Textkit Logo

question about nouns

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

question about nouns

Postby nidh0gg » Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:19 pm

Hello,<br /><br />I just started learning Latin last week, and I have a question about nouns. If you take a noun that has two different gender versions (masculine and feminine), say amIca (feminine) and amIcus (masculine), their dative and ablative plurals are exactly the same: amIcIs. I translate this as "friends," but what would you do to distinguish between male friend and female friend, in the dative and ablative plural?<br /><br />By the way, I am using Wheelock's Latin (5th edition), in case you are wondering.
phpbb
nidh0gg
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:09 pm

Re:question about nouns

Postby sarkikos » Sun Feb 16, 2003 11:23 pm

Hi. I am also a Latin novice, but I will let you know what I have read about the use of masculine and feminine in plurals. In Latin - as in Spanish, Greek, and most if not all Indo-European languages - when a plural form is used, and there is at least one male among the females, then the masculine plural is the correct form. In situations where the same form is used for both the masculine plural and the feminine plural, then the gender of the individuals in the group must be determined by the context. Also, in a situation where one individual is spoken about, and it has not been determined if that individual is male or female, or if gender is not important to the narrative, then the masculine form is used. (This is also the correct usage in English.) If anyone who has more experience in Latin has anything to add or correct, let HIM do so. :)
phpbb
sarkikos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:30 am

Re:question about nouns

Postby Elucubrator » Sun Apr 20, 2003 11:20 pm

Yes Sarkikos, <br /><br />that is correct. So this thread really needs no other post except for the fact that I wanted to add a short anecdote. I had one teacher a long time ago who illustrated this feature of the language through the following memorable exemplum:<br /><br />"You can have a group of 30,000 women gathered in a stadium and they will take a feminine adjective "illae", but if one more should enter suckling a baby boy at her nipple, they immediately become "illi." :o <br /><br /><br />hehehe,<br /><br />Seba
User avatar
Elucubrator
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Re:question about nouns

Postby benissimus » Mon May 12, 2003 6:18 am

Yep, but watch out for nouns which have irregular dative/ablatives (i.e. filia, filiabus; dea, deabus)
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Feminine dat./abl. alternative pl. endings

Postby Elucubrator » Tue May 13, 2003 5:38 pm

Very nice detail, benissimus. One could, I suppose, make the distinction in these cases where a feminine first declension and a masculine second declension noun differ only in their endings (not in their stems). I looked it up in Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar to find out more of the details on this, and I think it is worth copying out in full. The section is (43.e):<br /><br />The dative and ablative plural of dea, goddess, and filia, daughter, end in an older form, -abus (deabus, filiabus) to distinguish them from the corresponding cases of deus, god, and filius, son (deis, filiis). So rarely with other words, as, liberta, freed-woman; mula, she-mule; equa, mare. But, except when the two sexes are mentioned together (as in formulas, documents, etc.), the form in -is is preferred in all but dea and filia.<br /><br />Does anybody know how old this older form of the dative and ablative 1st declension plural is, and whether it was at one time used exclusively with all first declension nouns?<br /><br />-Sebastian
User avatar
Elucubrator
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: whsiv and 89 guests