Latin Language Blog

Syntax: locative Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Latin Language


The locative case, attributed to Indo-European language, expressed the ubi complement, with local and temporal meaning. It indicates where and when something happened.

In Latin, only some of the old locative cases remain:  in the singular of the first and second declensions. Its morpheme is -ae for the first declension, -i for the second. Let’s see what are the nouns that have preserved this case:

  • Minor place names of the first and second declensions in singular:

Rōmae vīvō.
Tarentī fuimus.

  • Some common names: domi (‘at home’), humi (‘on the ground’), ruri (‘in the country’). The noun rūs, rūris is the only of the third declension which preserves the locative.
  • Certain fixed expressions with temporal meaning: domī bellīque, domī militiaeque (‘in peace and war’).

Apart from these examples it is very rare to find the locative in Latin, but we should notice that some Latin adverbs were originally locative adverbs: māne (‘in the morning’), vesperi (‘in the evening’) , heri (‘yesterday’).



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