Questions tagged [substantivum]

For questions about nouns.

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19
votes
6answers
2k views

Was “oscŭlum” a cultured word in Latin?

The Spanish language has two words for kiss: Beso, from Latin basium. Ósculo, from Latin oscŭlum. The second one is very seldom used, and only in literature as it is a cultured word. Nonetheless, it ...
15
votes
1answer
308 views

Translating “Nocte volat caelī mediō”

Line 184 of Vergil's Aeneid, Book IV, begins as follows: Nocte volat caelī mediō Would this be translated as "She of the sky flies in the middle of the night", or "At night she flies in the middle ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Do plural names referring to a singular thing require a plural verb?

Another question related to my geography of the Roman Empire which I am writing has arisen: during the time of Trajan, 117 AD, there were several provinces which had names in the plural, especially ...
13
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
112 views

When did nouns and adjectives derived from pronouns appear?

Latin has some nouns and adjectives derived from pronouns: unicus, identitas, qualitas, neutralis… I have the impression that such derivations are mainly later than classical, but I do not ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Etymology of “salarium” and its connection to salt

It has been asked before both in the English Language & Usage site and the Spanish Language site about the etymology of salary and salario, respectively. In both cases, this site was mentioned as ...
12
votes
1answer
201 views

How to form the plural of “noun plus noun in possessive case”?

I would like to know what are the rules to form the plural of a noun plus a noun in possessive case. I am not sure if this is a correct description of what I am interested in let me give an example. ...
11
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5answers
692 views

Verbing in Latin

Do we have any cases where the Romans intentionally conjugated a noun or adjective into a verb? This is common in English and other modern languages, so I'm assuming it is a natural concept. However, ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Are “sex” and “sexus” etymologically related?

Are sex (the number 6) or sextus (⅙ or ordinal sixth)(From where the English word "sextant" comes.) and sexus (sex or gender) etymologically related?
11
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3answers
247 views

Why νώ (rather than νῶ) from νόω? (Greek)

Consider these masculine nominative singular and masculine nominative dual forms: νοῦς, νώ κανοῦν, κανώ μνᾶ, μνᾶ γῆ, γᾶ I understand that the circumflex in these forms represents an acute ...
11
votes
1answer
373 views

-eris, -oris, -uris?

Much to students' annoyance, nouns ending in -us can belong to either the second (servus), third (tempus), or fourth (circus) declensions. I understand the origin of the second and fourth: Proto-Indo-...
11
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1answer
220 views

Why do some 2nd decl. “-er” adjectives and nouns drop the “e” in the stem?

Is there any rule explaining why certain second-declension nouns and adjectives with a nominative -er ending drop the e when declined (e.g. ager, liber, pulcher), and why others keep it (e.g. puer, ...
10
votes
2answers
354 views

In the title “Ars Goetia,” is “Goetia” an appositive noun?

Ars Goetia is a well-known book about demonology written in Mediaeval Latin. I'm having trouble analyzing the grammatical structure of the title. Ars is a feminine noun in the singular nominative form....
9
votes
1answer
148 views

Interchange between u- and o-stem forms in suffixed derivatives (e.g. “lectus”, “lectuarius”)

A little while back, I asked a question about the alleged Latin word "tribalis" (which it seems was not actually used), and I mentioned that it seemed to me that it would be an irregular formation ...
9
votes
1answer
227 views

Why “per capita”?

I don't speak Latin and I can't think of a non-dumb way to ask this. But my understanding is that capita is the plural form of caput. So I'm wondering how "per capita" makes any sense, then, as it ...
8
votes
3answers
535 views

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

I recently read a joke about the use of Latin -tor and -trix nouns in modern English. The punchline was that "trix is for kids". This got me wondering: Is there a way to make diminutives from agent ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How should one latinize this name?

A friend of mine, whose name is Raoni (he's brazilian, his name comes from a native root, also the tonic vowel is the very last [i]), started learning latin and I've been studying for a while. I ...
8
votes
1answer
345 views

Can infans refer to children who can speak?

The word infans means basically "speechless", as the connection to the verb fari immediately suggests. One specific meaning of this word is a small child (III in the linked L&S entry). I assume ...
8
votes
1answer
229 views

The length of the final vowel in first declension nouns (Greek)

How can you tell whether a first declension noun ends in a short or long vowel? Background When the word is written and accented, I may be able to tell. (Not always. E.g. θύρᾱ if without the macron)...
7
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3answers
2k views

Are “vir” and “virgo” etymologically related?

Are vir and virgo etymologically related? St. Isidore says, in his Etymologies p. 242, that virago and vir are related: A ‘heroic maiden’ (virago) is so called because she ‘acts like a man’ (...
7
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2answers
87 views

Translating “mankind evolves” and two other two-word phrases

Are you willing to take a look at my efforts at translating 6 words from English to Latin? Here goes: Mankind evolves: Homines evolvant God disappoints: Deus frustrat Reason refutes: Ratio ...
7
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1answer
240 views

Nominalized adjective in Latin?

How to nominalize adjectives in Latin? In English, adjectives can be nominalized with a slight different in meaning: "the sick man", "the sick". In German, it's possible to nominalize the present ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Why did “cattus” replace Latin “feles”?

The word for cat is now, in almost every European language, derived from Latin cattus, as stated in Etymonline. It also says that the word was [...] in general use on the continent by c. 700, ...
7
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1answer
203 views

Is the noun Bonum, -i simply a substantive of the adjective Bonus, -a -um?

The noun Bonum ("a good thing") seems to have taken on a life of its own as a distinct word in Latin usage. In derivation and meaning, is this simply a neuter substantive of the adjective Bonus ("...
7
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1answer
77 views

Expressing a number of years with a single word

An answer to an earlier question about age of wine introduced me to adjectives for specific ages in years. Similarly, there are nouns for periods of time in years. For example: bimus & biennium ...
6
votes
2answers
713 views

What is a romance in Latin?

The word "romance" seems to come from Latin, but no similar Latin word appears to mean anything related. Is there a good Latin word for a romance, a kind of an intimate relationship? I cannot think of ...
6
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1answer
509 views

Is 'Delphī' a second declension word?

From the genitive 'Delphōrum', it seems to belong to the second declension. But is it used as a singular or a plural?
6
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2answers
181 views

Noun adjuncts in Latin

So this question asks about forming adjectives from nouns, but no clear answer is really given for a general method. In english, you can just use a noun as a adjective without any modification by ...
6
votes
2answers
712 views

Tantibus: genuine Latin word, or made-up?

I came across the word tantibus while reading this page (as part of a bigger word, amalgotantibus), where it's claimed to be Latin for "nightmare"; a little bit of digging also revealed that it's the ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Can adjectives describe any noun in a sentence?

As long as the adjective matches its noun in case, number, and gender, is it possible to move the adjective anywhere in a sentence, even outside of prepositional phrases and subordinating or ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

Latin etymology of Spanish “tarde”

In Spanish, the word "tarde" has two different meanings: The part of the day between noon and dusk. Equivalent to the English noun "afternoon". Happening after the due, usual, or proper time. ...
6
votes
1answer
475 views

How to derive nouns from adjectives?

I know several ways to derive nouns from adjectives: audax > audacia, laetus > laetitia, pius > pietas, magnus > magnitudo. Questions: Are there any rules that govern which one of -ia, -itia, -tas ...
6
votes
1answer
109 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-), ...
5
votes
2answers
86 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? ...
5
votes
4answers
385 views

Could “essentia” be understood in Latin as “the act of being”?

Almost every verb has a noun that implies "the act and effect of" whatever the verb is. So, an existence is the act of existing. Nonetheless, the most simple verb, to be seems to lack such a noun, at ...
5
votes
3answers
160 views

Do any non-second-declension neuter nouns end in m?

I have the impression that the ending -m appears on neuter nouns (in the nominative/accusative form) only in the second declension, but I don't know whether there are any exceptions. Is there any ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

What is the diminutive of κῆτος?

A classic diminutive suffix in Ancient Greek is -ίδιον, which forms a neuter second noun. But what happens when this is applied to a noun with a vowel in the stem? For a concrete example, if I wanted ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

masculine and feminine form of παῖς and μαθηματικός

As in a previous question, I'm wondering what is the feminine form of a noun, and this time it is not a word for an animal but for human. In words like ὁ παῖς and ἡ παῖς, only their article ...
5
votes
3answers
168 views

Where does the word “tudes” 'hammer' show up in texts?

Lewis and Short has an entry for a noun tŭdes, with the genitive singular given as "is (ĭtis, acc. to Fest. p. 253 Müll.)". It is defined as "a hammer, mallet". The two citations in the entry show the ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

What sort of Greek words are regularly distinguished only by tone?

In the postscript to this answer, Varro comments: …the L&S entry for ἰχθυβολος shows two possible accents, a paroxytone ἰχθυβόλος for an active meaning, and a proparoxytone ἰχθύβολος for a ...
5
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2answers
3k views

What’s the Latin word for “information”?

I'm creating a Latin quiz game and want to know the best word/noun for “information”. The word will be used as a title for an information/welcome page on my quiz. I searched the word on the internet ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Genitives like “axeos”

I recently encountered a text written in Latin in Finland about two centuries ago using the form axeos. From context it was clear that it was a genitive, and it looks just like the Greek genitive of ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Does the word “negotium” literally mean “not otium”?

Spanish word ocio (English: 'leisure') and negocio (English: 'business` among other meanings) come from Latin otium and negotium. Spanish ocio also gave ocioso, as in estar ocioso (English: 'to be ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
217 views

feminine form of λύκος

λύκος is the Ancient Greek word for 'wolf' in singular masculine form. What is then the feminine form of wolf? I've guessed it as λύκη but what I've found in a dictionary is that it means 'light'. Is ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Latinitas for other languages

Latinitas could be described as high quality Latin. If I want to refer to the same thing for other languages, can I use nouns like Graecitas, Anglicitas or Finnicitas? (I am not sure if Anglitas and ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

How did vāti-s become vātēs?

To my understanding, vātēs "bard" started out as an i-stem noun, built on the stem vāti- (probably from something like *weh₂t-i-). So I would expect the nominative to look something like *vāti-s. ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Was there any difference between “grātĭa” and “făvor”?

The Lewis & Short dictionary defines gratia as: grātĭa, ae, f. gratus; lit., favor, both that in which one stands with others and that which one shows to others. I. Favor which one finds ...
4
votes
1answer
396 views

Instances of Actions - Verbs into Nouns

In English, we can take a verb like "swim" and refer to it as a noun in reference to occurrences. For example, "That was a good swim," "I have three swims next week." Is there a similar construct ...
4
votes
0answers
136 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 ...