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Re: -able

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 7:00
On 15.4.2008 Eric Christopherson wrote:
 > > In fact the -a/i/u- was the final vowel of the verb
 > > stem. OTOH the adjective _able_ comes from _habilis_
 > > 'manageable, handy,
 > apt' derived from _habére_ 'to have, to hold'.
 > Isn't the suffix from the adjective?

It looks like so in English, where the adjective is borrowed
from (Norman) French and reflects its loss of Latin h-, but
it ain't so. It would be a suitable backformation in a
euroclone IAL, though!

 > The adjective is from hab- "have, hold" and -ilis, which I
 > think is used sometimes to derive generic adjectives from
 > verbs, but often specifically with a sense of "ability or
 > tendency to do/undergo something".

But Latin _habilis_ means "suitable, manageable, fit,
proper, handy, light, active" which is a perfectly normal
derivation with the suffix _-bili-_ given the original range
of meaning of the verb _habere_ 'grab, take, hold' and
thence probably also 'use'.

Seems I'm the fallback dude when Ray's away... :-)

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>[romconlang] -able