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16 votes

Gen. 1:20 is reptile ablative?

Jerome probably prefers to stick to the original Hebrew that uses the singulars both for "reptile"(*) and volatile which are grammatically adjectives but used here as substantives. ...
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15 votes

Translating "Nocte volat caelī mediō"

As an adjective, indeed, medius, -a, -um does not take a genitive. However, there is a noun, the substantive medium, -i, which also means "middle" or "midst." Referring to a ...
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13 votes
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Are "sex" and "sexus" etymologically related?

The gist of Au101's answer is confirmed by de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary. First, regarding sex, in Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European, he gives: PIt. *seks 'six', *seks-to- 'sixth' PIE *(s)...
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13 votes
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Concrete 4th and 5th declension nouns

Manus "hand" is of the fourth declension, though it is feminine. Specus "cave" is normally masculine. Lacus "lake". Fructus can be a fruit, one that you pick from a tree. ...
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12 votes
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Verbing in Latin

There are at least some cases in which this can be done, with different shades of meaning. graecisso (-izo), āre, v. n., = Γραικίζω, to imitate the Greeks, to adopt a Grecian manner or tone: atque ...
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11 votes

Are "sex" and "sexus" etymologically related?

No, I don't think so, and for this I can actually rely on etymonline which is a fine resource, even if linguistics students are discouraged from using it for their homework. The entry for the English ...
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  • 313
11 votes
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Can infans refer to children who can speak?

In the Oxford Latin Dictionary (which only covers Classical Latin): An infant, little child (strictly, one not yet able to talk). The use of "strictly" in the parenthesis implies that even ...
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11 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

Another partial answer. Tl;dr: kissing had a social role in Judaism that was inherited into Christianity (as osculum in the Vulgate), where it even had/acquired a ceremonial role (not sure if this ...
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11 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

I cannot provide a complete answer either, but perhaps a few points one the subject of kissing, and the semantics of the words for it. I cannot, unfortunately, provide immediate literature references ...
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11 votes
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Why is there no case agreement between "magni" and "poetae"?

There is agreement, in fact! Both of these words are masculine genitive singular. The trick is that poēta is a masculine noun, despite being in the first declension. So the genitive singular is -ae, ...
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11 votes

Gen. 1:20 is reptile ablative?

I understand the phrase producant aquae reptile animae viventis to mean something like "let the waters bring forth the creeping/crawling thing of living breath." In more idiomatic English, ...
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10 votes
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-eris, -oris, -uris?

The usual explanation given in historical grammars, e.g. those of Weiss, Sihler, and Buck, is that the -er- stems result from regular sound change, while the -or- stems result from analogical ...
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10 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

Here's counter-evidence for you, from Ovid Amores (2,5). inproba tum vero iungentes oscula vidi— illa mihi lingua nexa fuisse liquet— qualia non fratri tulerit germana severo, sed tulerit ...
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  • 11.1k
10 votes
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Do plural names referring to a singular thing require a plural verb?

Plural place names should have plural verbs. A very simple case of this is Athenae, -arum (Athens). Here's an illuminating example from Cicero: in quam cum intueor, maxime mihi occurrunt, Attice, ...
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10 votes

Noun adjuncts in Latin

The typical choice in Latin is to derive an adjective from the noun. I would translate "chicken soup" as ius gallinaceum. Deriving adjectives is nontrivial but inevitable. A genitive is a good second ...
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10 votes
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Latin suffixes in the noun "vertebra"?

There are two distinct words here: The noun vertebra. The adjective vertebralis, "related to vertebra". The adjective is derived from the noun, and both the noun and the adjective have ...
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10 votes

Is it grammatically correct to attributively use nominative forms of nouns in New Latin?

It's valid even in Classical Latin, in fact! Generally, it's fine to put two nouns together in the nominative (or, rather, in the same case) when one of them gives the general category of a thing and ...
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10 votes
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Is the dative plural of anima animis or animabus?

Both are correct, but there are limited use cases for -abus. The chief form used across all authors for all words ends in -is, as in anima, animis (fem. dat/abl. pl.). The only two general exceptions ...
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10 votes
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Creating place names from Latin verbs?

Almost there, but the -t- belongs to the verb, not suffix. In particular, it's the fourth principle part (the supine/perfect participle) of the verb. For the verb: vomo, vomere, vomui, vomitus (or -...
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9 votes
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Is 'Delphī' a second declension word?

It is indeed a second declension word. It is used in the plural. You can confirm this on the Lewis and Short dictionary: Delphi , orum, m., Δελφοί, I.the famous city of the oracle of Apollo in Phocis,...
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  • 11.1k
9 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

Smith's Copious & Critical English-Latin Dictionary (p. 430) in longish articles is good on this, giving suavium as the "most suitable word for ordinary use", osculor as "the term most suitable ...
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9 votes
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Why νώ (rather than νῶ) from νόω? (Greek)

Philomen Probert (Wolfson College, Oxford) writes that "[A] nominative/accusative dual ending in ω always has an acute, never a circumflex, if accented on the final syllable, regardless of ...
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9 votes
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Etymology of "salarium" and its connection to salt

This book suggests: SALARY, salaire, F. From salarium, L. a stated allowance of provisions given to a soldier, of which (sal) salt was a necessary part; and hence the term came to signify pay ...
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9 votes
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Noun adjuncts in Latin

Latin doesn't really form noun phrases in the same way that English does, by stringing together a collection of modifying nouns before the original noun. To a Roman, the phrase pullus iūs would have ...
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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.
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9 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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How should one latinize this name?

It is common for male names to be put into the second declension when Latinized, in which case they inflect in general like any other second-declension noun. So going from Raonīus as a second-...
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8 votes

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

According to the conclusion of one discussion, constructions in which these nouns are modified by feminine adjectives, when referring to females, are not so much avoided as simply not needed ... ...
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8 votes
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Why do some 2nd decl. "-er" adjectives and nouns drop the "e" in the stem?

This is well-known and virtually all good grammars discuss this (as vowel syncope). Genetivus singularis helps us reconstruct the original nom.sg. form (synchronically), that's why we learn nouns in ...
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  • 11.1k
8 votes
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Are "vir" and "virgo" etymologically related?

The etymology of 'virgo' proposed by Ledo-Lemos, and rejected by Vaan (without further explanations), does not explain Lat. virgo as a compound from "*uiH-ro- (man) and *gʷén-eH₂- (woman)", but from *...
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