4

Latinitas could be described as high quality Latin. If I want to refer to the same thing for other languages, can I use nouns like Graecitas, Anglicitas or Finnicitas? (I am not sure if Anglitas and Finnitas would be better.) This is not something that I expect to find in Latin grammars, so let me pose the question in a different way: Would such derived words be understood by a sufficient amount of today's Latinists? That is, is the point likely to get across without further explanation? Of course, the answer depends on Latin proficiency of the audience; the problem is to describe this dependence in some way.

Or, for a less amibiguously formulated question: Was this construction ever used productively by analogy to Latinus > Latinitas, in any Latin literature?

7

It's not something I've seen often, but it indeed exists. The Theodosian code has Graecitas:

Habeat igitur audītōrium speciāliter nostrum in hīs prīmum, quōs Rōmānae ēloquentiae doctrīna commendat, ōrātōrēs quidem trēs numerō, decem vērō grammaticōs; in hīs etiam, quī fācundiā graecitātis pollēre nōscuntur, quīnque numerō sint sofistae et grammaticī aequē decem.

Therefore let our school specially have firstly among these (professors), whom the instruction of Roman eloquence recommends, exactly three orators in number (and) specifically ten grammarians; also among them, who are recognized to prevail in Greek eloquence, let there be five sophists in number and equally ten grammarians.

(14.9.3, translation found on Wiktionary)

The emphasis eloquence here parallels the Latin usage of Latinitas, not just the language, but excellent in the language.

I also found Hebraeicitas in this eighteenth-century German book.

Both are late, but I can't see anyhting wrong with doing this with other languages by analogy, but you would derive it from the adjectival form. So Anglitas and Finnitas wouldn't make sense, but Anglicitas and Finnicitas would.

  • Isn't the "-itas" suffix where we get common English suffix "-ity"? I don't see why it wouldn't apply to languages any more than it applies anywhere else. – shadowtalker Nov 22 '16 at 4:57

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