Monday, January 1, 2018

Verbs of Sitting, Part 3: Words derived from Lat. sĕdēre, Introduction

[This entry is an excerpt from, "Verbs of Sitting and Related Words," a chapter in Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]


A number of Latin verbs were derived from sĕdēre by prefixation. In prefixed verbs, the root sĕd‑ sometimes had the allomorph ‑sĭd‑, as we have already seen. The passive participle’s radical, however, was always ‑sess‑, the result of an sound change in early Latin in which a root’s final ‑d sound blended with the passive participle suffix ‑t‑ to produce a geminate ‑ss‑ sound: ‑d‑t‑ > ‑ss‑ (cf. Part I, Chapter 8, §8.4.3.2; another example is ced-ĕ-re ‘to withdraw, etc.’, whose passive participle is cessus, from an original *ced+t+us.)

The full list of Latin verbs derived from sĕdēre by prefixation can be seen in Table 153 below. All of them are second conjugation verbs whose infinitive ended in ‑ēre, like sĕdēre, and, thus, none are third conjugation verbs, which ended in ‑ĕre in the infinitive (cf. Part I, Chapter 8, §8.4.3.1). The passive participle form is given also, since other words were sometimes derived from its radical, as shown in the derived words column.

Note that some of these verbs were defective and did not have a passive participle since they were not used in the passive voice. Also, one of these verbs, namely pŏssĭdēre, seems to have been originally a compound, not a derived word, source of Eng. possess and Sp. poseer. It is believed that the first morpheme in this word was originally the lexical morpheme pŏt‑ ‘to be able, to have power’, and not a prefix like the other ones (the source morpheme analysis would thus be pŏt‑sĕd‑ē‑re).

Prefix
Infinitive
Participle
Basic meaning
Derived words
sĕdēre
sĕssus


ad‑
assĭdēre
assĕssus
‘to sit by or near someone or something’, etc.
assĕssor, assĭdŭus
circum‑
circumsĕdēre
circumsĕssus
‘to sit around, surround, encompass’
circumsĕssĭō
dē-
dēsĭdēre
‘to remain or continue sitting’, ‘sit idle or inactive’
dēsĭdĭa
dis-
dissĭdēre
‘to sit apart’, ‘to disagree’
dissĭdēns, dissĭdĕntĭa
in‑
īnsĭdēre
‘sit upon’, ‘settle on’, etc.
īnsĭdĭae
ob-
obsĭdēre
obsĕssus
‘to sit, remain, abide’, etc.
obsĭdiō, obsĭdĭum
per-
persĕdēre / persĭdēre
‘to remain sitting, sit continuously’, ‘to stay long’

pot-
possĭdēre
possĕssus
‘to occupy as a tenant, have, hold, own, possess, etc.’
pŏssĕssĭō, pŏssĕssīvus, pŏssĕssor, pŏssĕssus
prae-
praesĭdēre
praesĕssus
‘to sit before or in front of’
praesĭdēns, praesĭdĭum
re-
resĭdēre
resĕssus
‘to remain sitting, reside, linger’
rĕsĕs (rĕsĭd‑), resĭdŭus
super-
supersĕdēre
supersĕssus
‘to sit upon or above’, ‘to preside over’
supersessiō
Table 153: Latin verbs derived from sĕdēre

In addition to these verbs derived from sĕdēre, the were also a few verbs that were derived from the verb sīdĕre (sīdō sīdĕre sīdī) ‘to sit down, to seat oneself, to settle’, its partial synonym. Most of them do not have a passive participle or supine form, since they did not have passive verb forms.

Prefix
Infinitive
Supine
Basic meaning
sīdĕre
‘to sit down’, ‘ to seat oneself’, ‘to settle’
ad-
assīdĕre
‘to sit down, seat one’s self, sit’
con-
cōnsīdĕre
‘to sit down, be seated’, ‘to settle’
in-
īnsīdĕre
īnsessum
‘to sit in’ , ‘ to settle on’, ‘to occupy’, ‘ to penetrate’ , etc.
pot-
possīdĕre
possessum
‘to take posession, to settle, to seize, to occupy, etc.’
re-
resīdĕre
‘to sit, settle in a place’
sub-
subsīdĕre
subsessum
‘to squat’, ‘to settle, subside’, ‘to run aground’
Table 154: Latin verbs derived from sīdĕre

Just like the unprefixed verbs sĕdēre and sīdĕre are synonyms, also some of these verbs derived from sīdĕre are synonymous with analogous verbs derived from sĕdēre. Thus, for instance, third conjugation assīdĕre, derived with the prefix ad‑ from sīdĕre, is a synonym of second conjugation assĭdēre, derived with the same prefix ad‑ from sĕdēre. We can assume that there was confusion between verbs derived from sĕdēre and sīdĕre in Vulgar Latin, especially in the Latin of non-native speakers. Note also that for those verbs that have a supine and, thus, a passive participle form, this is identical to the passive participle of the analogous verb derived from sĕdēre, e.g. īnsessum.


In the remainder of this section we will be looking at each of these verbs to the extent that they have descendants in English and Spanish, in particular the cognate ones.

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