Latin for Duolingo: Imperatives, Lesson 3
Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:
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- Previous lesson: Imperatives 2
In today’s lesson, we’ll continue with the imperative mood, used to give commands. Please note that this is not the only way of giving a command or request; later on we’ll need to understand the subjunctive mood, which is used for commands and many other functions in Latin. Also we introduce an interjection, “ecce” which was used for a great many purposes, including in an imperative sense for “look” or behold”.
Often taught alongside the imperative mood is the “vocative” case. This is the case (of nouns) used for direct address. It is identical to the nominative for all plural nouns, and for most singular nouns as well. The only time we need to use a different ending is for nouns (and adjectives) of the 2nd conjugation ending in –us. Then, the –us ending becomes –e, except if the noun ends in –ius normally, and then it becomes –i. So for example, amicus becomes amice; filius becomes fili; puer stays the same. There are some other exceptions, but it isn’t that difficult. The vocative usually does not stand first in the sentence.
ecce (interjection) = behold!, look!, here is, there is
surgo, surgere, surrexi, surrectus, 3 = stand up, get up
Ecce papilio! = Look at the butterfly!
Ecce! Gaius venit! = Behold/look! Gaius is coming!
Ecce domus mea. = Here is my house.
Ecce Paula. = There is Paula.
Esto fortis. / Estote fortes. = Be brave/ strong.
Esto benignus (benigna). / Estote benigni (benignae). = Be kind.
Sta / State cum liberis. = Stand with the children.
Surge! / Surgite! = Stand up!
Sede. / Sedete. = Sit down.
Salve, Marce! = Greetings, Marcus!
Salve, amice! = Greetings, friend!
Curre, Gai! = Run, Gaius!
Curre, puer! = Run, boy!
Festina, fili mi! = Hurry, my son!
Festinate, liberi! = Hurry, children!
Dic mihi, frater! = Tell me, brother!
Pone, Marce, panem in mensam! = Marcus, put the bread on the table!
Eamus! = Let’s go! (This is a teaser for the present subjunctive, used in a hortatory sense that can carry the weight of a command. It comes from the irregular verb “eo,” and you will note that there is an unexpected vowel used to connect the stem with the ending; this will be characteristic of the subjunctive, if we ever get there).
I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. December is busy, so I may not get another lesson published before the New Year; but I plan to begin introducing the imperfect tense of verbs next time. Valete!
Well, I can't speak for Icelandic, but Latin has 5 declensions or classifications of nouns, and 5 commonly used cases. The vocative and locative cases are only slight variants in addition to the 5. Most modern European languages have dropped the case system and only have vestigial remnants of it, and they tend not to rigidly classify their nouns, either.
Between Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, the Baltic languages, the Slavic languages, Greek, Albanian, German, Faroese, Icelandic, the Sami languages, Basque, Romani, the Turkic and Uralic languages of European Russia, and (depending upon how one defines “European”) perhaps Turkish, Armenian, the Kartvelian languages, and the North Caucasian languages, I’m not sure if most modern European languages have dropped their case systems.
They're talking about languages descended from Proto-Indo-European, not all European languages. While most Indo-European languages might not have lost the case system altogether, there is a trend with Indo-European languages of losing cases. Proto-Indo European had 9 cases, and all of its modern descendants have either completely lost the case system or retain it but with fewer cases.
Let's look at the Indo-European languages in your list: the Baltic languages, the Slavic languages, Greek, Albanian, German, Faroese and Icelandic.
The Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian, with 7 cases, have lost the cases ablative allative. Most of the Slavic languages have either 6 or 7 cases with Bulgarian having only 3. And of the others, modern Greek has 4 cases; Albanian 5; German 4 and Icelandic 4.
There are also a lot of IE languages in Europe that have almost 0 cases, like English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish.
To my knowledge, there is no modern Indo-European language (at least in Europe) that has more cases than Proto-Indo-European. Most Uralic languages on the other hand do have more cases than the Proto-Uralic language they evolved from. Proto-Uralic had 6 cases, but its descendant Finnish for example has 15 cases.
The reason for this is that
the evolution went to a different direction in Indo-European languages than in Uralic languages. Latin and proto-Indo-European had a few grammatical cases just like proto-Uralic did. Then they adopted different strategies. IE languages began filling their case system with prepositions, and eventually prepositions became more important than cases, which made cases unnecessary. Uralic languages enhanced their case system by increasing the amount of cases instead of little additional grammatical words. Furthermore, IE languages often met reduction which made their unstressed final syllables lose quality which in turn eroded the case endings. Source
They're talking about languages descended from Proto-Indo-European, not all European languages.
Her original statement referred to “Most modern European languages”, not “Most modern Indo-European languages”.
To my knowledge, there is no modern Indo-European language (at least in Europe) that has more cases than Proto-Indo-European.
No claim was made that any modern Indo-European language in Europe has more cases than Proto-Indo-European.
I should have said "Most modern Indo-European languages." I am occasionally guilty of a generalization, and I should perhaps also say that I have never formally studied linguistics. I didn't mean to start a debate about the fine points, as I can only hope to cover the big picture for beginners here.