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12.3: §82. English Derivatives from Latin Present Participles

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    English derivatives from Latin pres. participle in –ant-/-ent-/-ient English derivatives from Latin noun in –antia/-entia/-ientia
    portare important importance
    stare constant, instant, distant, extant stance, constancy, instance, substance, circumstance[1]
    sedere dissident, president, resident presidency, residence
    tenere abstinent, (in)contient, (im)pertinent abstinence, (in)continence, (im)pertinence
    videre evident, provident (= prudent) evidence, providence (= prudence)
    agere agent, cogent, exigent, intransigent agency, cogency, exigency
    cadere decadent, accident(al), incident(al), coincident(al), occident(al) cadence, decadence, incidence, coincidence
    cedere antecedent, decedent antecedence, precedence
    currere current, concurrent, recurrent currency, occurrence, recurrence
    ferre afferent, efferent, different, preferent circumference, conference, inference, interference, preference, transference
    ponere component, deponent, exponent, opponent, proponent
    loqui eloquent, grandiloquent eloquence, grandiloquence
    sequi consequent, subsequent sequence, consequence
    capere incipient, percipient, recipient
    facere deficient, (co)efficient, proficient, sufficient, abortifacient, rubefacient efficiency, proficiency, etc.
    gradi gradient, ingredient
    salire salient, resilient salience, resilience, resiliency
    sentire sentient sentience, sentence [irreg.]
    venire (in)convenient (in)convenience

    These illustrations of the Latin present participle and its English derivatives have been drawn entirely from the verb vocabulary that you met in Chapter 9. In the table, the original Latin forms are not listed, because the English word in -ant or -ent exactly matches the base form of the Latin present participle. Notice that English derivatives of this type are sometimes used as nouns: agent usually means a person “doing”; president, a person “sitting before” (prae- + sedere). For the most part, however, the participial derivatives in -ant or –ent continue to be used as English adjectives, and their etymological and dictionary meanings are often surpisingly close. It is very helpful to know that abstinent means “holding away from,” and that incontinent means (“not holding together”). If you realize that afferent and efferent mean “bringing to” and “bringing from” (ad- and ex- + ferre, with assimilation), you won’t confuse those precise neurological terms. The etymological meaning of provident, “looking forward,” is exactly what that adjective means today; prudent is a doublet—a contraction that goes all the way back to classical Latin. What are the etymological meanings of distant, recurrent, and inconvenient?

    1. From the Latin noun circum-stant-ia (“a standing around”) came the adjective circum-stant-i-alis, source of the English word circumstantial. ↵

    This page titled 12.3: §82. English Derivatives from Latin Present Participles is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Peter L. Smith (BCCampus) .

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