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Questions tagged [genus]

For questions about grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, neuter).

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8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why can “bubo” (“owl”) be feminine or masculine?

Why the occurrence of "bubo" in the Virgilius text is an hapax? This text is the only one listed in Lewis & Short with "bubo" being feminine. Usually, it's a masculine noun. So, it is an hapax. ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

How did the Romans refer to people of unknown gender?

Reference to other people's gender has become a delicate issue in today's world. I expect that the Romans had no controversy over it, but they must have encountered situations where they have to write ...
3
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1answer
56 views

When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender?

When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender that it had in Greek? For example, a question arose about the word platysma, a muscle in the neck. It undoubtedly comes from ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Are there nouns that change meaning based on gender?

I was looking through a feature in some Romance languages, Spanish and French, where nouns in Spanish change depending on gender. I was wondering if Latin had a few of these. Here are examples in ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Does Latin have any neuter words for humans?

In Ancient Greek, diminutives are almost always neuter, regardless of the original noun's gender. This leads to words like paidíon, "small child" (from país "child"), which are neuter even though they ...
4
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0answers
106 views

What is known about the feminine natural gender for trees in classical Latin?

It is a well known fact of Latin grammar, that trees follow natural gender and are always feminine, even when the word form would suggest masculine gender, as in populus "poplar". What does motivate ...
2
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3answers
167 views

Mihi legendum/legenda est?

I've another question about Coniugatio periphrastica passiva. If I'm a girl and I wanted to say I need to read, would it be: Mihi legendum est. Or Mihi legenda est. So, does the gerundivum ...
5
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1answer
53 views

Is “their” being masculine or feminine?

The phrase I'm wondering about is "causas sui odii" — 'the cause of their hatred'. The men are discussing the cause of their (the men's) hatred? or the cause of their (the women's) hatred? If ...
4
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2answers
124 views

Was “Pascha” ever used as a neuter first-declension noun?

Before today, I thought that there was no neuter substantive1 noun with a nominative singular in a and a genitive singular in ae. However, I have encountered references to a possible exception: some ...
2
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2answers
90 views

Trouble with the adjective “my”

Was looking to do an inscription on a ring for my fiance (engagement ring) Mei Uxor animusque My (plural m) wife (f) and soul(m) The -que implies that these things are close together by making ...
2
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1answer
73 views

How were names ending in -ιον used in Greek?

In the plays of Plautus, there are some names ending in -um. They are generally formed as Greek names (whether genuine or pseudo-Greek), and the Latin ending -um here seems to correspond to the Greek ...
6
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2answers
169 views

Male personal names ending in -um

A number of personal names in the works of Plautus end in -um in the nominative singular, which struck me as odd when I first encountered them, since nominative singular -um is characteristically ...
7
votes
1answer
181 views

Are there gender-neutral names in Latin?

Latin has some "epicene nouns", like canis "dog", which can be either masculine or feminine: a good dog could be either a canis bonus or a canis bona, depending on the dog in question. Are there any ...
5
votes
1answer
74 views

When were different agent noun endings used in Ancient Greek?

In Ancient Greek, it seems that there were various endings for agent nouns. Thomas Dwight Goodell's School Grammar of Attic Greek (1902) mentions -τηρ, -τωρ, -της, -εύς, -τειρα, -τρια, -τρις (-τριδ-), ...
27
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5answers
22k views

Is “history” a male-biased word (“his+story”)?

In the last International Women's Day I saw some footage showing a poster with the phrase "women making herstory", as opposed to "history". The phrase was playing with the fact that the word "history" ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Is the phrase professor emerita grammatically correct?

Since professor has masculine gender, one may think that the phrase should be professor emeritus, regardless of the gender of the person referred to. Is the use of emerita simply a case of grammatical ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

What do I do when a pronoun refers to both a male and a female?

I'm trying to refer to a couple (man and woman), with a pronoun. Specifically what I'm trying to write is: Consider a couple that comes to Rome. They may have pride for Rome. What I have now is: ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

How should “Aurora's Vow” be translated into Latin?

I haven't taken Latin in a few years, so forgive me for any simple mistakes. I'm trying to translate "Aurora's Vow" from English to Latin for the title of a song I'm writing. My question is how it ...
5
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2answers
84 views

What categories of substantives of the second declension are feminine?

Some categories of substantive nouns are always feminine, even when they are of the second declension, such as trees. What other categories are there? And are there also many exocategorical examples? ...
11
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2answers
423 views

Is it possible to predict the gender of nouns?

As you are probably aware, Spanish owes a significant portion of its vocabulary to Latin. An interesting difference however is that Spanish has only two genders for nouns - feminine and masculine. The ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

The Ultimate Lifeform

The title of the character Shadow the Hedgehog is The Ultimate Lifeform. As for a translation of this, I ultimately decided upon "Ens Ultimatus." But, should "ens" be masculine or neuter? It seems to ...
4
votes
3answers
432 views

Latin gender and non-binary gender identity

I am preparing for a large academic event where Latin is used. Latin will be used in the spoken ceremonies and, more importantly for this question, in written diplomas. The gender of the recipient of ...
6
votes
2answers
171 views

Inflections of Ζεύς

Διώνη is the name of a Titaness, a nymph, and Phoenician goddess. And according to the Wikipedia article on said Titaness, it's derived from the feminine form of the genitive of Ζεύς. And according to ...
4
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1answer
147 views

Feminine form of -ίδης

The Ancient Greek suffix -ίδης was used to form masculine patronymics - that is to say, one combines it with X to create a name meaning "Son of X". Examples: Ἀλκείδης ("son of Alkaios"), Ἡρακλεῖδαι ("...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

If you had to make an exclusively masculine noun refer to something feminine, would you just change the ending?

Sagittarius ("archer"), as a noun, is exclusively masculine, but I am trying to refer to a female archer in Latin. Would simply changing the ending to sagittaria suffice?
6
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0answers
78 views

About l. 13 of Sappho 31 Campbell / 2 Edmonds

I was updating the critical note to my blog post on this poem and inspecting Bergk's huge critical note when I saw that, concerning this line, he proposes «ἀ δέ μ' ἴδρως κακχέεται», maybe even «ἀ δὲ ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Good examples of common gender nouns

Some Latin nouns are common gender: their grammatical gender varies depending whether they refer to a male or a female (human or other animal). This is mentioned in many Latin grammars (including ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

How would you translate the exclamation, “How morbid!”

I would like to exclaim in Latin, "how morbid!" This came up because just recently I read something morbid. But how would I say this? I am guessing that this is possible: Quam morbidus! But when I ...
19
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5answers
3k views

Examples of “homo” used for a woman

Any beginning Latin learner discovers that English "man" has two translations: homo, when referring to a man as opposed to another species, and vir, when referring to a man as opposed to a woman. I ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

How are adjectives shown to agree in gender with a noun?

So I just learned about adjectives needing to agree with their nouns in gender. If I understood correctly, an adjective that is considered to be feminine will be known because of the kind of ...
11
votes
1answer
526 views

Where do the plurals of locus come from?

The word locus is masculine in the singular, but it can be masculine or neuter in the plural. Geographical places are loca, but places in a text are loci. As far as I know, this is the only Latin word ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

How to indicate gender of ambiguous pronoun antecedent

Consider the following sentence (a little contrived, but you can imagine a better example...): Do you like their friends? -I only like her friends. The obvious word-for-word translation does not ...
9
votes
3answers
215 views

Is sal ever neuter?

Are there instances in known literature where sal, "salt", is neuter instead of masculine? If yes (as it now seems), can it be freely used as both masculine and neuter or is there a difference? The ...
11
votes
1answer
717 views

Which animal names have grammatical gender, and which have common gender?

In Allen & Greenough, §34, I see a short discussion on the gender of animal names: Many nouns may be either masculine or feminine, according to the sex of the object. These are said to be of ...
9
votes
2answers
121 views

Same ending of “Mediolanensis” in “Archiepiscopus Mediolanensis” and “Archidioecesis Mediolanensis”

Why is the ending of Mediolanensis in Archiepiscopus Mediolanensis and Archidioecesis Mediolanensis the same even though the former noun is male and the latter female?
13
votes
1answer
291 views

Wordplay with “Vox Populi” (populus, m vs. populus, f)

Say I want to mock up the idiom "Vox Populi" using not "populus" (m, people) but "populus" (f, poplar tree). Meaning something like "the sound of the poplar leaves rustling". Do I have a way to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a gender-neutral pronoun for people in Latin?

Sometimes it is preferable to leave a person's gender undisclosed and some people do not fall into the usual two gender categories. This requires some adaptations in languages that indicate gender in ...
13
votes
1answer
266 views

Can masculine 1st-decl. nouns be feminine? (e.g. “Nauta perita”?)

Certain nouns, including agricola, nauta, athleta, pirata, and others, are classified in textbooks as masculine. But are these always masculine, even when referring to a female, as in "Haec femina est ...
22
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3answers
1k views

When is “diēs” masculine, when is it feminine, and why can this word take different genders?

Wiktionary goes into it a bit: Diēs is an exceptional case of a fifth declension noun since it is both used in the masculine form and in the feminine form, instead of just feminine like the rest of ...
32
votes
2answers
506 views

What gender should a predicate adjective be to agree with a series of things with different genders?

I'd like the translate the following sentence into Latin: Pompeii, Rome, and Herculaneum are visited by the boys. However, since these three cities have different genders, I'm struggling to choose ...