Every WORD has meaning (semantic) and form (morphology). Form helps to determine the meaning of the word.
In Latin, every word has a STEM and a ROOT or ROOTS.
A STEM holds the semantic (dictionary) meaning of the word. A stem is that part of a word which is contained in every change of form.
A ROOT is the primitive element in a word. In simple words, stems and roots are often the same. A Compound word has as many roots as it has composing parts, but has only one stem.
An ENDING is the element following the root. It converts a stem into a word. It changes depending on the word's grammatical meaning in a sentence.
PREFIX is a syllable placed before a word to modify its meaning.
"amic=a friend" is the stem
"amic" is the root
"-us" is the ending, other endings can be "-orum" "-os" ....
"destill=to drip" is the stem
"de-" is the root and the prefix
"still" is the root
"-o" is the ending, other endings can be "-at" "-amus" ....
LATIN INFLECTION (change of form)
The difference between "A man ate a chicken" and "A chicken ate a man" shows that the positioning of words in English is essential.
But word-order is not so significant in Latin. Its grammatical relationships is marked by the endings in inflections.
Vir manducabat pullum. Pullum manducabat vir.
Pullus manducabat virum. Virum manducabat pullus.
There are two kinds of inflections in Latin: declensions and conjugations.
- gender (masculine, feminine, neuter),
- number (singular, plural),
- case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative, vocative)
* The Noun is inflectional in number and case, but inherent in gender. It gives a name, e.g. vir (man), puella (girl), donum (gift). There are five declensions.
* The Adjective (positive, comparative and superlative) is inflectional in number, case and gender. It adds a quality to the noun, e.g. bonus, bona, bonum (good). There are two groups: the group of 1st and 2nd declension adjectives, the group of 3rd declension adjectives.
Nouns, numerals, adverbs can be derived from adjectives.
* The Pronoun is inflectional in number, case and gender, except the 1st and 2nd personal pronouns where gender is inherent. The declension of pronouns doesn't follow exactly noun declensions. Pronouns point out without describing, e.g. hic (this), ille (that), ego (I),
- voice (active, passive, deponent),
- mood (indicative, subjunctive, imperative, infinitive)
- tense (present stem, perfect stem)
- aspect (imcomplete, complete),
- person (1st, 2nd, 3rd),
- number (singular, plural)
* The Verb is mostly inflectional in voice, mood, tense, aspect, person and number. It expresses a complete thought, either assertion (amat - he loves), wish (amet - may he love) or command (ama - Do love!).
- There are four conjugations.
Adjectives and nouns can be derived from verbs.
Particles - not inflectional
* preposition shows local relation.
* adverb shows circumstances.
* conjunction shows connection.
* mutilated forms of the noun and pronoun carrying a negative or interrogative function.