Monday, August 16, 2010

Community service for teachers, journalists and students



Dear friends,


It would be useful if Papua New Guinea students and teachers learned the derivation of words based on Latin and Greek roots. Combine these with an understanding of prefixes and suffixes and there is access for all to hundreds of words.

We are long distant members of the Roman Empire that brought Latin to England, France, Italy and Spain. Then Normans came to England and

brought French words based on Latin. So English double-dipped into Latin. Australians brought English to PNG.

Let us explore a selection of Latin roots. We have a new way of looking at English. There are not just thousands of words. There are dozens of word groupings.

It would be good if the roots of words were returned to the class room. Students would enter a new world of language.


Ago (actus) – I do.


agent, act, actor, react, reagent, agile,


Ameas (amat) – Love, happy


amorous, amicable, amamas (tok pisin), amour (French) amo (Italian), amiable.


Aves –the birds


Aviation, aviary,


Cado ( cassus) – I fall


accident, cadence, cascade, decay, decadent, decadence.


Capio (captus) – I take


Capture, captive, captivate, escape, captivity


Caput – the head.


Cap, captain (English), Kapitano (Italian), Kapitain (Spanish)

capital, caption, decapitate, recapitulate.


Cedo (cessus)  - I go


Proceed, procession, recede, recession, concede, concession

intercede, intercession, cede, cession, precede, precedent.


Centum – a hundred


Century, cent, centurion,


Cor – the heart


Cordial, core, Coeur (French), courage, courageous, courtesy,

Sacre Coeur ( French Catholic)  Cor blimey ( English slang)


Corpus – the body


Corporal, corpse, corpulent, corporation. Corps, Corpus Christi



Curro (cursus) – I run


Current, incur, incursion, recur, recurrent, course, cursory, cursive



Decius – ten


Decimal, decimate, decade,    


Dens (dentis) – a tooth


Dentine, dentist, dental, denture, indent, indentation


Dico ( dictus) – I say


Predict, prediction, indict, indictment, diction, indicate,

indication, dicta-phone, dictionary,


Duco (ductus) – I lead


Duct, viaduct, oviduct, conduct, conductor, conduction

Duce ( Italian), reduce, reduction, deduce, deduction,

produce, product, production, introduce, introduction.


Facio ( factus) – I make


Factory, manufacture, facile,  


Fero ( latus)  - I bear


Refer, transfer, confer, reference, conference, relate,

translate, translation, collate



Finis – the end


Finish, pinis (tok pisin), finite, infinite, final, finality


Flecto (flectus) I bend


Flexible, inflexible, reflect, reflection, deflect, deflection.

flex, inflexion. reflex


Fort (fortus) – strong


Fort, fortitude, fortissimo ( Italian),  Codral Forte


Frango ( fractus) – I break


Fragile, fraction, fracture, fragment


Fundo (fundus) – I pour


Fund, funnel, profound, refund


Ge –the earth


Geology, geography, geophysical,


Gradior – a slope


Grade, gradual, gradient, gradually, degrade,


Homeo – the same


Homo sapiens, homophobia, homosexual, homogeneous


Jacio (jectus) – I throw


Inject, injection, project, projection, projector, reject, rejection

eject, ejection, ejaculate, deject, conjecture, interject, interjection,


Legis – law


Legal, illegal, legislate, legislation, litigation  


Lego (lectus) - I gather


Lecture, college, religion, lecturn, collect, collection


Manus – the hand


Manual, manuscript, manage, management


Mater – a mother


Maternal, matron, ma’am, mama,


Pars (partus) – a part


Part, particle, particular, partition, participate, apartment, compartment, repartee.


Pater – a father


Papa, paternal, patron, pastor,


Pleo – I fill


Complement, implement, implementation, supplement


Plico – I fold


Application, apply, reply, imply


Porto (portus)  - I carry


Port, report, transport, transportation, import, importation,

export, exportation, deport, deportation, deportee, important.


Premo (pressus) – I press


Press, pressure, express, depress, impresario (Italian) supreme,


Rex (regis) – a rule


Regal, vice-regal,  tyrannosaurus rex


Pono (possus)  - I place


Postpone, opponent, expose, impose, repose, depose, deposit,

composite, composition,          


Scando (scandus) – I climb


Ascend, ascent, descend, descend, scandal


Secto (cidus)_ - I cut or kill


Dissect, dissection, bisect, intersect, intersection, suicide,

genocide, insecticide, spermacide, resection, section, sector,


Scribo ( scriptus) – I write


Describe, description, inscribe, inscription, conscription, scribe

scripture, scribble, prescribe, prescription,


Specio (spectus) I see


Special, specialty, inspect, inspection, respect, spectacles, species,

introspect, introspection


Tenio (tendus) – I hold


Tender, tendon, extend, intend, intention, contend, contention,

pretend, pretension, portend, tension,   


Video (vissus) – I see


Video player, DVD, vision, visible, invisible,


Venio – I come


Venture, convene, convention, invent, convent, veni-vidi-vinci

(I came- I saw- I conquered)


Verto (versus) – I turn


Revert, reverse, inverse, converse, convert, conversion, versus


Vinco -_I conquer


Convince, vanquish, invincible, HMS Invincible.


Volvo (volvus) – I roll


Revolve, revolver, Volvo car, involve, revolution, convolution,

convolvulus (flower)


If you are interested in words, please keep these on your computer and run your eye down the list from time to time. I learned these words from Grades 7-12 from 1958 to 1963. I will never forget. 




Bruce Copeland BA BEdSt 

Teacher of English in PNG 


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Well, well, who would have thought. Latin taught in PNG schools,? Whatever next. It would be more realistic to consider teaching proper English to the young people in PNG schools rather than Latin. And perhaps the next lot of languages to teach could be modern foreign languages such as French, Spanish, Germany etc.

    Or one step better might be to ensure that the children learn their parents' local language first. Perhaps many of the children are already fluent in both parents' languages given that many marriage in the past two decades has seen inter-provincial marriages.

    If one is to learn a new language, learn it well rather than corrupt it by putting together an eclectic mix.