Latin edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Via Proto-Italic *-isemos, from Proto-Indo-European *-is- (zero-grade of *-yōs (intensive/comparative suffix)) + *-tm̥mós (absolute superlative suffix). The latter is seen whole in -timus (e.g. intimusextimus, citimusultimus, assimilated pessimusoptimus). The original form seems, however, to be *-m̥mós (cf. supersummus, Gothic 𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌿𐌼𐌰 (innuma, innermost)), with acquired t from the paradigm -ter--timus- (e.g. exterextimus), and is cognate with Proto-Germanic *-umô (source, via metanalysis, of English -most). By various sound changes (e.g. *-isemos > *-ismos > -īmus) superlative grades in -īmus, -ēmus etc. (e.g. extrēmus, suprēmus) are also found.

The expected alteration of *-(o)ism̥mos to *-erimus is nowhere to be found. The -ss- may be an example of expressive lengthening of the *-s- or influence from specific forms as pessimus and endings in -errimus and -illimus.

Pronunciation edit

Suffix edit

-issimus (feminine -issima, neuter -issimum); first/second-declension suffix

  1. Added to an adjective noun to form its superlative grade:
    altus (high) + ‎-issimus → ‎altissimus (highest)
    fortis (strong) + ‎-issimus → ‎fortissimus (strongest)

Usage notes edit

Declension edit

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative -issimus -issima -issimum -issimī -issimae -issima
Genitive -issimī -issimae -issimī -issimōrum -issimārum -issimōrum
Dative -issimō -issimō -issimīs
Accusative -issimum -issimam -issimum -issimōs -issimās -issima
Ablative -issimō -issimā -issimō -issimīs
Vocative -issime -issima -issimum -issimī -issimae -issima

Coordinate terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Old French: -isme
  • Catalan: -íssim
  • Franco-Provençal: -issimo
  • French: -issime
  • Galician: -ísimo
  • Italian: -issimo
  • Portuguese: -íssimo
  • Sicilian: -ìssimu
  • Spanish: -ísimo

References edit

  • Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  • 1865, Ferdinand Schultz, Lateiniſche Sprachlehre zunächſt für Gymnasien bearbeitet [Latin grammar adapted primarily for grammar schools], 6th edition, Paderborn, §67, pages 76–77:
    Die Superlativendung issimus ſchrieb man in der Vorauguſteiſchen Zeit auch vielfach issumus (ebenſo errumus, illumus; vrgl. §. 4. Anm. 2.), und ſo ſchreiben auch heut zu Tage viele Kritiker in den Ausgaben namentlich der Komiker, des Salluſt, und auch wohl des Cicero.
    The superlative ending issimus is also written frequently in the pre-Augustan era as issumus (likewise errumus, illumus; cf. §4 annotation 2.), and so too do many critics write today particularly in the editions of the comics, of Sallust, and indeed of Cicero.