The morphology of classical Latin


6. Morphology of Pronouns

After nouns and adjectives, Latin Grammars study what they call pronouns, explaining that pronouns are used as nouns or as adjectives. It is true that pronouns are declined like nouns and adjectives, but they have special forms of declension. It is even possible to say that they have two different types of declension.

  • 6.1. Personal ProNP

There is firstly the specific declension of so-called personal pronouns, which are morphems belonging to the functional class of NP, which they commute with (cf. Touratier, 1994, Syntaxe latine, p. 23-24), not the class of nouns. “The pronoun is an available synthetic noun phrase (NP)”, as Georges Van Hout1) says; this paradoxical definition means that the so called pronoun alone is a NP, while a NP is formed at least by two or more than two constituents, which is called “an analytic NP” by Van Hout. We can therefore say that these pronouns are ProNPs.

There are in Latin five personal ProNPs: ego (“I”) ProNP of the first person, (“thou” or “you”) of the second person, nōs (“we”) of the fourth person (grammars would say of the second person plural, but we doesn’t mean “several I”, but “I and others persons”2) ), and uōs (“ye” or “you”) of the fifth person. If Latin has no ProNP of the third person, similar to Engl. he, she, it and they, there is in Latin a ProNP of third person reflexive, s-ē “himself”.

1th. Pers 2d. Pers 3th. Pers
Reflexive
NOM. ego
GEN. me-ī tu-ī su-ī
DAT. mi-hiti-bi si-bi
ABL. m-ē t-ē s-ē
ACC. m-ē t-ē s-ē
4th. Pers. 5th. Pers.
NOM. nō-suō-s
GEN. nostr-ī
nostr-um
uestr-ī
uestr-um
DAT. nō-bisuō-bis
ABL. nō-bis uō-bis
ACC. nō-s uō-s

These ProNP have a specific feature in common. The Genitive leads to an allomorph which is the same as the genitive of possessive adjectives (it would be better to call them personal adjectives), namely me-us, -a, -um “my”, tu-us, -a, -um “your”, noster, str-a, str-um “our”, uester, str-a, str-um “your”, su-us, -a, -um “his, her, its”. The Genitive is therefore the morphological segment of the second declension: me-ī, tu-ī, nostr-ī, uestr-ī, su-ī:

  • m-ē tu-ī pudet
    “I am ashamed of you”
  • memor sīs nostr-ī
    “be mindful of us”.

The short allomorph -um of the genitive plural -ōrum corresponding to a genitive of partitive sense, can of course! be used only with nō-s and uō-s:

  • Unusquisque nostrum
    “each one of us”,
  • uestrum omnium
    “of all of you”.

The ProNP of the first three persons has an allomorph with a vowel i brought by an original morphological segment of Dative in ī: -hī for the first person (mihī), and -bī for the second and third person (tibī and sibī), and an allomorph without vowel brought by a same segment of ablative and accusative (m-ē, t-ē, s-ē).

Because of the shortening of the iambic words the poets scan as well mĭhĭ, tĭbĭ, tĭbĭ as mĭhī, tĭbī, sĭbī. But, the classical poets know only ěgŏ.

The ProNPs of the fourth and fifth person, except for the genitive, have a same morphological segment nō- “we” and uō- “you”, which is combined with particular casual forms: -s for the nominative and accusative, and -bis for the dative and ablative.

In the third person, Latin uses a reflexive ProNP in oblique cases to refer to the subject of the sentence like: se amat, “he loves himself”. In the other persons, Latin has no special reflexive ProNP; then it is simply said m-ē uideo whereas in Engl. “I see myself”, or t-ē laudas, in Engl. “you praise yourself”, nō-bīs persuādēmus, in Engl. “we persuade ourselves”.

Beside this declension of the personal ProNP, there is another specifically pronominal declension which all the so-called pronouns belong to. The morphological common feature of this declension is to show, in the three genders, a Genitive singular -ius and a Dative singular –ī, the syntactical feature of these constituents being to function as Determiner and ProNP. In fact they are first of all determiners, which can be turned into a substantive, i. e. appear alone in the paradigm of the NP3) .

Their Genitive -ius is either monosyllabic or dissyllabic. When it is monosyllabic, it corresponds to a phonematic sequence /iius/, and both phonemes /ii/ being between vowels are realized [jj]4) . When it is dissyllabic, it corresponds to a phonematic sequence /i:ius/, where /i:i/, being before vowel, are realized [i:j]. The two segments of Genitive -ius are in complementary distribution, /i:ius/ appearing after consonant, and /iius/ after vowel.

  • 6.2. The Determiner is, ea, id, “that”

is not a demonstrative, not even a weaker demonstrative than the others, as grammars sometimes claim; it would be rather an anaphoric. Actually, it is a pronoun of the third person. But its declension is the same as for the true demonstratives: it is different of the first and second declension only in genitive and dative singular, and in nominative singular.

Declension of is, e-a, id:

+ Plural
Nom. is e-a id e-ī e-ae e-a
Gen. ē-ius ē-ius ē-ius e-ōrum e-ārum e-ōrum
Dat. e-ī e-ī e-ī e-īs (i-īs) e-īs (i-īs) e-īs (i-īs)
abl. e-ō e-ā e-ō e-īs (i-īs) e-īs (i-īs) e-īs (i-īs)
Acc. e-um e-am id e-ōs e-ās e-a

In nominative singular, it uses the same casual segment as the interrogative pronoun, hence the nominative singular masculine is, like qu-is, and neuter id, like qu-id.

The true originalty of this morpheme is the fact that beside a morph e-, it shows an allomorph Ø, when it is combined with these segments of masculine or neuter nominative:

  • is = / Ø-is/ and id =/Ø id/.

And this morpheme can show another allomorph, namely i-, when it is before an ī, therefore before the casual segments of Nominative, and Dative and Ablative Plural, hence

  • i-ī beside e-ī, i-īs beside e-īs.

This assimilation of e- by /-ī is similar to that of di-ī beside de-ī “gods (Nom.)”, and di-īs beside de-īs; and, as di-ī can be contracted to , we can find ī and īs. This explanation by a contraction seems to be better than if ī and īs were analyzed with the same morph Ø as the nominative masculine or neuter Ø-is or Ø-id. But that supposes that the rule of contraction de i-ī to ī is not a phonological rule, but a morphological.

The genitive e-ius corresponds to a phonematic sequence /e-iius/, which is realized [ejjus], and written eius, but with a first syllable which is long by position, since it is closed by two consonants [jj].

The morpheme of identity īdem, eadem, idem, “the same” is declined exactly like is, ea, id. Both visible differences, namely the nominative masculine ī-dem in front of is and neuter i-dem in front of id, are phonological, [i:dem] being the phonetic realization of /is-dem/: because the sibilant /s/ before a voiced is realized by the lengthening of the previous vowel; and [idem], the phonetic realization of /id-dem/, because of the Latin, which has not any apicodental geminate consonant, even in internal position5) , ordinarely give a simply realization to geminate consonants which the morphology can produce.

Declension of ī-dem, e-a-dem, i-dem, “the same”:

+ Plural
Nom. ī-dem e-a-dem i-dem e-ī-dem (i-ī-dem) e-ae-dem e-a-dem
Gen. ē-ius-dem ē-iusdem ē-ius-dem e-ōrum-dem e-ārum-dem e-ōrum-dem
Dat. e-ī-dem e-ī-dem e-ī-dem e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem) e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem) e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem)
abl. e-ō-dem e-ā-dem e-ō-dem e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem) e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem) e-īs-dem (i-īs-dem)
Acc. e-un-dem e-an-dem i-dem e-ōs-dem e-ās-dem e-a-dem
  • 6.3. Relative and interrogative determiners

As the other members of the pronominal declension, the so-called interrogative and relative pronouns are determiners in Latin, which can function as NP (traditionally grammars speak of relative or interrogative pronouns and adjectives).

Declension of the relative

Besides Casual segments of singular Genitive and Dative /-ius and –ī, common to the pronominal declension, the relative uses segments of singular Nominative (qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-od) and plural neuter Nominative (qu-ae), peculiar to itself. For the other case, it uses few segments of the third declension: the masculine Accusative (qu-em) and the plural Dative and Ablative (qu-ibus); all the others are some casual segments of the first and second declension: the feminine Accusative (qu-am), the singular Ablatives (qu-ō, qu-ā, qu-ō) and the plural Genitives (qu-ōrum, qu-ārum, qu-ōrum).

If we assume that the relative has two allomorphs, either qu- (i. e. /kw-/, which would be the unmarked allomorph), or /kwu-/, in the context of Genitive or Dative, the genitive will correspond to a phonological sequence /kwu-iius/, both /ii/ of which will be realized [jj]¸ since they are between two vowels. And if we assume that a phonological rule, before a consonant, leads to the phonetical realization [ku:] of the phonematic sequence /kwu/ not separated by a morpheme border6) , we shall get a phonetical realization [ku:jjus], which will be naturally written cuius, and “ordinarly scaned with the first syllable long” (cf. Ernout, 19537), p. 87).

The dative cui, realization of /kwu-i:/, is less clear: it is, as it seems, “a long monosyllable, spelt quoi until the time of Quintilianus” (cf. Ernout, 19538), p. 87), the u of which was probably vocalic, like the u of the dative huic, and therefore the i could be only a consonantal i [j] and form with the u a diphthong [uj]. But, if the classical scansion processes quoi as a long monosyllable, the old scansion was probably bisyllabic, a form quoiei (which quoī comes from) being very attested in C.I.L. (I9), 11 and 583). And the later scansion cŭī easily would be explained by the neutralization of the opposition of quantity before a vowel, if we assumed a phonematical sequence /ku:-i:/. But, how to explain this radical /ku:-/ from /kwu/? May be by analogy of [ku:jjus]?

Declension of the relative:

+ Plural
Nom. qu-ī qu-ae qu-od qu-ī qu-ae qu-ae
Gen. cū-ius cū-ius cū-ius qu-ōrum qu-ārum qu-ōrum
Dat. cu-ī cu-ī cu-ī qu-ibus qu-ibus qu-ibus
Abl. qu-ō qu-ā qu-ō qu-ibus qu-ibus qu-ibus
Acc. qu-em qu-am qu-od qu-ōs qu-ās qu-ae
  • Qu-id uīd-is-tī? “What did you see?”, Qu-od templ-um uīd-is-tī? “What temple did you see?”

Therefore grammars teach that in the singular nominative, the interrogative quis questions about identity, the interrogative qui, about quality:

  • Qu-is es? “who are you?”, Qu-ī homō es? “What kind of man are you?”

The interrogative used as NP quis “who?”, qu-id “what?” is declined in the singular as follows:

masc./fem. neuter
Nom. qu-is qu-id
Gen. cū-ius cū-ius
Dat. cu-ī cu-ī
Abl. qu-ō qu-ō
Acc. qu-em qu-id

The masculine and feminine forms are identical. But in the plural, all the forms are the same as that of the relative; it has therefore a masculine, feminine and neuter declension: qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-ae.

The interrogative determiner qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-od “what kind of? what? which?” is declined throughout like the relative.

Indefinite constituents are morphologically related to interrogatives, and therefore to relatives; they are used to indicate that some person or thing is meant, but without designating which one. The indefinite NP qu-is “any one” is declined exactly like the corresponding interrogative, and therefore qu-is, qu-id in singular, and qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-ae in plural. But the indefinite determiner has also a feminine declension like the corresponding interrogative, except that qu-a is commonly used instead of quae, but not in feminine plural nominative; thus qu-ī, qu-a, qu-od in singular, but qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-a in plural.

It is often in the nominatives that the other indefinites are different. Thus, the indefinite NP aliquis “some one” and determiner aliqu-ī “some” is declined like the indefinite qu-is and qu-ī; and like this indefinite it commonly uses aliqu-a instead of aliqu-ae except in the nominative plural feminine; but unlike this, it has a full feminine declension in singular as in plural:

Declension of aliquis (aliquī), aliqua, aliquid (aliquod):

masculine feminine neuter + Plural
Nom. aliqu-is (aliquī) aliqu-a aliqu-id (aliqu-od) aliqu-ī aliqu-ae aliqu-a
Gen. alicū-ius alicū-ius alicū-ius aliqu-ōrum aliqu-ārum aliqu-ōrum
Dat. alicu-ī alicu-ī alicu-ī aliqu-ibus aliqu-ibus aliqu-ibus
Abl. aliqu-ō aliqu-ā aliqu-ō aliqu-ibus aliqu-ibus aliqu-ibus
Acc. aliqu-em aliqu-am aliqu-id (aliqu-od) aliqu-ōs aliqu-ās aliqu-a
  • 6.4 Compounds of quis and qui

There are in Latin some compounds of quis, which are either some interrogatives or some indefinites or even some relatives.

1) compound by reduplication, qu-is-qu-is, qu-id-qu-id, both parts of which are declined. Only the singular masculine and neuter nominatives and the singular ablative are in regular use. But some other forms as the accusative quemquem, the ablative quiqui, and the nominative feminine quisquis10) are almost confined to actors. Cuicui also occurs as a genitive only in the phrase cuicui modi, “of whatever kind”. This determiner can be either an indefinite relative as in

  • Cic., Phil. 2,33 : Ago etiam gratias, quoquo animo facis quoquo modo, “I thank you, which ever intentions you have”

or a simply indefinite determiner:

  • Cic., epist. 9,16,1 : quoquo modo,
    “in any way”.

2) determiner + particule:

Qu-is-nam, quae-nam, quid-nam, “who, tell me? What, tell me?” is an interrogarive, only the masculine nominative of which is used as a determiner:

  • Verg., Aen. 3,338: Aut quisnam ignarum nostris deus adpulit oris?
    “or which god did push you unwittingly to our shores?”

Qu-is-piam, qu-ae-piam, qu-ip-piam (qu-id-piam) , “someone, something” is an indefinite.

Qu-ī-cumque, qu-ae-cumque, qu-od-cumque , “whoever, whatever”, is an indefinite relative, which is always declined like the relative qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-od, and therefore does’nt have never the form in -id-cumque.

Qu-ī-dam, qu-ae-dam, qu-od-dam (qu-id-dam), “a certain (one)”, the first part of which is declined like the relative qu-ī, with the neutralization of the nasal phonems before an apicodental consonant (hence qu-en-dam, qu-an-dam, qu-ōrun-dam and qu-ārun-dam). It is an undefinite determiner, which can function as NP, and has then the form neuter quiddam:

  • Cic., de or. 2,295 : Sed Caesar de isto ipso quiddam uelle dicere uidebatur,
    “But Caesar seemed to have to say a certain thing about this subject”.

or masculine quīdam = /kwisdam/, with the lengthening of /i/ which is the realization of /s/ before a voiced consonant:

  • Cic. inv. 2,14 : in itinere quidam proficiscentem ad mercatum quendam et secum aliquantum nummorum ferentem est comitatus, “ a certain traveller walked with a commercial traveller who had with himself a considerable sum of money”.

Qu-is-que, qu-ae-que, qu-od-que (qu-id-que), « each, every one » is declined like the interrogative, therefore in theory as NP qu-is-que, qu-id-que, and as a determiner qu-ī-que, qu-ae-que, qu-od-que. But like in English each, qu-is-que function as a determiner as well as a NP:

  • Cato, agr. 34,1 : Quisque locus
    “each place”,
  • Caes., Gal. 5,31,4 : quisque miles
    “every soldier”,
  • Plaut., Merc. 111 : suam quisque homo rem meminit
    “every man thinks about his business”
  • Cic., Tusc. 1,41: quam quisque norit artem, in hac se exerceat
    “let every man do the trade he knows”.

ūn-us-qu-is-que, ūn-a-qu-ae-que, ūn-um-qu-od-que (ūn-um-qu-id-que), “every single one” is a combination of qu-is-que with the numeral un-us, both parts of which are declined (genitive ūn-ius-cū-ius-que, dative ūn-ī-cu-ī-que, etc.), and can be separated by other words, which is called a tmesis:

  • Cic., Lael. 92 : nē in ūn-ō quidem qu-ō-que,
    “not even in a single one”.

3) Determiner + verbal form

Qu-ī-uīs, qu-ae-uīs, qu-od-uis (qui-d-uīs), “whatever person (thing) you please, anyone (no matter who), anything (no matter what)”, with the verb uis, second person of uolo “to want”.

Qu-ī-libet, qu-ae-libet, qu-od-libet (qu-id-libet) “any you please”, with the impersonal intransitive verb libet “it is pleasing or agreeable”.

Like the other determiners, these morphems can function as a NP. They show then the neuter form in qu-id-; the masculine form qu-ī-uīs or qu-ī-libet apparently doesn’t change, but the ī is the phonetical realization of /is/ + voiced consonant.

  • 6.5. The demonstrative Determiners hic, iste, ille

These three demonstrative morphemes form a full system of enunciative reference, hic refering to what concerns the speaker, iste to what concerns the listener, ille to what concerns the person who is neither the speaker nor the listener.

The determiner h-i-c “this, my” has a discontinuous morph /h… k/, which appears with all singular casual segments, excepting the Genitive, but stops being discontinuous with all plural casual segments, excepting the Genitive and the Nominative and Accusative neuter of the plural; nevertherless with the Genitive plural, the discontinuous morph can appear:

Gen. hu-ius, in front of Gen. plur. h-ōrum, but sometimes h-ōrum-c Nom. plur. masc. h-ī and fem. h-ae, but neuter h-ae-c, which is thus different from the feminine plural h-ae.

As for casual segments, this determiner uses any segments of the second declension instead of the segments which the relative takes in the third declension; hence the accusative masculine singular h-un-c (i. e. /h-um-k/, the nasal /m/ having a velar realization [ŋ], spelt n, before the velar /k/), in front of the relative qu-em, and the plural datives and ablatives h-is in front of qu-ibus.

The nominative shows some specific characteristics. Besides the irregular discontinuous morph of the plural neuter nominative h-ae-c, the masculine singular nominative in i short is specific and obscure (may be in order to oppose to plural nominative h-ī)

  • h-i-c “this” in front of qu-ī “who”;

but the neuter singular nominative could correspond to the neuter relative qu-od and be the phonetic realization of /h-od-k/, with an assimilation of the point of articulation and the voicing of /d/ by /k/, and the simplification of the geminate /kk/ in word ending.

The singular genitive and the dative combine the segments specific to the pronominal declension with an allomorph in u of the demonstrative, which is parallel to that of the relative; they correspond therefore to phonematical sequences /hu-iius/ and /hu-ī-k/. The genitive is therefore realized [hujjus], the first syllable being long by position.

The dative huic is “generally monosyllabic”, like cui. Since

  • Sturtevant, 1912, p. 61: “before huic, a final vowel is elided (e. g. Verg., Aen. 5,849), and a short final syllable ending in a consonant remains short (e. g. Verg., Aen. 3,28), huic must therefore begin with an aspirated vowel, not with h + consonantal u” ; and i can be only a consonantal i, which means that ui is a diphthong. But in archaic Latin, huic is sometimes dissyllabic with a first syllable strangely long (e. g. Plaut, Amph. 702); and in postclassical Latin, it is very normally disyllabic with the first syllable short: hŭic, as cŭī.

Declension of h-i-c, h-ae-c, h-o-c

+ Plural
NOM. h-i-c h-ae-c h-o-c h-ī h-ae h-ae-c
GEN. hū-ius hū-ius hū-ius h-ōrum (h-ōrun-c) h-ārum h-ōrum
DAT. hu-i-c hu-i-c hu-i-c h-īs h-īs h-īs
ABL. h-ō-c h-ā-c h-ō-c h-īs h-īs h-īs
ACC. h-un-c h-an-c h-o-c h-ōs h-ās h-ae-c

The Determiners iste “that, your” and ille “that, his” are declined like hic, except for nominatives, where they are even more similar to the first and second declension. All the plural nominatives, the neuter included, have casual segments of the first classe adjectives:

ist-ī, ist-ae, ist-a like bōn-ī, bōn-ae, bōn-a, and unlike qu-ī, qu-ae, qu-ae or h-ī, h-ae, h-ae-c

In the singular, the feminine nominative is in accordance with the first declension; but the masculine nominative has the casual segment of h-i-c, because [ist-e] is the phonetical realization of /ist-i/ by neutralization of the opposition /i/ ~ /e/ in word ending; and we will note that this allomorph of Nominative is confirmed by the fact that the /i/ phonetically appears again, as soon as it is not in word final: e. g. with the enclitic particle -ce added, the nominative iste becomes istic:

  • Plaut., Mil. 1393 : Vide ut istic tibi sit acutus, Cario, culter probe
    “See if your knife is well sharpened, Cario”.

Finally, the neuter singular nominative is the one special feature with its segment -ud, which we find, of course, in the accusative. But that is not so suprising; istud can be the phonetical realization of /ist-od/, if we assume the neutralization of the opposition /o/ ~ /u/ in final syllable closed by an apicodental consonant11) . But if the neuter ist-ud corresponds thus to qu-od and h-o-c (realization of /h-od-k/, why does the o of qu-od remain? Because it is after a labiovelar consonant, which needs a differentiation and excludes all development of an u, which would turn it into a simply velar (cf. quis and cuius, cui, or loquor and locutus).

In the singular genitive, the used casual segment is that which begins with a long vowel, since the demonstrative morpheme is ended by a consonant: so /ist-i:ius/, which is realized [isti:jus], and spelt istius, with a second i which will be scanned as a long syllable, therefore istīus.

Declension of ist-e, ist-a, ist-ud :

+ Plural
NOM. ist-e ist-a ist-ud ist-ī ist-ae ist-a
GEN. ist-īus ist-īus ist-īus ist-ōrum ist-ārum ist-ōrum
DAT. ist-ī ist-ī ist-ī ist-īs ist-īs ist-īs
ABL. ist-ō ist-ā ist-ō ist-īs ist-īs ist-īs
ACC. ist-um ist-am ist-ud ist-ōs ist-ās ist-a

This morpheme iste has a variation with the demonstrative enclitic particle -c(e), which is declined throughout like h-i-c, h-ae-c, h-o-c, i. e. with a singular feminine nominative and a plural neuter nominative ist-ae-c like h-ae-c, but unlike ista. This allomorph /ist…ke/ is reduced to /ist…k/, only when the phonem /k/ is possible in word final, i. e. after vowel or nasal consonant.

Declension of ist-i-c, ist-ae-c, ist-u-c :

+ Plural
NOM. ist-i-c ist-ae-c ist-u-c (ist-o-c) ist-ī-c ist-ae-c ist-ae-c
GEN. ist-īus-ce ist-īus-ce ist-īus-ce ist-ōrun-c ist-ārun-c ist-ōrun-c
DAT. ist-ī-c ist-ī-c ist-ī-c ist-īs-ce ist-īs-ce ist-īs-ce
ABL. ist-ō-c ist-ā-c ist-ō-c ist-īs-ce ist-īs-ce ist-īs-ce
ACC. ist-un-c ist-an-c ist-u-c (ist-o-c) ist-ōs-ce ist-ās-ce ist-ae-c

The determiner ill-e, ill-a, ill-ud “that, his” is declined exactly like ist-e, ist-a, ist-ud; outside the singular masculine and neuter nominatives and the singular genitives and datives, its caual segments belong to the first and second declension; and ille is the realization of /ill-i/ like ist-e, ill-ud, the realization of /ill-od/, like istud.

Declension of ill-e, ill-a, ill-ud :

+ Plural
NOM. ill-e ill-a ill-ud ill-ī ill-ae ill-a
GEN. ill-īus ill-īus ill-īus ill-ōrum ill-ārum ill-ōrum
DAT. ill-ī ill-ī ill-ī ill-īs ill-īs ill-īs
ABL. ill-ō ill-ā ill-ō ill-īs ill-īs ill-īs
ACC. ill-um ill-am ill-ud ill-ōs ill-ās ill-a

For ill-e, ill-a, ill-ud has, like iste, a variation with the demonstrative enclitic particule -c(e): nom. sing. ill-i-c, ill-ae-c, ill-u-c (ill-o-c), etc. nom. plur. ill-ī-c (ill-isce : Plaut., Most. 510 and 935), ill-ae-c, ill-ae-c, etc.

The determiner ips-e, ips-a, ips-um “self, himself”, outside the singular masculine nominative in -e and the genitive in -īus and dative in of the declension pronominal, only uses casual segments of the first and second declension:

Declension of determiner ips-e, -a, -um :

+ Plural
NOM. ips-e ips-a ips-um ips-ī ips-ae ips-a
GEN. ips-īus ips-īus ips-īus ips-ōrum ips-ārum ips-ōrum
DAT. ips-ī ips-ī ips-ī ips-īs ips-īs ips-īs
ABL. ips-ō ips-ā ips-ō ips-īs ips-īs ips-īs
ACC. ips-um ips-am ips-um ips-ōs ips-ās ips-a

Originally, -pse is an invariable particle combined with the determiner is, hence in archaic authors eapse

  • Plaut., Mil. 141: nemo nisi eapse
    “nobody else but herself”),
  • Plaut., Mil. 1069: eampse,
  • Plaut., Curc. 538: eōpse : sed eopse illo12) ,

eumpse13) etc. and even in:

  • Liv. 40,52,6 : inspectante eopse Antiocho
    “in the presence of Antiochus himself”.

But, the particle was first declined on the model of ist-e, ist-a or even bon-us, bon-a. Plautus frequently uses ips-us (Plaut., Mil. 1389 and 1060; Merc. 56, 481, 598, and 759; etc.).

  • 6.6. Other indefinite or interrogative determiners

There are in Latin other indefinite determiners than the compunds of qu-is. They have all the genitive in -ius, and the dative in .

Ali-us, ali-a, ali-ud “other, another”, is the only one having a nominative or accusative neuter in -ud, like the demonstratives ill-ud and ist-ud. Its genitive al-īus (Gell. 17,5,14) is rare, and commonly replaced by alter-īus, and the dative ali-ī is often contracted in al-ī. In the spoken language, these forms of the pronominal declension are even replaced by forms of the first or second declension: genitive masc. and neut. ali-ī :

  • Varr., L.L. 9,67: alii generis uinum,
    “wine of another quality”

and fem. ali-ae:

  • Cic., div. 2,30: aliae pecudis iecur,
    “the liver of any animal”;
  • Lucr. 3,918,

dative masc. ali-ō:

  • Rhet. Her. 2,19: alio iudici,
    “to any judge”,

and fem. ali-ae

  • Plaut., Mil. 802: rei nulli aliae,
    “for nobody else”.

Alter, alter-a, alter-um “one or other (of two), the other, the second”, genitive alter-īus and dative alter-ī for the three genders; but there is an informal form for the dative fem. alter-ae (Plaut., Rud. 750; Ter., Phorm. 928; and even

  • Caes., Gal. 5,27,5: ne qua legio alterae legioni subsidio uenire posset,
    “ so that no legion cannot give another legion assistance”.
  • Caes., Gal. 5,18,2 : ad alteram fluminis ripam,
    “on the other bank of the river”
  • Cic., Verr. 2,75: dicit unus et alter breuiter,
    “a witness briefly speaks, then a second”.

Like alter, the other determiners in -ter imply that what is designated is one of two. Thus, the interrogative uter, utr-a, utr-um “which… of the two?”, “which person… of the two?” (gen. utr-īus, dat. utr-ī)

  • Liv. 10,14,2: uter ad utrum bellum dux idoneus magis esset
    “which general was the best of two and for which of the two wars”,

and the two indefinites uterque, utr-a-que, utr-um-que “each of two”, or “both” (gen. utr-īus-que, dat. utr-ī-que), and neuter, neutr-a, neutr-um “not one nor the other, neither” (gen. neutr-īus, dat. neutr-ī):

  • Cic., rep. 3,4 : in utramque partem disserere
    “to debate in the both directions, the pros and cons”
  • Liv. 1,2,2 : neutra acies laeta ex ei certamine abiit
    “not one of both parties came out of this meeting to advantage”.

Null-us, -a, -um “not any, no” is above all an indefinite determiner

  • Cic., Verr. 2,40: nullo modo, nullo pacto
    “in no way”
  • Cic., Q. fr. 1,2,15: adolescens nullius consilli
    “a young man of no importance”;

but it can function also as a NP:

  • Cic., Lael. 30: ut nullo egeat
    “he doesn’t need anybody”;
  • Caes., Gall. 2,35,3: quod ante id tempus accidit nulli
    “which was not happened to anybody until then”;

In that position, Latin will prefer to use the variants nēmō “nobody, no one”, and nihil “not anything, nothing”, the declension of which shows clearly the relationship with the determiners:

Declension of nēmō and nihil:

NOM. nēmō nihil
GEN. null-īus null-īus re-ī
DAT. nēmin-ī null-ī re-ī
ABL. null-ō null-ā rē
ACC. nēmin-em nihil
  • Plaut., Persa 211: Nemo homo umquam ita arbitratust,
    “nobody ever thought so”.

Belong also to the class of determiners, tot-us, -a, -um “the whole of, all”, sol-us, -a, -um “alone, only one”, and unu-us, -a, -um “one, a single”, which have a Genitive in -īus, and a dative in :

  • Cic., Flach. 54: Hinc totum odium, hinc omnis offensio,
    “hence all her antipathy , hence all her grudge”
  • Cic., Syll. 19: uniuersum totius urbis incendium,
    “the general fire of all the city”.

In conclusion, we can add to the morphological specific feature of the declension which we call the pronominal declension, namely the genitive in -īus and the dative in -ī, the syntactical feature of concerning only some constituents which are some members of the determiners’ class, i. e. some immediate constituents of an exocentric NP.





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1) Van Hout, Georges, 1973, I p. 148.
2) , 3) Cf. Touratier, 1994, p. 89-90.
4) Cf. C. Touratier, 1994, « Quelques problèmes de phonologie à propos de i », p. 625-629.
5) Cf. Touratier, 2005, p. 123, and Lehmann, 2005, p.169-170, Touratier, (ed.), 2005, Essais de phonologie latine, Publications de l’Univ. de Provence
6) Cf. about locū-t-us/, the participle of loquor “I speak”, solū-t-us, the participle of solu-ō “I loosen”, p. 242-244 in C. Touratier, 1985, Contribution informatique à l’analyse phonologique, in: Revue informatique et Statistique dans les sciences humaines, 21, 1-4, 223-245
7) , 8) Kuryłowiz, Jerzy, 1949, Le problème du classement des cas, in :Biuletyn Polskiego Towarystwa Jezykoznawczego, 9, 20-26-43.
9) Bloomfield, Leonard, 19585, Language, London, George Allen & Unwin, 566 p.
10) Plaut., Cist. 610 : Conteris
tu tua me oratione mulier, quisquis es
: “you bore me stiff with your words, woman, whoever you are”.
11) Cf. tempus, por-is « time », caput, pit-is “head”, or iecur, iec(in)or-is, “liver”,
12) Plaut., Curc. 537-538: Non edepol nunc ego te mediocre macto infortunio,
Sed eopse illo quo mactare sloe quoi nil debeo
“It is not the ordinary beating which I am going to apply to you, but the beating itself as I apply to those to whom I owe nothing”.
13) Cic., Cato 25 : Sentire ea aetate eumpse esse odiosum alteri
“to sense that being old, we are then tiresome for the others”
(it is a quotation of Caecilius Statius).