In Greek masculines of the first declension borrow the singular genitive ending -ου from second declension. Latin uses the ending -ae for all of first declension: puellae, nautae, Anchisae, Aeneae. There are also occasional genitives similar to the Greek first declension ones (familias, musices, Melpomenes), but these are besides my point.

Was -i ever used as a genitive ending for masculines of the first declension? If this happens, it is presumably due to Greek influence, and I suspect it is more likely to happen in words or names of Greek origin. Despite seeing many Greek loan words, I have never seen this genitive in any text or grammar. Searches for nauti and Anchisi give nothing, and Aenei gives unrelated hits for the adjective aēneus.

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    It's hard to prove a negative, but I'm pretty sure the answer is no. (Though in another sense it's yes: the first-declension gen. sg. -ae is historically -a-ī, with the same as in the second declension.) – TKR Jun 3 '16 at 19:36
  • @TKR, my guess is also no. The parenthetical remark is interesting, though: In that sense Latin already has the same ending in both declensions, whereas Greek (and older Latin?) has -s in first declension. That gives a reason not to expect -i. That would make a nice answer, albeit a partial one, if you want to write it up. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 3 '16 at 19:42
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't see any reference to such an ending in either Allen and Greenough or Gildersleeve and Lodge, so I strongly suspect the answer is no.

That said, in another, historical sense the ending was used as a first-declension gen. sg. ending, and not just for masculines. The ending -ae is historically formed from -a-ī: the -a- of the first-declension stem plus the same as in the second declension. The earlier spelling of this ending was -AI, which is found in inscriptions and occasionally in poetry where a disyllabic ending was needed for the meter. (This is unlike the case of Greek, where the first- and second-declension gen. sg. endings have different origins.)

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    Thanks! If someone miraculously finds examples of the ending -i, I will have to unaccept this, but that seems unlikely. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 4 '16 at 19:21

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