The locative case

By voxlarsi, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', May 5, 2010.

  1. voxlarsi New Member

    Location:
    Norvegia
    Salvete! I'm wondering if anyone can tell me about the locative case. I can't seem to find sufficient resources on the web and neither in the books. I've seen it used in multiple occasions, i e Romae and in "Life of Brian", (Romani ite domum) Brian is corrected by the centurion for his wrongful assumption that domum should here be a dative or an accusative case (Romani ite ad domum).

    So, please help me out. Is domum in this case a locative in order to single out "home" from any other house? How relative is the locative usage? Why is it concidered obsolete?
    :wondering: :wondering: :wondering:
    Iterum salvete!
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    domum = accusative
    the locative is domi
  3. voxlarsi New Member

    Location:
    Norvegia
    Hmm... That does make sense, grammatically. I suppose all locative cases are equal to the genitive singular, then? Why they mentioned the locative in that scene in the first place I don't get, though. Well, thanks!
  4. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    dative singular, actually, except for names of towns which are plural, e.g. Corinthis, Athenis, Syracusis.
  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    no, genitive singular

    Tusculum -> Tusculi
  6. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    hmm didn't know that ... thanks for enlightening my ignorance. :)
  7. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Coimbra, Portugal
    There are only relics of the locative case in the classical Latin: namely, the names of towns / cities as well as small islands belonging to the 1st or 2nd declensions take the locative so as to denote the place: Rōmae in Rome, Lugdūnī in Lyon. As you can see from the examples, the case endings are -ae for the 1st declension and -ī for the 2nd one. If a city name belongs to the 3rd declension or is in plural, it takes the ablative instead of the locative: Carthagine in Carthago, Athēnīs in Athens.

    There are a few other words which possess locative forms: domī at home, humī on the earth. Such words are exceptional and each particular case must be considered separately.

    As was mentioned before, domum is the accusative meaning home (direction). It's an idiomatic usage.
  8. voxlarsi New Member

    Location:
    Norvegia
    Very well, thanks a bunch! Now I can go show off my locative skills to my fellow latin students. :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:
    Gratias vos ago, et valete!
  9. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    vobis - dat.pl.

    :)
  10. voxlarsi New Member

    Location:
    Norvegia
    Of course. :brickwall: :brickwall: :brickwall: Wrote it after a few beers :doh:
  11. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    I would also add ruri, in the country.
  12. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis

    You can use a double-accusative (wish verbs of asking/demanding/etc) if you are asking for something from someone. Vergil does that a lot. :)

    Aeneid, XI.110-11 "Pacem me oratis?" -- Do you ask peace of (from) me?
  13. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Coimbra, Portugal
    Yes, certainly! Let it be rūrī.
  14. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    It's a minor mistake, perhaps more awkwardly and misleadingly stated than incorrect. The point is that there is a certain small class of nouns in Latin which function differently from all other nouns in a few minute aspects: (1) they have a distinct locative case which is used instead of the ablative (alone or with locational prepositions like in) to indicate "place where", (2) they use the accusative alone instead of the accusative with locational prepositions like ad or in to indicate "place to which", (3) they always use the ablative alone instead of with prepositions like ab, de, or ex to indicate "place from which". Domus is one such word, so this must be what the Roman centurion is implying when he admonishes Brain that domus takes the locative. Here the older locational significations of the original Indo-European cases are preserved, the accusative being originally a case of end of motion and the ablative a case of separation.

    The majority of these words are, as Quasus notes, names of cities, towns, and small islands (small meaning small enough to contain only a single town or city). It seems that the Romans conceived of these as single indivisible locations rather than multi-locational areas like countries. When a locational preposition is used with one of these words, it signifies area around the location rather than the location itself, e.g. in Roma "in the vicinity of Rome"/"in the Roman Empire") and ad Romam "to the district of Rome"/"Romeward" (but Romae "at Rome" and Romam "to Rome".)

    A small group of nouns which are not place names also belong to this category: humus "the ground", domus "home", and rus "the countryside" (conceptually treated as a single place, as opposed to the city) being the most prominent.

    A few other words occasionally occur in the locative, such as in the collocation domi militiaeque "at home and abroad (in military service)", where militia is attracted into the genitive/locative even though it does not formally belong to this class of nouns. The only other examples I can think of are some ante-classical/archaic locative of time constructions like die proximi "the next day" and die crastini "tomorrow".

    For the first and second declensions the locative case is in the singular is identical with the genitive, except for the heteroclite noun domus which typically has a fourth declension genitive in -ūs but always a second declension locative in . The 3rd declension in the singular has as its locative either the dative or the ablative form, and this oscillation might have originated in the general confusion over the manifestation of i-stems in 3rd declension nouns. By the Augustan period, however, the ablative had won out decisively. There do not appear to be any fourth or fifth declension nouns of this class (not counting heteroclite domus). The locative plural is the same for all declensions: identical with dative/ablative plural.

    Due to the often identical locative and ablative forms, context alone must often be relied upon to distinguish the one from the other. Generally this isn't difficult determine: It's locative if the verb in its clause is a verb of rest or limited motion, ablative if the verb in its clause is a verb of motion.

    I have always wondered whether this locative rudiment represents a true survival of the originally distinct Indo-European locative, which otherwise merged with the ablative early on in Latin's history. Interestingly, Greek has a similar locative form in the second declension (equivalent to Latin's second declension) that is identical with the genitive, though it seems even more exceptional in Greek than it is in Latin. Greek also has a class of nouns that includes names of cities/towns/small islands and a few other things like οἶκος "home", but these take special locational suffixes instead of certain bare noun cases as in Latin. Some Greek adjectives and pronouns, however, use the genitive case alone to form a sort of locative adverb, as e.g. αυτοῦ "at that place, there" from the pronoun αυτός/αυτή/αυτό "he/she/it" and ὁμοῦ "at the same place, together" from the adjective ὁμός/ὁμή/ὁμόν "same". I'm not sure whether this phenomenon is related to this Latin vestigial locative.

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