Jacobus wrote:my problem with Latin nouns, or one of them, is that I don't actually know why you need to know the stem at all.
paulusnb wrote:If you must know the rhyme and the reason, do not take our word for it. Download Allen and GReenough's New Latin Grammar and consult the long section on third declension.
Jacobus wrote:Looking at it, the nominative singular form is slightly different from the other forms, but other than that the spelling stays quite consistent. Does this basically mean learn the nominative singular and the "stem"? Does that then solve the question of why the stem is needed?
Jacobus wrote:Thank you for the additional explanation, but now I have another question. What is the significance of there being both a stem and a base?
Jacobus wrote:but why are "i stems" so difficult in particular?
I'll add my bit here if it helps.
As said, the stem of a noun needs to be learned for a few reasons. One is so that you are able to recognise a noun in an altered form. The other is so that you can correctly determine its declension, hence its number, case and gender and therefore its use on the sentence.
Diaphanus wrote:If you are into the creation of new words (verbificium, as I call it), then the stem of a noun needs to be known because, technically, "real" compound words (such as stellifer) are combinations of stems, and suffixes are added to the stems of words.
ptolemyauletes wrote:Traditional Latin grammars often assume understanding of things that seem obvious, but aren't.