12 votes
Accepted

Does Latin have any neuter words for humans?

It depends on how much emphasis you put on "unambiguously refers to an individual human being". I don't know of any examples that are just like παιδίον or Mädchen. Several Latin grammars ...
  • 23.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Variations on the diminutive: -olus and -ulus

A word search confirms that -olus is used instead of -ulus after a vowel. A Perseus search for words ending in -olus reveals (among a few false positives, like malevolus) that every diminutive form ...
  • 37.6k
12 votes
Accepted

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

Yes, double diminutives are possible in Latin. I found a few other examples from a search on Perseus of Lewis and Short (I looked for words ending in "llula", "llulus" and "llulum"): arcellula < ...
  • 23.8k
11 votes

Diminutive -ula

The diminutive ending -ula is common in classical Latin, and arguably productive. The examples you found are not exceptional. The linked question does not discuss all the Latin diminutives. The ...
10 votes

What is the diminutive form of "Insula"?

Not all words have attested diminutive forms. And while there are patterns to forming diminutives, they are only simple for some types of words. Many Latin nouns ending in -ula were diminutives ...
  • 23.8k
10 votes
Accepted

What is the diminutive form of "Insula"?

Cassell's Latin Dictionary translates the English word "islet" to Latin as parva insula. The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS) contains the word insuleta / insuletta, ...
  • 1,011
9 votes
Accepted

Constructing Latin diminutives

I think abdomunculum would be the most regular diminutive of abdomen. But it seems a bit difficult to me to give a clear answer because the rules about "proper" diminutive suffixes are often based on ...
  • 23.8k
9 votes

For what Vulpes --> Vulpecula, but Sorex never will be Soreculus

Latin has various diminutive suffixes. Although both words are spelled with "cul", the "c" in vulpēcula is part of the diminutive suffix, while the "c" in sō̆riculus is ...
  • 23.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

There are agent nouns for all genders. For example, saltare gives rise to saltator, saltatrix, and saltatrum. For more details, see this question. The stem is revealed by the genitive form. For my ...
9 votes

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

The example that I'm familiar with is meretricula, found in, e.g., Plautus, Rudens 62-63: ipse hinc ilico conscendit navem, avehit meretriculas.
  • 18.3k
6 votes

Is there a diminutive form for agent nouns?

Are there any existing diminutives of agent (-tor/-trix) nouns? Yes, though the rarest. Examples for -trix have been already mentioned by @Joonas and @cnread: nutricula, meretricula... I'd like to ...
6 votes
Accepted

What is oculus a diminutive of?

According to Sihler, New comparative grammar of Greek and Latin, the PIE root is *H3ekw, 'see'; according to OLD, the (theoretical) original Latin form is *oquelos. Presumably, the (u)lus that looks ...
  • 18.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Is ulula a diminutive?

No, the form is accidental. Instead it's onomatopoeic, which can be deduced by it's cognates in: Greek ololyzein [ὀλολύζειν], Sanskrit ululih "a howling," Lithuanian uluti "howl," Gaelic uileliugh "...
  • 44.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is angulus a diminutive?

angulus is cognate with English “ankle” (and other Germanic words) and Russian “ugol” (corner) and its Slavic cognates, so the /l/ is Indo-European heritage, not a Latin innovation. PIE ...
  • 16.5k
6 votes

Is credulus a diminutive?

According to Gildersleeve and Lodge, §182.1, ‑ulus is a regular former of adjectives from verbs. This particular formation indicates repeated action. They cite querulus and I could add bibulus. ‑...
5 votes

Can one create a diminutive of a truncated form of "frater"?

I'm afraid *fra is not possible in Latin. Truncating words like that is probably very rare in Latin—of course excluding abbreviations in inscriptions and the like: those would be pronounced in full ...
  • 19.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Where does titulus come from?

It looks like the etymology of titulus is unclear. The Lewis and Short suggestion that it is related to τίνω seems a bit hard to accept (unless titulus was borrowed at some point from some Greek form),...
  • 23.8k
5 votes

Constructing Latin diminutives

On the model of homō, hominis (stem = homin), the recorded diminutives of which are homullus (< homōnlus) and homunculus, I'd guess abdōmullus or abdōmunculus (update: or maybe abdōmullum or ...
  • 18.3k
5 votes

Variations on the diminutive: -olus and -ulus

As brianpck says, after a vowel only -olus is possible (and -ulus is not). One other place where -olus can appear is after V (consonantal U) or QU, since a general habit in older Latin documents was ...
  • 23.8k
5 votes

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

There certainly are double diminutives in Latin. Here are some examples explicitly indicated in Lewis and Short: agellulus < agellus < ager ancillula < ancilla < ancula (Yes, ancilla is a ...
  • 37.6k
4 votes

What is oculus a diminutive of?

Indo-European *ekʷ (or h³ekʷ) is the source of the word for “eye” in many IE languages (possibly including English, though this is debated). The /l/ suffix is found only in Latin, so it is certainly ...
  • 16.5k
4 votes

Where does titulus come from?

The fact that the etymology of titulus seems to be unclear, was definitely a held opinion in the past among some classicists. A book from 1889 about loaned words in Latin by Edward Ross Wharton, from ...
  • 12.2k
3 votes

What augmentative options are there in Latin?

Augmentatives seem to me far less clear-cut than the diminutives: .a. Obviously the comparatives and superlatives, -ior and -issimus. .b. -osus for example formicosus – full of ants. .c. Some of ...
  • 8,515
2 votes

Where does titulus come from?

Sumelic has answered this question wonderfully, but I wanted to add a lovely bit of folk etymology I came across. Títan heitir sól, en þaðan af er minkat þat nafn, er títúlus er á Látínu. Títull, ...
  • 56.2k
1 vote

Can one create a diminutive of a truncated form of "frater"?

It seems difficult to find a diminutive form of the word frater in actual usage in Latin. The closest I can find is in the Italian fra as in Fra Angelico. There is a traditional Benedictine monastery ...
1 vote

Is credulus a diminutive?

Even though a non-diminuitive version of credulus does not exist, it kind of has this "smallness" connotation. If somebody is credulus, he is childish in some way, so you call at least some part of ...

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