Home » Curriculum » Trivium » TRV-221 Latin Grammar I » Latin Grammar I, Lesson 02. On the Parts of Speech

Latin Grammar I, Lesson 02. On the Parts of Speech

To complete this lesson, complete the following tasks:

  1. Study the lesson prelection.
  2. Study the Lesson for mastery.
  3. Complete the lesson Memory Work.
  4. Complete the lesson Assessment.

Prelection

Lesson

In lesson 01, we learned a bit about the Orthography of Latin.  Orthography is the way of writing rightly, by which we are taught with what letters every word is to be formed–and is the first part of Grammar. In this lesson, we will begin the study of Etymology, which is the second part of Grammar.

What is Etymology?

The word Etymology is used in two different senses.  First, Etymology is concerned with searching out the origin of words.  For example, the Latin word for an unmarried man is coelebs.  Now, when we ask, “How was this name every chosen and given to be the name of an unmarried man?”, we begin the study of Etymology.  We can see that the word caelestis is similar and means “heavenly”, thus, perhaps, an unmarried man is called “heavenly” since we know that in heaven, no one is married.  Perhaps it was said that a single man lives coelestam vitam–a heavenly life.  This is a question of Etymology.  If you look in any good dictionary, you will find some information about the etymology of each word.   This is the first sense in which the term etymology is used.

In a second sense, Etymology is the way of learning the differences of cases.  For example, we learn that the word fortis means “strong”, whereas fortiter  means “strongly”.  The word lego means “I read”, while the form legit means “he reads”.  The study of Etymology, in this second sense, applies to all of the eight parts of speech (see below).  It is in this second sense that we will study Etymology for the rest of Latin Grammar I.

The Eight Parts of Speech

  1. Partes orationis sunt octo: Nomen, Pronomen, Verbum, Participium; Praepositio, Adverbium, Interjectio et Conjunctio.
    (The) parts of speech are eight:  Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Participle; Preposition, Adverb, Interjection, Conjunction.
  2. Harum, quatuor  — Nomen, Pronomen, Verbum, Participium — declinantur; Praepositio, Adverbium, Interjectio, Conjunctio declinationis sunt expertes.
    Of these, four — Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Participle — are declined; Preposition, Adverb, Interjection, Conjunction of declension are free.

We learn in Grammar that speech is made of words and, therefore, words may be considered the “parts” of speech.  While there are thousands of words and cases of words in Latin, all of these can be divided into eight classes, which we call the “parts of speech”.  These are:

  1. Noun:  a part of speech used to name any thing which may be seen, felt, heard or understood, without any reference to time or person.
  2. Pronoun:  a part of speech set in place of a noun, which signifies a certain person or thing.
  3. Verb:  a part of speech declined with mood and tense, which signifies doing, suffering or being.
  4. Participle:  a part of speech derived from a verb that takes part of a noun, part of a verb, and part of both.
  5. Adverb:  a part of speech which, being added to other words, defines and explains their signification.
  6. Conjunction:  a part of speech that joins and orders words and sentences.
  7. Preposition:  a part of speech set before other words either in apposition or composition.
  8. Interjection:  a part of speech which signifies a sudden passion of the mind with an imperfect spoken sound.

Of these eight parts of speech, the first four have different cases and are, therefore, said to be “declined”.  The last four do not have cases and are said to be “undeclined”.  In Latin Grammar I, we will study the forms and meanings of each of the parts of speech listed above.

Memory Work

  1. Partes orationis sunt octo: Nomen, Pronomen, Verbum, Participium; Praepositio, Adverbium, Interjectio et Conjunctio.
  2. Harum, quatuor  — Nomen, Pronomen, Verbum, Participium — declinantur; Praepositio, Adverbium, Interjectio, Conjunctio declinationis sunt expertes.
  3. What are “declined” parts of speech?
    Declined parts of speech are those which have cases.
  4. What are “undeclined” parts of speech?
    Undeclined parts of speech are those which do not have cases.
  5. What is Etymology?
    Etymology is the study of the origin of words, and of learning the differences of cases of the parts of speech.