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Contra (was: Offensive stress (was: those irregular prepositions)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Friday, June 23, 2006, 21:09
Charlie wrote:
> >caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@... schrieb: > > >> Actually, in this expression, "con" is short for > >> "contra" which does mean "against." It has nothing > >> to do with "with," except in its derivation: contra > >> < a PIE suffixed form *kom-tra. > > >Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> wrote: > > >Oh, really? I had no idea. I thought they were two > >distinct lexemes, 'con' and 'contra', and that 'con' > >was the form of 'cum' used in prefixes and such. > > >What did *tra mean in PIE? > > You got me! The AHD PIE appendix doesn't say. It does that a lot. > I, too, would like to know its origin. Did someone just pick it out > of the air ("I know. Let's add "-tra" to "cum," pronounce > it "contra" & let it mean "against"!) or does it, too, have a known > etymology?
"Contra" looks to me like one of those Lat. prepositions derived from (old) adjective(?) roots:-- super-/supra, inter-/intra, exter-/extra etc., except there are no comparative/superlative forms from *conter- (or are there? conterior, contremus???-- contrarius, yes) Ray Brown has previously explained these formations, I know.