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  5. "Four women sleep."

"Four women sleep."

Translation:Quattuor feminae dormiunt.

August 29, 2019



If you want to know the relationship of 'quattuor' to English 'four', it's from an Indo-European kwetwōr, which became Germanic feðwōr (from an earlier petwōr, where Kw > P). In North and West Germanic languages the dental sound was weakened to fewōr, which thence became modern 'four'.

This Kw > P can be seen between Latin and Greek with Quinque/Pénte, both from an Indo-European Pénkwe. The Germanic form is fimf (from an earlier pimpe), which became modern English 'five' (/mf/ creates Nasal Spirant, so the nasal disappears but the vowel is lengthened instead).

As long as you know this Kw/P(F) rule, many forms such as numbers will be easy to connect.


Please, make a Saxon or an old Germanic course on Duolingo!


Hi, Arkhaeaeon, This is fascinating. Especially what you were saying about "pimpe". The number 5. As you may know there is an old way in the UK of counting sheep - there are many variations but here is one "Yan, tan, tether, mether, pip" obviously meaning "One, two three, four, five." Here is a link to a rather sad song about a shepherdess. . .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiXINuf5nbI . ..by Jake Thakray, which explains it well. The shepherdess was actually his own great-aunt so it's quite a powerful piece of musical poetry. But there are so many variations on this counting system, from pip to pimp even to mumph - and that's just on the number five! Here is a link to some of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yan_Tan_Tethera
As you might have guessed, I'm fascinated by etymology and I suspect you might be also, so thanks for your very interesting explanation.


Why not quattuorae? I thought you have to change it, if it is female.


Don't sure about does the "four" has the feminine form (for example in Russian we have gendered forms only for one and two) but even if it has, isn't -ae ending plural? You don't say "fours women", right? It would mean something like multiple groups with four women in each


I have a doubt about the correct plural pronunciation. I've learned in cases of plural, like in puelae, the termination 'ae' should sound 'e' as if puelae was wrote 'puele'... Is that right? Here, they pronounced every vowel.

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