I'm delighted to share this video by Samantha, a student in my Grade 5 SWI class at the Nueva School. As we find at the end of the film, she was sparked by her interest in a book on the French resistance to investigate this word <resistance>. 

I encourage you to watch the film first, and then you may like to see some of the highlights I would like to emphasize below. Afterwards, see if you noticed some of the same key points. At the end, I share a question that Sam has highlighted for us that I would love to see the community weigh in on. Let's see what we can all learn from Sam's excellent work...

 

 

As Samantha demonstrates so clearly, the word <resistance> is built on the on the base <sist> and goes back to the Latin root 'st(are)' for "to stand". 

We also see that when Samantha began this investigation, she assumed (like I did until I saw this project!) that this base <sist> was a bound base. But then, as a good scientist should, Sam shows her delight at having her hypothesis proven wrong she looks in Etymonline and discovers that <sist> is acutally a legal term -- and and thus a free base after all!

Yet another question that Sam delights in following is why the word <solstice> is related to to this family, and what it has to with the idea of "to stand". Once again, Etymonline shows the way to understanding:

"...from Latin solstitium "point at which the sun seems to stand still," especially the summer solstice, from sol "sun" (see sol) + past participle stem of sistere "to come to a stop, make stand still"

Finally, the word <existance> is of particular interest to Sam. She has good reason to place this word in the circle the etymological relationshiop to 'st(are)'. However, I suspect that there may be some more intersting threads to pull on the investigation of this word...

Some invitations for further investigation:

  • Does anyone have a hypothesis for the word sum of <existance>? If this word has an <ex-> prefix, and an <-ance> suffix, what is the base? 
  • Something interesting seems to be going on as a result of the phonology of the <x> grapheme in this prefix. Are there other words with a similar structure?

I look forward to seeing where these questions lead!

 

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