Old Latin Genitives in -erum and -us

Authors

  • Krzysztof Tomasz Witczak University of Łódź, Poland
  • Jerneja Kavčič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.1.5-18

Keywords:

dual number, elliptic forms, genitive case, Latin epigraphy, Old Latin

Abstract

In this article, I shall attempt to explain certain anomalous genitive singular and plural forms in the Latin language of the pre-Classical era. Contrary to the opinion prevalent in current scholarship, I shall contend that forms ending in *-us found in this role continue the old genitive dual in -ūs (< *-ous), preserved in fixed phrases as well as in texts of a religious and legal character; cf. pro aede Castorus (CIL I2 582) ‘in front of the temple of the two Castores’. Similarly, aberrant gen. pl. forms like boverum ‘boum’ (Cato, Agr. 62; Varro, Ling. 8.74) will be analyzed as ultimately rooted in the obsolescent dual number. The innovative genitive plural in -ērum, I will argue, was created by fitting out old nominative and accusative dual forms with additional plural morphology, cf. *bovē nom.-acc. du. ‘two oxen’, gen. pl. bovērum ‘of oxen’ (originally ‘of two oxen’).

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Published

24.08.2021

How to Cite

Witczak, Krzysztof Tomasz, and Jerneja Kavčič. 2021. “Old Latin Genitives in -Erum and -Us”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 23 (1):5-18. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.1.5-18.

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Articles