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Staving John Leland:
>This message made me realize that in creating Rihana-ye, I made
>the root form of the verb the present tense active form of the verb,
>probably by unconscious analogy with English (where that is true except of
>course for 3rd sing.), whereas the Rihana-ye passive (and all other forms)
>require verb suffixes. Rationally, I suppose any verb form could be the
>root form (though the more common ones would be more likely) or, as in
>some natlangs, the root form could add something to distinguish every
>single case. It occurs to me to wonder why (and when) it was decided that the
>basic form of Latin words listed in dictionaries would be the infinitive.
>It certainly would not be the most commonly appearing form of the verb in
>many contexts. Does anyone know whether this decision was made by
>Classical grammarians or Renaissance scholars or what?


A full citation of a Latin verb gives four parts - 1st person active,
present tense (amo), active infinitive (amare), 1st person active perfect
(amavi) and gerund (amatum). Normally only the infinitive needs to be
given, as the others can be deduced from it for regular verbs. However, for
irregular verbs, all four are given, as in
ferro, ferre, tuli, latum.

Pete