) of “Grassmann’s Law”                                                                                     (again; cf. Session 2)
                                   • expressive nasalization (i.e., nasal insertion)
                                   • initial-syllable syncope (again; cf. Session 1)

Click here to watch the lectures live. Questions may be e-mailed to Thomas Olander (

Handouts for the lectures:

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3

Handout 4


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