Latin Scrabble III: Clarifying the Rules

Here are some tentative examples of possible rules and rule changes:

  1. To avoid arguments, it helps to have an authority. There are obviously no official Scrabble word-lists for Latin. For high school students and undergraduates, the teacher can be the all-powerful and unquestioned judge. He or she will (we hope) be too far ahead of the students to participate without some form of handicapping anyway. For teachers and graduate students, written authorities are best. I lean towards inclusiveness, and would allow any form of any word found in the Oxford Latin Dictionary or Lewis & Short. If you are playing in a well-stocked departmental library, you could also use DuCange and the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Some cutthroat players might prefer to allow only words attested in classical Latin, or only words attested in Cicero, or only forms actually attested, so that a rare word only found once in the works of the Elder Pliny could only be used in the particular form he used. What about common words for which some forms are simply not attested, like sperum or spebus or most other 4th-declension plurals? This issue could easily get quite complicated, though the basic choices are obvious enough: allow any possible form, or just forms that were actually used.
  2. Middle and high school students should be allowed to consult a dictionary before making a move.
  3. Assimilated and unassimilated prefixes both count.
  4. Should Mediaeval forms such as lachrima (or even lachryma) count, or will only lacrima do? It depends on who is playing. In a gathering of Mediaevalists or palaeographers, surely the former. It hardly matters, as long as the decision is made before the game begins.
  5. Do proper names and Latinized Greek words count? Again, whether they do or not is less important than whether the decision is clear and made prior to beginning the game. As mentioned in part I, allowing proper names will make K, Y, and Z far easier to use. It also seems pedagogically sounder to widen the range of allowable words.
  6. What about enclitics? If LEX is on the board, can a player subsequently change it to LEXNE, LEXQUE, or LEXVE/LEXUE? Surely not: these are not single words. I would allow generalizing -que, as in quisque and ubique, but not copulative -que. This is the same as allowing words listed separately in the dictionary.
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