I've noticed that a lot of nouns and verbs which begin with s- + consonant denote a negative and/or opposite idea. This doesn't seem to be a feature of other Latin-derived languages. How did this come about in Italian? Is there a list of such words that I could study?
From the dictionary Sapere (De Agostini) : s- derives from the prep Latin. ex.
- The prefix that confers meaning opposite verbs, nouns, adjectives (for example: fiorire-sfiorire; fiducia-sfiducia; contento-scontento).
- In the derived adjectives from nouns and in some verbs derived also from nouns, the prefix acquires value privative pejorative (for example: natura-snaturato; ragione-sragionare).
- In some verbs derived from nouns or by other verbs indicates away, exit, separation and the like, or suggests the idea of excess (for example: buca-sbucare; parlare-sparlare).
- In other verbs derived from nouns or adjectives, buy privative value or detrattivo (for example: cardine-scardinare; vecchio-svecchiare).
- Sometimes has intensive value (for example: gridare-sgridare).
- In other cases it has function only derivative (for example: doppio-sdoppiare).
- Sometimes represents the reduction of the prefix dis- (for example: dischiodare-schiodare).