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14

As usual, to answer this question we need to step into our comparative linguistics-fueled time machine and go back to Proto-Indo-European times, so we can see what function the ending -a, which we know as a neuter plural ending, had in PIE. In PIE, this ending -a (or rather *-(e)h₂) did not form plurals, but collectives. A collective refers to a group of ...


14

You should use a distributive. Cicero, ad Atticum, 5. 3: ibi mihi tuae litterae binae redditae sunt tertio abs te die This works for all such plural nouns, but you should take care over the case and gender. As with some larger cardinal numbers, it's a common mistake to forget that. [Additional clarification] Unae litterae is not necessarily as wrong as ...


9

The plural would be aleae iactae sunt. Alea / aleae is nominative, because it's the subject of a passive verb-form. Note that, if you used the accusative case for alea, the verb would have to be in the active and its subject would be implicit, or else would have to be a noun or pronoun. So, aleam / aleas iecit means 'he (she, it) threw the di(c)e'. ...


8

(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), which is part of the familiar set -m(i), -s(i), -t(i), ..., -nt(i). (The 1pl and 2pl are a bit harder to reconstruct because they vary more in the individual ...


8

Acc. pl. pelagē occurs in Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 6.619: at pelage multa et late substrata videmus This is simply the Greek plural: the word is a loan of Greek πέλαγος, whose nom./acc. pl. is πελάγη. A Packard search finds no results for vira, virora, vulga, vulgora.


8

Caledonii would be the tribes inhabiting Caledonia, the land. Think Americans and America. The word seems related to Celt, for what it's worth. Grammatically, the singular would be Caledonius, but oddly, I cannot find Classical usage for this. It seems merely a descriptive adjective for geography/features of the land of Caledonia (such as "Caledonian Ocean,"...


8

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 compounds with -cola and -gena (e.g. agricolum in Lucr. 4.586 or caelicolum; Troiugenum), and some Greek proper nouns (Gangaridum, Aeneadum, Phaselitum). The ...


7

The development of the Latin 4th declension seems to be uncertain in several areas. The PIE ancestors of the G.sg. and the N.pl. of -u stems seem to have been *-ows and *-ewes respectively. The Latin forms seem to be contracted versions of these (although, as I said, the details are disputed). At any rate, palatalization does not seem to be a factor in ...


6

There are three commonly recognized types of nosism, in which the plural first-person pronoun is used rather than the singular: the pluralis societatis ("social plural"), pluralis modestiae ("plural of modesty"), and pluralis maiestatis ("plural of majesty" or "royal we"). In some sense all of these can be considered specialized uses of the poetic plural, ...


6

The classical word for "monad" is μονάς, plural μονάδες. μονάδα, plural -ες, is Modern Greek. μονάδαι looks like a pseudo-classical plural of the MG word. Where did you find it?


5

Pubes, genitive pubis means (as the dictionary tells us) "the signs of manhood, i.e. the hair which appears on the body at the age of puberty". It does not mean a single pubic hair, but - like the English word "hair" - it is a collective noun for the whole hairy covering of the body. That is why it stays in the singular even after a plural noun like montes.


5

This is a tricky thing to explain, but: Unus is the cardinal 'one', which has plural forms that are used with plural-form nouns such as castra and scopae. In such cases it is proper to write una castra or unae scopae. Singulus is used distributively — 'one for each', and so on — and is not to be confused with singularis, 'single' when an adjectival use is ...


5

Apparently an early usage was in inheritance law, in contrast with "per stirpes". Suppose A has children B and C, and B has child D, while C has children E and F. If A outlives his children but not his grandchildren, then with a per capita rule, D, E, and F each get 1/3 of the estate, but under a per stirpes rule, D gets 1/2 and E and F get 1/4 each. In ...


5

For whatever they might be worth, there are two inscriptions from Hadrian’s wall mentioning a centurion by the name of Caledonius Secundus, in both instances in the genitive singular. https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/1854 https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/1679


4

It seems there are many theories, among them viri, virora, and virus. (The point of the article is that it's pointless to try to figure it out.) Here, however, is a refutation of the article linked above that contains an argument based on what seems to be solid linguistics ("seems" because it's been so long since I studied linguistics that I can't really ...


4

In addition to Nathaniel's excellent answer, we offer this quotation from Ennius: Liber VII Ennii de Naevio sententia: scripsere alii rem 231 Versibus quos olim Faunei vatesque canebant; Cum neque Musarum scopulos quisquam superarat Nec dicti studiosus erat, ante hunc Nos ausi reserare . . . . This appears to be ...


4

It does not really make sense to put "Alea iacta est" in the plural form. The reason for this is that alea does not exactly mean "one dice" or "one die" (as some resources claim), but it in original Latin, alea is the name for the "game of dice" or "set of dice". As a consequence, using the plural would mean something like "The sets of dice were thrown" ...


4

Allen & Greenough, New Latin grammar, states (§317, d): A collective noun commonly takes a verb in the singular; but the plural is often found with collective nouns when individuals are though of... The corresponding rule in Gildersleeve & Lodge, Latin grammar, states (§211, Remark 1, a): Substantives of multitude often take the predicate in ...


4

The singular forms of uterque mean either 'each x (out of 2),' which is also singular concept in English, or 'both xs,' which is a plural concept in English. The plural forms mean either 'each group of xs (out of 2 groups),' which is a singular concept in English, or 'both groups of xs,' which is also a plural concept in English. In the Tacitus passage that ...


4

Usually an adjective (and here meus works like an adjective) takes the form of the closest referent when used attributively. The masculine plural would be used in a sentence like "the wife and soul are mine". I find it better to put the adjective at the end, which would give you uxor animusque meus. If you don't want to use anima instead of animus (they ...


3

I just found that Nouvelle méthode pour apprendre facilement la langue latine, by Claude Lancelot (? et al?), which I quoted in my previous question about Pascha, includes this word in a list of "those nouns which, as grammarians say, are not used in the plural, though we sometimes meet with examples to the contrary" (p. 150, A New Method of Learning with ...


3

Both īma and summīs are neuter plural in this case: "the lowest things" and "the highest things". The adjectives are being used in a sort of general sense here, rather than referring to any specific objects—God is reconciling everything that is lowly with everything that is exalted, without any particular lowly and exalted things in mind.


2

I'm not sure whether 'Caledonii' can be used in the singular, but it would not be completely out of the ordinary if it can't. In the Aeneid Virgil regularly describes the Greeks and Trojans as the 'Danai' and the 'Teucri' respectively. But he never uses them in the singular, or as an adjective. So in your case, if you want to translate English into Latin, ...


2

This doesn't answer your question (Tom Cotton's answer does that), but it's an interesting datum and way too long for a comment. Here is an (in-)famous sentence from the papal bull Dum Diversas by Pope Nicholas V, issued in 1452. Good luck finding the main verb: Nos igitur considerantes, quod contra Catholicam fidem insurgentibus, Christianamque ...


2

Latin does indeed think about number slightly different than we do in English--or Latin reflects subtleties of reference in a slightly different way. Quisque is the indefinite pronoun, masculine nominative singular. Quique is the indefinite pronoun, masculine nominative plural. Quisque clearly means "every [single] one" or "each one." Quique has the same ...


2

Militiae is the genitive singular of militia, which is grammatically singular, but which (like other collective nouns) designates a plurality. Laudantium and dicentium are genitive plural. They agree with militiae ad sensum, but not ad litteram. It is like when you say in English “the whole class are doing their homework”. “Class” is grammatically singular, ...


2

There are a couple of dozen or so words of Latin which, like tenebrae, are only ever found in the plural form. Curiously, a few of them are also plural in English translation, for example divitiae, 'riches', hiberna, winter quarters' and arma, 'arms'. For tenebrae we would say In English ['in the] shadows', similarly referring to darkness or obscurity as an ...


2

The genitive, in this case, functions like the prepositional phrase "of ..." in English, so the object of the preposition is independent with respect to number. Although the genitive describes or qualifies similar to the way that adjectives do, there is no requirement for numerical agreement as there is with adjectives. For example, in English, we might ...


2

(This is only a partial answer; I need to look at some more sources to check what I say here. Also, I'm not a professional or expert, so don't get your inscription made right after reading this post!) Brianpck says in his answer here that in Latin, attributive adjectives that semantically refer to multiple coordinated nouns tend to agree in gender and ...


1

So, what you posted looks like you want to say, "Lictor of Holy Matters" or "Lictor for Holy Matters," which would be: Lictor Rērum Sanctārum or Lictor Rēbus Sanctis However, based on your comment you were thinking something to the tune of "Order of Vatican Intelligence Operatives," which presents a quandary, seeing as, per the Wikipedia pages, it would ...


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