Some Greek loan words in Latin use Greek declension. For example, I recall seeing Aeneida and Aeneidos instead of the regular Latin declension Aeneidem and Aeneidis. Some elements of Greek inflection were thus borrowed, at least for names. But did classical (or later) Latin borrow any inflection from languages other than Greek?

Of course Latin inherited inflection for all kinds of words from Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European, but inheritance is not what I am after. My question concerns borrowing foreign inflection elements in a way similar to the Greek example I gave above.


1 Answer 1


There are some Hebrew plurals in Latin, e.g. Seraphim and Cherubim, with rarely used Hebrew singulars (Seraph and Cherub).

  • 2
    Interesting! Out of curiosity, how would the singulars be spelled in Latin? (There was a mention in Vicipaedia, but it would be a nice addition to the answer.) Judging by the example, it seems that there was no case inflection, only number inflection.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Nov 30, 2016 at 11:51
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    Yes, these are Hebrew plurals, but they were borrowed not directly from Hebrew, but from the Greek of the LXX and the NT.
    – fdb
    Nov 30, 2016 at 12:46
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    @fdb They feel Hebrew and not Greek, no matter how they arrived in the Latin Language. And at least Hieronymus used also the Hebrew Bible as a source for the Vulgata translation. Dec 21, 2016 at 21:42

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