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Background.

The following is correct standard English:

(0) He read the poems of Catullus, Juvenal, Horace, and Virgil. He intentionally memorized only poems of the latter two.

The following uses a fantasy-word "twatter", which standard English does not contain, a single word referring back to the last two names mentioned.

(1) He read the poems of Catullus, Juvenal, Horace, and Virgil. He intentionally memorized only the twatter's poems.

The intent is that (1) be equivalent to (0). Hence the pluralized fantasized "twatter", a portmanteau of "two" and "latter".

Using the standard word "latter's" instead of "twatter's" would result in a sentence saying that "He" intentionally memorized only Virgil's poems.

Question.

Does Latin offer a mechanism like the above (invented) pluralized "twatter's", i.e., a single word referring back to the preceding two names?

Do you know a natural language which does?

  • 2
    Interesting question! If the list has only two names, the situation is easier in both languages. I assume you mean something like this? "He read the poems of Catullus, Juvenal, Horace, and Virgil. He liked the poems of the latter two better than Juvenal's." – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 20 '17 at 20:25
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    I'm not sure I get your example. "Latter two" must refer to a group consisting of more than two, whereas you only have two. You would say "He liked their poetry better than Juvenal's." – C. M. Weimer Jul 21 '17 at 0:20
  • You could also say, "He did not like Juvenal's poetry, but did like theirs," which would refer to the set-group you outlined in the original sentence. There is no word in Latin that specifically refers to the latter two. – C. M. Weimer Jul 21 '17 at 1:29
  • I might say horum amborum 'of both the latter', but I've no idea what a Roman'd say. – Anonym Jul 21 '17 at 3:19
  • @Anonym Right, amborum would also work, but not if you're giving a a list of ten and trying to specify just the last two. You would need more than one word there. – C. M. Weimer Jul 21 '17 at 11:43

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