Latin textbooks formulate grammar rules in terms of spelling rather than processes of sound, giving the impression that verb conjugation is difficult and with much irregularity. This article suggests a consistent way to envision the essentially regular linking of a s tem to a t ense marker to a personal e nding (S-T-E). The “rules” are mostly well known but scattered across the pages of many different books. I organize them here as little more than the regular, predictable “boundary adjustments” of stems before certain tense markers and of tense markers before certain endings. Rules 1–5 affect vowels, and rules 6–9 treat consonants. Thus this exercise in “practical linguistics” goes “behind the scenes” of standard textbook rules. The first and second parts of this article introduce the approach with reference to these rules, while the third explains the rules themselves, with ample illustration.


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pp. 257-273
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