Plural Defective Nouns

Nouns with Plural Defects

Unicase Plural Defective Nouns

A normal noun declines into twelve cases, six in each number. With certain nouns, less than all 12 cases are used by ancient Latin authors.

The following nouns are regular, yet never appear in the genitive plural in any extant Latin text.

Third Declension : Feminine

  • calx, calcis : chalk; limestone; heel
  • cōs, cōtis : whetstone
  • crux, crucis : cross
  • fax, facis : torch; comet; cause of ruin
  • faex, faecis : brine; dregs
  • lanx, lancis : dish; platter; plate
  • lūx, lūcis : light
  • nex, necis : death; slaughter
  • pāx, pācis : peace
  • pix, picis: pitch; tar

Third Declension Masculine

  • rōs, rōris : dew, moisture
  • sāl, sālis : salt; wit
  • sōl, sōlis : sun
  • vas, vadis : bail; surety

Third Declension Neuter

  • cor, cordis : heart; mind;soul
  • ōs, ōris : mouth; face; speech; opening
  • os, ossis : bone

Tricase Plural Defective Nouns

The following nouns are regular, yet never appear in the genitive, dative or ablative plural in any extant Latin text.

Second Declension Neuter

  • hordeum, hordeī or ordeum, ordeī : barley

Thid Declension Neuter

  • fel, fellis : gall; bile; gall bladder; poison; venom
  • far, farris : grits
  • iūs, iūris : law; right; duty; gravy; sauce; broth
  • mel, mellis : honey, sweet one (term of endearment)
  • murmur, murmuris : murmur; rushing; crash
  • pūs, pūris : pus; foul matter
  • rūs, rūris : countryside; farm; village
  • tūs, tūris or thūs, thūris : incense

Fifth Declension Plural Defects

“Most nouns of the fifth declension want the whole or part of the plural” (AG 103.3)

The Essential AG: 103 g 1-2

Famous Phrase : amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus (love is most rich in honey and gall)

[Plautus, Cistellaria]

pluraldefects_list.pdf

pluraldefects_declined.pdf

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