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Possessive & demonstrative pronouns Posted by on Apr 12, 2012 in Latin Language

Possessive pronouns

 

 One holder Several holders

1st person

 meus, -a, -um

noster, nostra, nostrum

2nd person

 tuus, -a, -um

uester, uestra, uestrum

3rd person

(reflexive)

 suus, -a, -um

 

Its main function is the morphemic: they express the category of person and number. The reflexive possessive suus, -a, -um has also a phoric function, since the owner is always the subject of the sentence. If the holder is not the subject of the sentence, it is used as the possessive the genitive form of the phoric pronoun is, ea, id, or the genitive of demonstratives. See the following example:

Pater filios suos amat, sed eorum vitia reprehendit

(The father loves his children, but punishes his vices)

 

They also have an important emphatic role, if we consider that Latin economizes the use of possessives and do not use them when it is clear who is the holder. Its use in these cases is clearly pleonastic. Its emphatic role, as in the case of personal pronouns, can be marked by the addition of certain particles (-como, -met, pte) to the pronoun:

Meis oculis vidi = I saw it with my own eyes

Tute tibi tuopte ingenio prodes plurimum = you yourself can benefit from yourself for your own talent

 

These kind of pronouns are formed like personal pronouns and are declined as adjectives of the first class, with the only difference that the vocative of meus is me.

Demonstrative pronouns

 

This

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Masculine

Femenine

Neuter

Nominative

hic

haec

hoc

hi

hae

haec

Accusative

hunc

hanc

hoc

hos

has

haec

Genitive

huius

horum

harum

horum

Dative

huic

his

Ablative

hoc

hac

hoc

his

 

That

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Nominative

iste

ista

istud

isti

istae

ista

Accusative

istum

istam

istud

istos

istas

ista

Genitive

istius

istorum

istarum

istorum

Dative

isti

istis

Ablative

isto

ista

isto

istis

 

That (more distance)

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Nominative

ille

illa

illud

illi

illae

illa

Accusative

illum

illam

illud

illos

illas

illa

Genitive

illius

illorum

illarum

illorum

Dative

illi

illis

Ablative

illo

illa

illo

illis

 

The main function of demonstratives is deictic: they are used to point objects in space. Hic is the demonstrative of objects close to the speaker (1st deixis), iste refers to the receivers environment (2nd deixis), ille (3rd deixis) points distant objects (physically or mentally). This tripartite system however is not valid for classical Latin, as purely demonstrative value, presents more of a shared system between two forms: hic, for objects close to the speaker and the receiver; ille, for distant objects.

Demonstrative pronouns may also have an emphatic function and, sometimes, this will be their main function. Iste, which was out of the demonstration system is used with emphatic negative value, as a pejorative:

Iste grex = that (despicable) gang

Within this contemptuous use we must consider the use iste in forensic language to designate the opposing party. On the other hand, ille, the demonstrative of distance, is used with positive emphatic value to refer to people or well known things:

Medea illa

Xenophon, Socraticus ille

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Comments:

  1. Monima O'Connor:

    Salve !
    Cicero referred to Verres as ‘iste’ in his writings. Wonderful blog.
    Summa gratiis.