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PMDA

Postby pmda » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:26 am

Hi, I just joined this. And was prompted by a question. Am learning Latin through self-study - Lingua Latina. I just finished the Dowling approach of memorizing the paradigms. Only I went much further than he recommended (including all pronouns, irregular verbs etc..) It took a while. Anyways I'm stumped about something already. I have a question about the gender and person of some Greek cities in latin. Words like Naxos, Lesbos in sentences in Orberg's Lingua latina are obviously Fem. Nom. Sing. But I can find no reference to this fact on the web. Can anyone confirm the gender and person of 'Naxos' and 'Lesbos' in a sentence like 'Naxos et Lesbos sunt insulae Graecae' ? Are the an irregular 2nd declension feminine nouns?
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Re: PMDA

Postby Smythe » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:14 pm

Congrats and welcome. I did the exact same thing with the Dowling method and am now 4 chapters into LL. I just stuck with memorizing the noun declensions and verb conjugations, though.

In answer to your question though, check out Naxos and Lesbos using an online dictionary tool (such as http://athirdway.com/glossa/ ). Lesbos and Naxos both look to be 2nd declension nouns that are actually feminine.

I think, though, that you might be thinking that Naxos and Lesbos have to be feminine to agree with 'insulae graecae'. This is not the case. (I apologize if I am reading your post incorrectly). For instance: Roma est oppidum magnum. 'Roma' is feminine, but 'oppidum' is neuter.

As always, if I am talking out of my hind end, please feel free to correct me.
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Re: PMDA

Postby Hampie » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:15 pm

pmda wrote:Hi, I just joined this. And was prompted by a question. Am learning Latin through self-study - Lingua Latina. I just finished the Dowling approach of memorizing the paradigms. Only I went much further than he recommended (including all pronouns, irregular verbs etc..) It took a while. Anyways I'm stumped about something already. I have a question about the gender and person of some Greek cities in latin. Words like Naxos, Lesbos in sentences in Orberg's Lingua latina are obviously Fem. Nom. Sing. But I can find no reference to this fact on the web. Can anyone confirm the gender and person of 'Naxos' and 'Lesbos' in a sentence like 'Naxos et Lesbos sunt insulae Graecae' ? Are the an irregular 2nd declension feminine nouns?

Since the educated people in Rome all knew greek, greek words tend to sometimes have their own slightly different declination-forms. See http://www.informalmusic.com/latinsoc/greekdec.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_declension :D. As for gender, I have no idea. But almost every Latin dictionary contain place names of Greece and the entire Roman Empire (and a lot of names) so you will almost certainly find Lesbos and Naxos therein.
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Re: PMDA

Postby pmda » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:37 am

Many, many thanks guys. That seems to answer the question. I noticed also that Delphi is 2nd Declension (masculine presumably?) Plural. Which is seriously irregular.
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Re: PMDA

Postby pmda » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:40 am

Hi Smythe

[I think, though, that you might be thinking that Naxos and Lesbos have to be feminine to agree with 'insulae graecae'.] Actually I do get the fact that they are nouns whose gender is predetermined and that they don't agree with anything. I was just perplexed that Lesbos etc....didn't seem to have any feminine ending that I could recognise. But the irregularity arising from the Greek origin of the word seems to explain it. Thanks for you help on this..
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Re: PMDA

Postby thesaurus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:03 pm

pmda wrote:Many, many thanks guys. That seems to answer the question. I noticed also that Delphi is 2nd Declension (masculine presumably?) Plural. Which is seriously irregular.


You'll occasionally run into Greek names of cities that are plural by default. "Athenae" is a common example.

Generally, Greek declensions shouldn't cause you much trouble, and I wouldn't bother memorizing them at this stage. They come up more often when you're reading certain poets, but most commentaries should point out these instances. It gets trickier when you have Greek syntactical adoptions: the first few times I encountered the Greek "accusative of respect" in Latin (in Ovid), I had no idea what was going on.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: PMDA

Postby Smythe » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:57 pm

thesaurus wrote: It gets trickier when you have Greek syntactical adoptions: the first few times I encountered the Greek "accusative of respect" in Latin (in Ovid), I had no idea what was going on.


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Re: PMDA

Postby thesaurus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:44 pm

Smythe wrote:Seriously? It is to weep.


It's not that bad, when it comes down to it. The syntactical oddities of Latin can be dealt with as you come across them, once you have an intermediate understanding of the language. Caesar, Cicero and other Golden-Age prose writers don't use the Greek accusative, for example. (Ovid, Amores 1.1.20: longas compta puella comas: a girl adorned with respect to her long hair.)
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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