Questions tagged [plural]

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12
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
815 views

What is the origin of the 3rd-person plural perfect ending “-ēre”?

Laudavēre is an (apparently older) alternative to laudaverunt. What is the origin of this ending? Is it connected with any other known endings or affixes? Clackson & Horrocks say it is from an ...
15
votes
2answers
782 views

Where did pluralis-ut-singularis come from in Latin?

Anyone who reads Cicero's letters cannot fail to notice that he quite frequently uses nos and noster to mean ego and meus. Earlier I heard a paper where nos in Lucretius' proem was meant singularly (...
8
votes
2answers
564 views

What is the plural of virus, vulgus and pelagus?

There are three neuters in the second declension ending in -us: virus, vulgus and pelagus. (See this previous question for origin and listing of such words.) My grammar tells me that these words are ...
10
votes
2answers
326 views

How do I specify how many “litterae” or “castra” there are?

Certain words in Latin have a special meaning in the plural, which is often translated with the English singular. One obvious example of this is litterae, -arum, which means, "a letter." ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Singulae aut unae scopae?

Tuomo Pekkanen's grammar (§92.1) explains how to express the number of something that is expressed by a plural-only word. Numbers greater than one are expressed with bini, trini etc. but a single one ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Alea iacta est, plural version?

I was thinking about the famous Phrase "alea iacta est", and I was wondering: how would be the plural version of it? I thought about ALEAS IACTA SUNT Because aleas needs to be in the accusative ...
5
votes
1answer
329 views

Why Does Cicero use the Third-Person Singular Instead of the Plural Form?

Cicero, de Oratore (2.25.108): "...in quibus hoc praecipit ratio et doctrina ut vis eius rei, quam definias sic exprimatur ut neque absit quicquam neque supersit," "...on which ...
4
votes
1answer
306 views

Do first-declension neuter nouns or adjectives have plural forms?

Although almost all first-declension nouns are feminine or masculine, there seem to be a handful of adjectives that belong to the first declension for all genders, and at least one substantive noun, ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Can a morphologically singular collective noun be syntactically plural?

In English the noun "family" is singular but it means a group (of people). Syntactically it can be singular or plural: one can say "the family is/are…" with either choice. Can this kind of ...