See also: nus, NUS, ñus, and nu-s

Latin

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Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Proto-Italic *-nos, from Proto-Indo-European *-nós.

Suffix

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-nus (feminine -na, neuter -num); first/second-declension suffix

  1. adjective-forming suffix
Usage notes
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The suffix -nus appears in various derived adjectives, including relational adjectives to nouns such as quernus (oaken), salignus (willow) (from quercus (oak), salix (willow)) or māternus (maternal), paternus (paternal) (from māter (mother), pater (father)).

In terms of etymology, it also occurs in various inherited adjectives or nouns (some derived from Proto-Indo-European verbal bases), such as the following:

magnus
plēnus
tribūnus
lignum
tignum

Through rebracketing (e.g. reanalysis of tribū-nus, from the u-stem noun tribus, as trib-ūnus), it gave rise to a number of variant suffixes, such as -ānus or -īnus, some of which show greater productivity in Latin than bare -nus.

Declension
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First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative -nus -na -num -nī -nae -na
Genitive -nī -nae -nī -nōrum -nārum -nōrum
Dative -nō -nō -nīs
Accusative -num -nam -num -nōs -nās -na
Ablative -nō -nā -nō -nīs
Vocative -ne -na -num -nī -nae -na
Derived terms
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Etymology 2

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Ultimately the same as the above, but apparently rebracketed at some point as *-sno- (extracted from words like *tris-no-, the original form of ternus).

Suffix

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-nus (feminine -na, neuter -num); first/second-declension suffix

  1. suffix used to form distributive numerals
Usage notes
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In pre-Latin, the suffix *-nos (Classical Latin -nus) was attached to numeral adverbs, cardinal numerals, or numeral stems to form distributive numerals, such as

*dwis (twice) + ‎*-no- → ‎*dwisno-[1]bīnus (two each) (equivalent to bis +‎ -nus).
*tris (thrice) + ‎*-no- → ‎*trisno-[2]tr̥sno-tr̥no-ternus (three each) (equivalent to ter +‎ -nus).
*quaturs (four times)[3] → ‎*quatrus + ‎*-no- → ‎*quatrusno-quatr̥sno-quatr̥no-quaternus (four each) (equivalent to quater +‎ -nus).
*seks (six) + ‎*-no- → ‎*seksno-sēnus (six each) (equivalent to sex +‎ -nus).

At some point in pre-Latin, the suffix seems to have become extended to *-sno-, presumably as the result of rebracketing of forms like *tris-no- as *tri-sno-,[2] *dwis-no- as *dwi-sno- or *seks-no- as *sek(s)-sno-.[4] By the time of Classical Latin, *-s- before *-n- had been lost by regular sound change, but it caused any preceding nasal or plosive consonants to be deleted and the preceding vowel to be lengthened. Thus, it can be inferred that the *-sno- variant of the suffix was used to form words like the following:

septem (seven) + ‎*-sno- → ‎*septem-sno-septēnus (seven each).
novem (nine) + ‎*-sno- → ‎*novem-sno-novēnus (nine each).
dec(em) (ten) + ‎*-sno- → ‎*deksno-dēnus (ten each).

The -ēno- found in decades such as vīcēnus, trīcēnus probably developed from -ent-sno-.[5]

Then the ending -ēnus seems to have been extended from some of the above forms and used as a third allomorph of this suffix to form some of the other distributive numerals:

centum (hundred) + ‎-ēnus → ‎centēnus (one hundred each)
septingentī (seven hundred) + ‎-ēnus → ‎septingentēnus (seven hundred each) (alternative form of septingēnus)
mille (thousand) + ‎-ēnus → ‎millēnus (one thousand each)
quot (how many) + ‎-ēnus → ‎quotēnus (how many each)
Declension
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First/second-declension adjective (distributive, normally plural-only; short genitive plurals in -num preferred).

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative -nus -na -num -nī -nae -na
Genitive -nī -nae -nī -num
-nōrum
-num
-nārum
-num
-nōrum
Dative -nō -nō -nīs
Accusative -num -nam -num -nōs -nās -na
Ablative -nō -nā -nō -nīs
Vocative -ne -na -num -nī -nae -na
Derived terms
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Descendants
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Via -ēnus:

  • Catalan:
  • Old Spanish: -eno

References

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  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) “bis”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 72
  2. 2.0 2.1 Leumann, Manu, Hofmann, Johann Baptist, Szantyr, Anton (1977) Lateinische Grammatik: Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre, CH Beck, § 381.B, page 495
  3. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) “quattuor”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 506
  4. ^ S. E. Jackson (1909) “Indogermanic Numerals”, in The Classical Review, volume 23, number 7, page 164
  5. ^ Brugmann, Karl (1907) “Die distributiven und die kollectiven Numeralia der Indogermanischen Sprachen”, in Abhandlungen der Philologisch-Historischen Classe der Königlich Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, page 29

Further reading

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  • Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  • Palmer, L.R. (1906) The Latin Language, London, Faber and Faber