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Re: Which is simpler: /y/ or /iw/?

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 23:07
Quoting "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>:

> On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 11:53 AM, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote: > >> Ah, so it took a side trip. Well, that explains the existence of a > >> discrepancy, > > > I don't think it explains anything. > > Sure it does: it pushes the question back on to the Romance speakers. > No longer is it English borrowing things differently; it's Latin > changing internally. Poof, no longer my problem. ;-) > > Ray pointed out offlist that "simplicare" did exist in Classical > Latin, while "simplificare" is not attested; yet clearly the latter > must have existed in Medieval Latin to give rise to French > "simplifier". So the mystery is, what happened to the Latin word in > between?
Perhaps, confronted with forms like French _simple_, the medievals felt that the root was _simpl-_ rather than _simplic-_, and reidentified the now anomalous _-ic-_ with the _(-i)fic-_ common enough in causatives? (_-ficare_ is related to _facere_ "make") Just a guess. Alternatively, the Classical form (which isn't listed in my Latin dictionary and I therefore suspect might have been rare) was just forgotten and Medieval Latin invented a new verb for the same meaning using the same root. -- Andreas Johansson