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The accusative form of "Hitler"

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The accusative form of "Hitler"

Postby Hesperado » Thu May 29, 2008 6:01 pm

What would the accusative form of "Hitler" be according to Latin rules?

Would "Hitler" be like "puer", second declension, and therefore its accusative form be rendered "Hitlerum"?

Or would it be considered a 3rd declension -- therefore "Hitlerem"?

I'm asking because of the famous coinage of Leo Strauss, the argumentum ad Hitlerum (Hitlerem?) and want to use this phrase spelled correctly.

Thanks.
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Postby Apollimagine » Thu May 29, 2008 7:38 pm

I would always use the third declension for foreign names --> Hitlerem, but I am not 100-percently sure, it's just a feeling.
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Postby timeodanaos » Thu May 29, 2008 9:53 pm

But if you are quoting, you should always be precise, even if the original text is flawed grammatically!
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Postby benissimus » Thu May 29, 2008 10:47 pm

I recently read this phrase spelt "ad Hitlerum", as you have it. Since there is no hard and fast rule about how it should be declined, I think it best to use the agreed upon form. You weren't by any chance reading Coulter's article?
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Postby Hesperado » Thu May 29, 2008 10:51 pm

Thanks all.

benissimus, there must be a rule, or at least a common way that foreign names were declined (as throughout the Middle Ages there were many Germanic names of people and towns mentioned in Latin texts).

Yes, I read the Coulter article but I remember seeing that phrase in a New York Times Magazine essay many years ago, spelled as "Hitlerem".
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Postby benissimus » Thu May 29, 2008 10:59 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to say that there is no standard way to transliterate names into Latin, though the convention was never completely regular and faces new problems with the names we encounter today. I was referring specifically to the 'er' ending, the declension of which is basically up in the air. I suspect there is a tendency toward the 2nd declension, but I would be grateful if someone could verify or disprove that. For what it's worth, "ad Hitlerum" receives 81,800 hits on Google, whereas "ad Hitlerem" gets a measly 547.
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Postby Hesperado » Fri May 30, 2008 10:54 pm

thanks benissimus,

I too noticed the disparity on Google, though from a search just now I found the following:

"ad hitlerum" = 50,700

"ad hitlerem" = 624

Then I did a search of adding "jstor" to each (which would narrow down the scholarly references somewhat):

"ad hitlerum" jstor = 53

"ad hitlerem" jstor = 2

Nevertheless, I don't know why, but I have a gut feeling that "hitlerem" is the correct form.
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Postby annis » Sat May 31, 2008 12:53 am

Hesperado wrote:I too noticed the disparity on Google, though from a search just now I found the following:


Through google books ad Hitlerum is by far the most common. Everything but one that has "ad Hitlerem" is in Czech, which makes me suspect this is a Czech ending. Finally, one single book in German spells it reductio ad Hitlerem.
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Postby Moerus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:27 pm

In fact these days the 'general' rule for names in neolatin is that the last name is not latinized anymore. The first name however is latinized. So to avoid every confusion in a declension you sould always add the first name.

If however - like it was done before- also the last name is latinized, there is no rule for a declension to use: every name is a case on itself.
Mostly it was like that that in neolatin texts the first one to use a historical name, chooses the declension.

For Hitler, mostly the name is not latinized, but there is actually a latinized last name. I saw that even the Latin Vicipaedia is sometimes in doubt and they ask the same question you do. In other threats they seem to be decided and choose Hitler, -Hitleri, 2nd declension. I see thet Hitler, Hitleri is most frequent, if latinized. Although there seem to be a preference for the non-latinized form.

An example of the non-latinized last name can be found in a recent nuntii latini news message:

Pellicula de Adolfo Hitler
In Germania pellicula cinematographica producta est, quae dictatorem Adolfum Hitler in munimento subterraneo Berolinensi ultimis vitae diebus degentem facit. Quod opus nomine ?Der Untergang? a criticis quidem laudatur, sed multi Germani naturam dictatoris in illa taeniola nimis humanam figuratam esse reprehendunt. Bernd Eichinger autem, productor pelliculae, respondit sibi ne propositum quidem fuisse spectaculo suo Adolfum Hitler diabolum describere.

So I wouldn't latinize it and if you do anyway: Hitler, Hitleri.

Valete,

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