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Vowel Changes

  1. The old diphthong ai became the classical ae (aedīlis for old aidīlis), old oi became oe orū (ūnus for old oinos), and old ou became ū dūcō for old doucō ).
  2. In compound verbs the vowel a of the simple verb often appears as i or e, and ae similarly appears asī:—
    1. faciō , factum , but cōnficiō , cōnfectum; caedō, but occīdō , and similarly cecīdī , perfect of caedō (cf. cadō,occidō;cecidī, perfect of cadō).

    Note.--This change is commonly ascribed to an accentuation on the first syllable, which seems to have been the rule in Latin before the rule given above (see § 12) became established. The original Indo-European accent, however, was not limited by either of these principles; it was probably a musical accent so-called, consisting in a change of pitch, and not merely in a more forcible utterance of the accented syllable.

    Two vowels coming together are often contracted:—
    1. cōgō for †co-agō; prōmō for †pro-emō;nīl for nihil; dēbeō for †dē-hibed(† -habeō ).
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