The Allen and Greenough is still under construction;
so some links may not work quite the way you would expect.
629. The prosody of the earlier poets differs in
several respects from that of the later.[Before the Latin language was
used in literature, it had become much changed by the loss of final
consonants and the shortening of final syllables under the influence of
accent. In many cases this change was still in progress in the time of
the early poets. This tendency was arrested by the study of grammar and
by literature, but shows itself again in the Romance languages.]
a. At the end of words s, being only feebly sounded, does not make
position with a following consonant; it sometimes disappeared
altogether. This usage continued in all poets till Cicero's time
(§ 15. 7).
b. A long syllable immediately preceded or
followed by the ictus may be shortened (iambic shortening): -
- 1. In a word of two syllables of which the
first is short (this effect remained in a few words like puta, cave, vale, vide, ego, modo, duo[Cf. ambó (also a dual, p. 59, footnote), in which the ó is retained because
of the length of the first syllable.]): -
- abi (Ter. Ph. 59); boni (id. 516); homo suavis (id. 411).
- 2. If it is either a monosyllable or the first syllable of a
word which 2. is preceded by a short monosyllable: -
- sed has tabellás (Pl. Pers. 195); quid hic nunc (id. Epid. 157); per inpluvium (Ter. Ph. 707);
ego ostenderem (id. 793).
- 3. When preceded by a short initial
syllable in a word of more than three syllables: -
- (Ter. Hec. 848); senectutem (id. Ph. 434);
Syracus=as (Pl. Merc. 37); amicitia (id. Ps. 1263).
c. In a few isolated words position is
often disregarded.[Scholars are not yet agreed upon the principle or
the extent of this irregularity.] Such are ille,
immo, inde, iste, omnis, nempe, quippe, unde.
d. The original long quantity of some
final syllables is retained.
1. The ending -or is retained
long in nouns with long stem-vowel (original r-stems or original s-stems): -
- modo quom dicta in me ingerebás
odium non uxor eram (Pl. Asin. 927).
- ita mi in pectore atque corde facit
amor incendium (id. Merc. 500).
- atque quantó nox fuistí
longior hác proxuma (id. Am. 548).
2. The termination -es (-itis) is sometimes retained long, as in
3. All verb-endings in -r, -s,
and -t may be retained long where the
vowel is elsewhere long in inflection: -
- regredior audisse me (Pl. Capt. 1023); atque ut qui fuer=is et qui nunc (id. 248); m=e nominat
haec (id. Epid. iv. 1. 8); faciat ut semper (id. Poen. ii. 42);
=infusc=ab=at, am=ab=o (cretics, id. Cist. i. 21); qu=i amét (id. Merc. 1021); ut fit in bell=o capitur alter filius (id. Capt. 25); tibi sit ad me revisas (id. Truc. ii. 4. 79).
e. Hiatus (§ 612. g)
is allowed somewhat freely, especially at a pause in the sense, or when
there is a change of speaker.[The extent of this license is still a
question among scholars; but in the present state of texts it must
sometimes be allowed.]