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OF THE TRADITIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF VERBS.
As the ordinary classification of verbs is often referred to, it 712 may be convenient here to give a brief account of it. It is as old as Charisius at least, who wrote probably in the fourth century after Christ.
Verbs are generally divided according to their form into four classes, called Conjugations.
The four conjugations are distinguished by the vowel which immediately precedes re in the infinitive mood; which in the 1st conjugation is a: in the second ē1: in the third ě, not usually belonging to the stem: in the fourth i.
The distribution of the verbs among these conjugations is as follows.
I. First conjugation contains all vowel verbs, whose stem ends in a; as ăm-o, I love, infin. ămā-re.
II. Second conjugation contains all vowel verbs whose stem ends in ē; as mone-o, I advise, infin. mōnē-re.
III. Third conjugation contains all verbs whose stem ends in a consonant, or in u, or a variable i (called ĭ above, § 656); as reg-o, I rule, infin. règ-ĕre.
tribu-o, I assign, infin. trību-ĕre.
căpi-o, I take, perf. cēp-i, infin. căpĕ-re.
IV. Fourth conjugation contains all vowel verbs whose stem ends in I, as audi-o, I hear, infin. audi-re.
1 i. e. ĕ according to the ordinary doctrine: but see §§ 650-652.
The following are the regular forms of the perfect and supine 713 in the several conjugations according to the ordinary description.
In the 1st conjugation the regular perfect is formed by the addition of vi to the stem, the regular supine by the addition of tum, e.g. āmā-vi, amā-tum.
The exceptions are few: two verbs do, sto have a reduplicated perfect dědi, stěti: two others, jūvo, lăvo, lengthen the stem vowel e.g. (jūvi, lāvi): the others add ui to the stem, the final a being omitted; e.g. crěpa-, crěp-ui. None form the perfect in si or i simple. None form the supine in sum.
In the 2nd conjugation the regular perfect is formed by the addition of ui to the stem, the regular supine by the addition of Itum, the final stem vowel e being omitted, as mone-, mon-ui. The exceptions are numerous, and of all kinds: the larger number adding si. Many have the supine in sum.
In the 3rd conjugation all the forms are much used, some having even the long characteristic vowel of the other three conjugations, e. g. sterno, strāvi; sperno, sprēvi; tero, trīvi. These are clearly instances of a vowel stem in the perfect and supine superseding a consonant stem. Many have the supine in sum.
In the 4th conjugation, the regular perfect is formed by the addition of vi and the regular supine by the addition of tum to the stem; e.g. audi-vi, audī-tum. The exceptions are few: one lengthens the stem vowel (věni-o, vēni): one simply adds the personal inflexions (compĕri-o, compĕr-i). Three have perfect in ui; viz. aperio, operio, and salio, nine have perfect in si. Two, viz. eo and cio, have short I in supine. None form the perfect by reduplication, except perhaps repĕri-o, reppĕr-i. Several have supine in sum.
EXAMPLES OF THE COMPLETE INFLEXIONS OF VERBS.
IN this chapter are given specimens of the complete inflexions of verbs: first, of the tenses formed from the present stem; secondly, of the tenses formed from the perfect stem; and lastly of the verbal nouns, which have the same base as the so-called supines, and assist in supplying defective tenses.
For the present stem the different persons in each number are given in full, of one consonant verb (rego), and of one verb (ǎmo) belonging to the class of vowel verbs which is most numerous, and has inflexions most different from consonant verbs, viz. a stems. Specimens, less full, of four other classes of vowel stems, viz. in u, I, I and ĕ are given on pp. 228, 229. The omitted forms can be easily supplied by comparison with the forms of rego and amo.
The tenses formed from the perfect stem and the verbal nouns classed under the supine stem have the same inflexions generally, whatever be the verbal stem, except so far as regards the formation of the perfect and supine stems themselves. And the differences in the formation of these do but very partially coincide, as has been seen (ch. XXIII. XXIV.), with the classification of verbal stems. The specimens given on pp. 230, 231 are therefore only an arbitrary selection of the most striking sorts.
Plur. 1. reg-eb-am-us reg-er-em-us reg-eb-ām-ŭr
2. reg-eb-at-is reg-er-ēt-is reg-eb-amin-i