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1145. Meaning

Meaning. As regards their signification, the primary derivatives fall in general into two great classes, the one indicating the action expressed by the verbal root, the other the person or thing in which the action appears, the agent or actor — the latter, either substantively or adjectively. The one class is more abstract, infinitival; the other is more concrete, participial. Other meanings may in the main be viewed as modifications or specializations of these two.

a. Even the words indicating recipience of action, the passive participles, are, as their use also as neuter or reflexive shows, only notably modified words of agency. The gerundives are, as was pointed out above (961 ff.), secondary derivatives, originally indicating only concerned with the action.