Noun (Substantivum)

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The noun in Latin has gender and inflects according to case and number.
 

Gender (Genus)

There are three genders in Latin: masculine (masculinum), feminine (femininum) and neuter (neutrum).
The gender of the nouns is natural, i.e. in accordance with their sex (especially if they are living creatures), or grammatical, i.e. in accordance with their terminations. So, the nouns designating male persons are masculine and the nouns designating female persons are feminine:

vir m man,
pater m father,
femina f woman,
anus f grand mother,
soror f sister,
frater m brother.
The nouns of winds and rivers are generally masculine, while the nouns of the trees are feminine:
etesiae m East-Mediterranean winds,
Sequana m Seine river,
fagus f beech-tree,
laurus f bay-tree.
With respect to the form the nouns designating persons are two types:

1) nomina communia have one form for both masculine and feminine:

incola mf inhabitant,
cives mf citizen;
2) nomina mobilia have different endings for masculine and feminine:
filius m son vs. filia f daughter,
imperâtor m emperor vs. imperatrix f empress,
magister m teacher vs. magistra f instructress etc.
The nouns for animals have in general one gender for both sexes:
aquila f eagle,
anser m goose,
vulpes f fox.
In these cases the sex may be determined by the adjectives masculinus and femininus,
    e.g. vulpes masculina he-fox vs. vulpes feminina she-fox.

Only few nouns for animals are with special masculine and feminine form or with common gender, cf.

gallus cock m / gallina f hen,
asinus m ass / asina f she-ass,
but
bos mf bull / cow,
canis mf dog / hound.


Case (Casus)

The change of the noun form according to its syntactic role in the sentence was called by the ancient grammarians case.

There are seven cases in Latin:
    § Nominative (Nominativus) designates the Subject or the Complement at linking verbs like
        esse to be etc.;
    § Genitive (Genitivus) indicates a possession;
    § Dative (Dativus) is the case of the Indirect Object, while
    § Accusative (Accusativus) is the case of the Direct Object;
    § Ablative (Ablativus) expresses means, cause, manner, time, place or other circumstances;
    § Locative (Locativus) marks the place of action, but its functions were almost completely absorbed
        into Ablative at very early time;
    § Vocative (Vocativus) marks one to whom some other one addresses.
 

Numbers (Numeri)

There are two numbers in the classical Latin - singular (singularis) and plural (pluralis), the dual (dualis) being disappeared in early times.

Some nouns, generally personal ones, are used only in singular and are called singularia tantum.

Some other nouns, like

Athenae fpl Athens,
Syracusae fpl Syracuse,
Thebae fpl Thebes,
Serdica npl Serdica (Sofia),
Alpes fpl Alps,
castra npl camp,
divitiae fpl riches,
are used in plural only and are called pluralia tantum.



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