Thematic Vowel - Developments From Thematic and Athematic Paradigms - Fusion - Athematic Vowels

Athematic Vowels

Sometimes vowels near the end of a noun or verb, where one would expect a thematic vowel, are not actually thematic vowels. Either these vowels are placed after an e or o, or they are on their own.

In both Latin and Greek, there are athematic nouns whose stems end in i or u (with the allophones y or w before vowels). These include Latin nāvis "ship" and Greek thesis "placement"; Latin senātus "council of elders" or "senate" and Greek basileus "king". Because these vowels are not e or o, they are not thematic, and the nouns take the same endings as consonant-stem nouns.

  • Latin nāvi-s, senātu-srēg-s "king"
  • Greek thesi-s, basileu-sArab-s (Araps) "Arab"

In Latin, there are four conjugations depending on the vowel before the endings (which include the thematic vowel): a, e, none, i. Although all the verbs belonging to these conjugations are thematic, these four vowels are not the thematic vowel of the different declensions: the thematic vowel is an e/o that has either fused with the endings and conjugation vowel or changed to i/u.

In Greek, some of the Latin conjugations are represented by contracted verbs instead, in which the stem vowel contracts with the ending (which includes the thematic vowel). This results in different vowels in the ending from the non-contracted verbs.

  • timaeis > timāis "you honor"

Read more about this topic:  Thematic Vowel, Developments From Thematic and Athematic Paradigms, Fusion

Famous quotes containing the word vowels:

    Playing “bop” is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing.
    Duke Ellington (1899–1974)