In this answer, fdb suggested that Greek selēnē < selannā < *selas-nā and Latin lūna < losnā < *lowks-nā share a suffix.

What is this noun-forming -nā, and is it the same one that's seen in e.g. ruina? How long did it remain productive?

1 Answer 1


The idea is that *lowks-nā is originally a feminine (hence -ā) adjective meaning “shining”. The suffix *no commonly forms adjectives, e.g. dignus, magnus, plenus etc. It is the exact equivalent of Avestan raoxšna- “bright”.

  • Interesting! Is this at all related to ruina from ruō? And did it remain productive post-PIE at all?
    – Draconis
    May 27, 2018 at 17:07
  • @Draconis. The suffix *-īno- forms adjectives like caninus, or nouns like ruina, regina and many others. I am not sure how long it remained productive.
    – fdb
    May 30, 2018 at 17:25
  • I would imagine it remained productive throughout Classical Latin; e.g constantinus from constans is a post-classical derivation.
    – cmw
    Jun 22, 2023 at 21:53
  • @cmw good point
    – fdb
    Jun 22, 2023 at 22:07

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