6

I don't understand where vosmet and temet came from. I know vos and te as pronouns, but what is the -met ending? Is that from some other language? Is it used anywhere else? It seems irregular. Why even use these words instead of the regular form for yourself (ipsum)?

  • 1
    One theory is it comes from the ablative of egō, which was originally mēt/mēd. – Draconis Jun 22 '17 at 2:39
7

It's for emphasis, and older than the use of ipse as an intensifier. From Allen & Greenough §143.d:

Emphatic forms of tu are tute and tutemet (tutimet). The other cases of the personal pronouns, excepting the genitive plural, are made emphatic by adding -met: as, egomet, vosmet.
NOTE.—Early emphatic forms are mepte and tepte.

Wiktionary has a list of them all.

You can stack them, too: egomet ipse.

  • 1
    It might be worth to note that Greek has an analogous construct involving the ubiquitous clitic γε: the form ἔγωγε is used as an intensified version of ἐγώ. Frequently, one also sees the forms ἔμοιγε for ἐμοί, σύγε for σύ, and sometimes ἐμοῦγε and ἐμέγε. Notice the recessive accent on ἔγωγε and ἔμοιγε. (vide Smyth 325 d) – giobrach Jun 23 '17 at 18:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.