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26 votes
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Why do ablatives of the 3rd declension sometimes end on -e, at other times on -i?

(This answer is based on Weiss's Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin and Clackson and Horrocks's Blackwell History of the Latin Language.) The first thing to know about these two ablative ...
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11 votes
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What is the meaning of Satanas?

It came to Latin from Hebrew (שָּׂטָן satan), through Greek (Σατανᾶς satanas) and means enemy, adversary. In Judaism and Christianity, it is also one of the names given to the devil, a supernatural ...
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11 votes
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Are there any other neuter words of the second declension that end on -us than "virus"?

Tuomo Pekkanen's Ars Grammatica (a Latin grammar in Finnish) says that the second declension has three neuters ending in -us: vīrus, vulgus and pelagus. They are only used in the singular, and ...
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10 votes
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What is the origin of the 3rd-person plural perfect ending "-ēre"?

(This answer is based on Weiss's Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin, which is usually the place to go for this kind of thing.) The most common Indo-European 3pl active ending is -nt(i), ...
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9 votes

Forms of 2nd Declension Neuter Nouns ending in -ium

Here’s a summary of what most authoritative Latin grammars say on the genitive singular ending of –io stems (Weiss 2009/2011: 222-223; Leumann 1977: 424-425; Sihler ). For the sake of simplicity and ...
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9 votes

How common is the genitive plural ending -um in the first declension?

Leumann (p. 421) mentions two cases: spoken gen.pl. drachmum and amphorum; in dactylic poetry, four-syllable masculine nouns, besides the regular forms, could also have gen.pl. in -um, mostly ...
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8 votes
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Why is -d used instead of -m for most neuter pronouns

There isn't really an answer to the "why" question beyond the fact that in Proto-Indo-European, some of the case endings for pronouns were different from those for nouns, for unknown reasons. Among ...
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8 votes

Forms of 2nd Declension Neuter Nouns ending in -ium

Edgar H. Sturtevant's dissertation "Contraction in the case forms of the Latin io- and ia stems, and of deus, is, and idem" (1902) seems to have some relevant info, although I don't know if ...
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7 votes

What are the normal genitive and dative singular forms of "alius"?

Bennett gives gen. alterius, dat. aliī. Allen and Greenough list alius among the adjectives that "have the Genitive Singular in -īus and the Dative in -ī in all genders", implying alīus, aliī, but add ...
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6 votes
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Forms of 2nd Declension Neuter Nouns ending in -ium

A full table of "standard" (post-Augustan) -ius/-ium endings would be: M SG M PL N SG N PL NOM -ius -iī -ium -ia GEN -iī -iōrum -iī -iōrum DAT -iō -iīs -iō -...
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5 votes

What are the normal genitive and dative singular forms of "alius"?

Gildersleeve and Lodge, §76.r1: The Gen. alīus is very rare, and as a possessive its place is usually taken by alienus. §76.r2: …usually make the Dat. Sing. in -ī … Alī is found in early Latin for ...
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4 votes
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What are the normal genitive and dative singular forms of "alius"?

Lateinische Grammatik (Leumann, Hofman and Szantyr 1977) argues that "Im Genetiv ist -īus die Standardform der Endung, sie gilt für Plautus und für die klassische Prosa verbindlich. In metrischen ...
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3 votes

Plural genitive endings in -i

This answer is based on the intuition I have long held: genitives like nostrum and vestri are not forms of the personal pronouns nos and vos, but of the substantivized possessive adjectives. I have no ...
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3 votes
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How was iī pronounced?

I don't think we can know for certain, but the fact that the spelling "filii" occurred makes it likely that the word was perceived as having three syllables, and was so treated in poetry. There are ...
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2 votes

Plural genitive endings in -i

It's all too easy to confound the reflexive pronoun (which only exists in the oblique cases) with the possessive adjective suus, sua, suum (declined like bonus). The genitive plural suorum , etc, of ...
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2 votes

What is the meaning of Satanas?

Just to clarify: The -as here is actually the Greek masculine ending -ᾱς. It's a dialectal variation on the -ης (-ēs) you see in names like Socrates, Euripides, Achilles, and so on: probably the most ...
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