Declination of Greek words

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Carolus Raeticus
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Declination of Greek words

Post by Carolus Raeticus » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:00 am

Salvete!

I am currently reading a bit in Kepler's Epitome astronomiae copernicanae. While doing so I keep stumbling upon some unusual forms which seem to be genitives, but rather weird ones:
[Astronomia] est pars Physices.
[Astronomia] complectitur magnam partem Optices, quia commune cum ipsa subjectum habet, Lucem corporum coelestium & quia multas visus deceptiones circa mundi motuumque formas detegit.
How does one properly decline Physices and Optices? I take it that these are special because they are Greek words. Having a look a Allen & Greenough's did not help me a lot, however. Can anyone of you help me with this? Does anyone know of a good resource about declination of Greek words in a Latin context?

Thanks in advance,

Carolus Raeticus
Sperate miseri, cavete felices.

adrianus
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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by adrianus » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:46 am

Salve Carole

Nisi fallor, physica et optica et musica et sequentes (separatìm figurae "physicum" et "optice" et sequentes), primae declinationis nomina graeca: ars physices seu physicae (genitivo casu) vel mathematicae physices doctor. (Vide illam grammaticam de A&G quae de hâc re bonus fons est. Locum qui pertinet illîc non animadvertisti, ut puto)

It's first declination Greek (physica, optica, mechanica, musica etc.) genitive -ae or -es, as in Doctor of mathematical physics = doctor physices mathematicae. (See musica in A&G §44, which is a good source for these declinations. You passed over the relevant bit, I reckon.)
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.

Carolus Raeticus
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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by Carolus Raeticus » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:01 am

Salve Adriane!

And thank you for the hint. I indeed skipped that. Interesting declination scheme (almost as weird as that of domus, which I cannot remember however often I try to memorize it).

One question, though. A&G write in note a to § 44:
Greek forms are found only in the singular; the plural, when it occurs, is regular.
In the case of words like cometa, forming the plural is straightforward enough. How does one form the plural of Greek words like "epitome, -ês f"? The only Latin words ending on "-e" are third declination neuter, as far as I can tell. That would indicate something like epitomia, but doesn't look nor sound quite right.

I'm interested in this matter because I'm drawing up a list of Neo-Latin words pertaining to astronomy. Many of these words seem to hail from the Greek language. I noticed that there are two different ways to latinize such words:
  • Fully latinize them, e.g. meteorum
  • Use a Greek form (or something that looks like it), e.g. meteoron, aerotlithos
Although most Neo-Latinists seem to prefer a brute-force-Latinization strategy, I would still like to be able to decline the Greek versions as well.

Vale,

Carolus Raeticus
Sperate miseri, cavete felices.

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calvinist
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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by calvinist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:26 pm

epitome
epitomes
epitomae
epitomen
epitome


These are all feminine nouns, not neuter. The long -e- reflects Greek eta which is a standard 1st declension feminine ending in Greek, like -a- is in Latin.

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calvinist
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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by calvinist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:46 pm

Sorry, you wanted the plural. The plural is declined as a normal Latin 1st declension:

epistomae
epistomarum
epistomis
epistomas
epistomis


On a technical sidenote, declension is the proper noun form in English, although declination works fine and we all understand what is meant.

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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by adrianus » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:30 pm

calvinist wrote:On a technical sidenote, declension is the proper noun form in English, although declination works fine and we all understand what is meant
.
I didn't notice when I wrote that, but I did say we spoke a different English. I speak like Peregrine Pickle:
Tobias Smollett, [i]The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle[/i], 1751, I. xiii. 95 wrote:A perfect ignoramus, who scarce knows the declination of musa.
Id non adnotavi sed me non ut te anglicè loqui jam dixi. Nunc clarum est, ut Peregrinus Conditivus loquor.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.

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calvinist
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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by calvinist » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:52 am

It depends upon how precise you want to be, but you could say that everyone speaks their own dialect. Everyone's speech has idiosyncracies, that's why I go only so far with prescriptive grammars. Some linguists argue that Spanish, French, and Italian should be considered dialects of one language, and not separate languages. It comes down to how much you like splitting hairs.

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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by adrianus » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:13 pm

A sense of humour goes a long way,—especially when one hasn't hair to split.
Levis longè lustrat,—qui praesertìm nullum capillum habeat ut scindat.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.

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Re: Declination of Greek words

Post by ingrid70 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:50 pm

Ha, reminds me of Umberto Eco in Foucaults Pendulum:
Tetrapilectomie: the splitting of a hair into 4 parts. (NB: quoting from memory from the dutch translation)

Ingrid

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