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On Latin (S)tritavus

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Chapter Summary

A rather remarkable passage occurs in an Old Latin comedy and, in a single line, enriches our knowledge of that part of the Latin lexicon that deals with terms for kin terms at various generational removes. This chapter focuses the form, namely tritauos, seems to represent a numerically based formation, and has parallels both in Greek and in Albanian. The Albanian form has a clear initial s-, which, interestingly, in earlier sources is given as sh-. There are a few further points to be made regarding the initial s- in both the Latin form and Albanian. First, although Meyer (1891) derives the Albanian formas loan from Latin extra, there is no evidence that extra was used in Latin for terms referring to generational distance, though it did admittedly have the "overabundance" meaning that Newmark refers to as occurring in other functions of stër-.

Keywords: Albanian; Greek; Latin; tritauos



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