Borrowing Latin case forms (was Re: EAK nouns)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, May 13, 2007, 11:08|
On Sun, 13 May 2007 01:29:10 -0700, Joesph Fatula wrote:
> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> > Hallo!
> > On Sun, 13 May 2007 08:34:33 +0100, R A Brown wrote:
> > [...]
> >> But we don't, do we? We just use the foreign nominative. For example we
> >> might say "There were a lot of fungi in the wood this morning", but few,
> >> I think, would say "There were a lot _fungorum_ in the wood this
> >> morning" :)
> > This sort of thing was actually common in the speech of educated Germans
> > some time ago. Latin loans were declined Latin-wise. It no longer is,
> > though.
> > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> German I think would be more amenable to this sort of thing anyway,
> being that German already draws the same case distinctions as Latin. In
> German, you're essentially just saying that "der fungus" has an unusual
> genitive form "des fungi". Whereas in English, you'd have to explain
> the whole concept of case, as noun phrases don't change for case in English.
Yes. German has a case system that makes the same distinctions as Latin,
except that there is no ablative (use the dative instead in most instances)
and the vocative isn't distinct from the nominative. Thus, borrowing case
forms from Latin works quite well, and involves only new *forms* and no new
*categories* of grammar. English, au contraire, has no case system, hence
borrowing Latin case forms into it involves borrowing a whole new grammatical
On Sun, 13 May 2007 10:46:11 +0200, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
On 13.5.2007 Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> > This sort of thing was actually common in the speech of
> > educated Germans some time ago. Latin loans were declined
> > Latin-wise. It no longer is, though.
> I have an only 30 year old German book which uses the
> accusative "Jesum", but that's probably a special case.
I haven't yet meant anyone who uses such forms in their habitual speech,
but some scholarly books and papers I have read used them as late as about
1960. However, it was much more common in the 18th and 19th centuries.
... brought to you by the Weeping Elf