Intensified Verb Variants

The verbal stem –essō (rarely -issō) may be grafted onto existing verbs to denote a certain energy or eagerness of action (though not necessarily repetition.)

  • Capiō (take) —> capessō (snatch)
  • Faciō (do) —> facessō (do eagerly)
  • Petō (seek) —> petissō (look frantically for)

Declension of such verbs is usually third declension for present and infinitive, but fourth declension for perfect and supine.

  • Capessō, capessere, capessīvī, capessītum
  • Petissō, petissere, petissīvī, petissītum

This is somehow related to the rare variant of the future perfect stem -āssō.

  • amāssis (for ameris)
  • although these forms are so rare that there’s no complete declension of any one verb in this form in all extant Latin literature, fragmentary appearances suggest that these too would follow the third (present, infinitive) / fourth (perfect, supine) pattern

The Essential AG: 183.5, 263.2b, 236.2bn

Compounds of Fīō

Compounds of faciō vary between passives in -fīō and passives in -ficior. The distinction? Check the vowel a (faciō) in the compound. In the rare case that this is retain in the compound, then –fīō is also retained.

benefaciō, benefacere, benefēcī, benefactum (in place of the expected beneficio/ficere/fēcī/fectum, and hence the English ‘benefaction’ but also ‘infection.’)

  • benefīō, benefierī, benefactus sum

Several of the faciō compounds that feature -ficiō/-ficior forms will also feature passive -fīō forms, with separate meanings.

  • cōnfit, it happens
  • dēfit, it lacks
  • īnfit, he beings (to speak)
  • interfit, he perishes
  • superfit, there remains

The Essential AG: 204b-c

Ablaut in Latin

Ablaut, by my reading, is the phenomenon of vowel gradation (phonetic variation) within related words of the same language, derived from parallel variations in the parent language.

Some English ablaut variations:

  • ‘strong verbs’ : sing, sang and sung / ring, rang and rung
  • nouns : man, men / goose, geese

This same variation exists within Latin:

  • tegō, I cover; toga, robe
  • pendō, I weigh; pondus, weight
  • fidēs, faith; fīdus, faithful, foedus, treaty
  • regō, I rule; rēx, king
  • dūcō, I lead; dux, leader

Ablaut will often demonstrate grammatical demarcations between nouns and related verbs, but also between various tense-stems of the same verb:

  • cadō, I fall; cecidī, I fell

The Essential AG: 17

I knew nothing whatsoever about ablaut before designing this post, so if any visiting linguists would like to expand in the comments below, I encourage them to do so.