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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

 
Heteroclitic and Heterogeneous Nouns:

1. nouns that vary in Declension (heteroclites, nomina abundantia): as a review of major classical dictionaries (such as Glare, and Lewis and Short) document these variations that may vary between declension II and IV: this is especially true for certain plant names:

Quercus,-us (s.f.IV), in the classical period was also, but secondarily, declined in the second declension (Quercus,-i (s.f.II). [Quercus,-us (s.f.IV) of Linnaeus].

Laurus,-i (s.f.II) was also, but secondarily, declined as a fourth declension noun, laurus,-us (s.f.IV) [Laurus,-i (s.f.II), of Linnaeus].

Cornus,-i (s.f.II) was also, but secondarily, declined as a fourth declension noun: lornus,-us (s.f.IV) [Cornus,-i (s.f.II) of Linnaeus].

Note that many plants, trees and shrubs in Latin go against the general rules of gender by being declined in the second declension, which usually indicates male beings, but being ascribed the feminine gender, as is the case with the three tree names just listed.

Some classical nouns could vary between the second, third and fourth declensions, others between the first and fifth. Others may vary by using two different stems within the declension of the word.

2. nouns that vary in spelling as though of different Genders are called heterogeneous nouns, such as nouns with masculine forms in -us and also neuter forms in -um, or forms that differ from the normal in one or the other cases. The different forms may have different meanings, such as the singular masculine noun locus, meaning ‘place’ when spelled as a neuter plural (loca) or masculine plural (loci) may mean ‘topics’ as in literature, or ‘spots.’

 

A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2017

 
 
 
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