Disputatio:Virus

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Non adsentio!!! In dictionario meo numerus pluralis huius verbi est VIRI (nominativus et vocativus) et VIROS (accusativus). Possumus et has formas scribere???? Equula

Quid dictionarium?--Rafaelgarcia 18:29, 7 Novembris 2007 (UTC)
Castiglioni Mariotti (latine-italice et italice-latine, dicitur optimum italicum dictionarium esse. Equula
Pertinens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_of_virus --Rafaelgarcia 18:35, 7 Novembris 2007 (UTC)
I find many of the arguments in Tom Christiansen's article specious at best. Its argument against vira is dismissive and misconceived: "Another theory holds that virus, if it was a 2nd declension neuter, must go to *vira in the plural as do its -um neuter brethren in the 2nd declension. However, that assumes that it works like a -um form, not as a -us form does." And why do its -um neuter brethren end in -a in the first place? Not because they end in -um, but because their stems, ending in -o-, coalesce with the primitive neuter ending -a to get -oa, which becomes -a: e.g. bello- + -a -> belloa -> bella. The stem, not the nominative singular form as the article's author assumed, is the form from which the various inflected forms of a Latin noun are (actually or conceived to be) derived: bello- + -m -> bellom = nominative singular bellum, not something bizarre like genitive singular belli = bellum + -i -> bellumi -> belli. The viri and viro forms of virus derive from the second-declension stem viro-, and when the primitive neuter ending -a is added to that stem, we have vira. This is the reasoning behind the vira form, and it circumvents the "ends in -us" problem. The rest of the argument attempts to apply masculine and feminine rules (vire and viros) to a neuter.
It also seems that the article attempts to go out of its away to make it seem like the inflection of virus is so totally and utterly alien that it does not behave like any other neuter. On the contrary, it follows rules common to all native Latin neuters: accusative and vocative (cited in the article) are the same (cf. bellum, corpus, mare, cornu). - Diaphanus 156.34.214.30 23:32, 24 Octobris 2008 (UTC)

Thats interesting, perhaps its like the words "locus pl. loci/loca (with slightly different meanings)" Teutonius 11:10, 21 Augusti 2008 (UTC)

Sane, Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum forma utitur 'virus',[1] non tamen e textu patet singularis an pluralis sit. Nullum igitur testem pluralis eius habemus. Si numero plurali uti non evitari potest, has formas considerandas propono:

  • virē, virorum: in lingua Latina classica 'virus' et 'vulgus' numero plurali non utuntur. Nomen Graecum 'pelagus' autem in lingua Latina singulari numero declinationem 'viri' et 'vulgi' sequitur, plurali tamen numero nominativum et accusativum Graecum in -ē conservat.[2] Cuius exemplum secuti pluralem 'virē' fingere possimus.
  • vira, virorum: Latinior scilicet pluralis est 'vira'.
  • viri, virorum: Pluralis 'viri' mihi quidem valde displicet: non solum genus mutatum videtur, sed hic pluralis facilius confunditur cum plurali nominis 'vir'.
  • virūs, viruum: Exemplum Ammiani secutum, qui genetivum quarti declinationis adhibet, pluralem quoque huius declinationis adhibere possimus, vel masculinum (ut proponitur hac in pagina)[3] ...
  • virua, viruum: ... vel neutrum.

Mea sententia pluralis 'virua' praeferendus est, quia genus neutrum conservat, neque cum plurali nominis 'vir' confundi potest. --Fabullus 12:49, 21 Augusti 2008 (UTC)

I have some comments on some of these proposed plurals:
  • virē: This analogy seems weak, unless we know of an original third-declension Greek word Ϝίρος (stem Ϝιρεσ-) with the accusative plural form Ϝίρη (contracted from Ϝίρεα).
  • vira: I favor this one because of the multiple attestations of virus as a second-declension o-stem even though it ends in -s, and a plural form is not really contingent upon the ending of the nominative singular form.
  • viri: Yes, I am also not at all fond of this one because of the change of gender.
  • virūs: Are we in fact certain about the intended gender and nominative singular form of the word in the Ammianus passage? The fourth-declension use in Ammianus trumping the second-declension use seems kind of strange to me -- akin to the fourth-declension use of sonus in Ammianus trumping the second-declension use.
  • virua: My comment about the intended gender and nominative singular also applies here. I can see the point of using virua in order to avoid confusions with the inflection of vir, but there are already the forms viri and viro for virus, which can just as easily create confusion.
My other issue about using virus/viru as a fourth-declension noun involves the creation of derivatives. Words of the fourth declension, when derivative suffixes are added to them, habitually keep their final -u before unlike vowels: sinu-osus, sexu-alis. Exceptions can be found of course, but the inclusion of the final letter of the stem is pretty regular. Virus/viru, as a fourth-declension word, would give us Latin viruosus and virualis, along with English virual, instead of virosus, viralis (seen elsewhere at Vicipaedia), and viral. - Diaphanus 156.34.214.30 00:25, 25 Octobris 2008 (UTC)
Salve Diaphane, tecum nunc consentio! Conservemus et neutrum genus et declinationem secundam (etiam si nominativus et accusativus sint insoliti). --Fabullus 07:09, 25 Octobris 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we ought to be working with what we actually have. At any rate, I want to update some of my positions on this issue (pardon the length):
  • About vīrua: I am now calling into question whether vīrus is even supposed to be fourth declension in the Ammianus passage. Sure, it could be vīrūs, as it would be according to the fourth declension in the genitive singular, but could it not be an indeclinable vīrus in the same case and number? After all, that would agree with Priscian's statement that some claim the word is indeclinable. I believe that the form vīrus Ammianus does have that ambiguity. But since we have a non-self-referential source telling us one inflection pattern (or rather a lack of one) rather than the other, my vote is "indeclinable" for the word in the Ammianus passage. This seems to weaken the possibility of the proposed vīrua plural form, and introduces an indeclinable plural form vīrus. But here again, I think this use trumping the second-declension is strange and unnecessary. Let us stick with the Classical forms that we have.
  • About vīrē: I still do not support vīrē (implying some uncontracted form vīrea) at all. If the Romans were eager to make plural forms of native-Latin words like bellē and vulgē with any real degree of regularity, with a contracted termination imported directly from Greek, then perhaps vīrē would make some amount of sense. But they did not, and so it does not. So, really, this vīrē really is not anything more than a false analogy.
  • Other forms: vīrera/vīrora. I mention these only to show how they are not work with the available evidence. Leaving aside the issue about whether the "proper" inflection would be of the genus, generis type or the corpus, corporis type, I should point out that Sihler's New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin states that the loanword pelagus and the native-Latin words vīrus and vulgus are "ordinary o-stems except for their acc.sg. in -us (= nom.sg.) as if they were s-stem neuters." But I do not think that that is trying to claim that these three words are actual s-stems in Latin. Forms of vīrus with the stem vīror- or vīrer- have not been found anywhere (so no vīroris/vīreris, vīrorī/vīrerī, etc.), and neither is implied by any of the word's derivatives (so no vīrerōsus/vīrorōsus or virerose/virorose, and vīrerālis/vīrorālis or vireral/viroral). For those reasons, I like to think of vīrus as something like a "virtual s-stem" in that it looks like genus and corpus and yet has a stem in o. This interdeclensional "nominative homeomorphism" is sort of like how puer is something like a "virtual r-stem," looking like carcer and tuber but having a stem in o.
  • Finally vīra: While it is generally agreed that we lack plural-form attestions of word vīrus from antiquity, the further assertion that its morphological plural cannot be determined seems to me to be bogus, as it is (from what I can gather) apparently based mostly (if not entirely) on the conception that, somehow, that nominative singular form is intimately linked to the plural forms: a plural form of a word is valid only if it had been tied to some specific nominative singular form. As the reasoning goes, the -us termination of a second-declension neuter has never been tied to the termination -a, and therefore there is no real justification in saying that vīra is a valid plural form of vīrus. But the forms of words do not actually work like that. The morphological forms of Latin neuters are bipartite: the nominative, accusative, and vocative (the "strong cases," as G. & L. call them) singular are of a specific (and sometimes idiosyncratic) form that may or may not seem to derive from the stem, while the other case forms (including the plurals) derive from the stem (to which are added the gender- and declension-specific terminations). See bellum, corpus, mare, iter, cornū. Vīrus may seem irregular when compared to bellum, but it is regular in a more basic sense -- it follows the normal rules of neuter nouns. Its nominative, accusative, and vocative singular forms are of one form (a "virtual s-stem" form, in this case), like all other neuters, and its other attested cases (gen. vīrī, dat. vīrō, abl. vīrō), like all other neuters, derive from its stem. To point out that bellum and vīrus have different nom-acc-voc.sg. forms is just to divert attention from the fact that no violation has been demonstrated in the creation of the other forms, and so there is no rational reason to dismiss the regular rules for creating second-declension neuter plural forms. Too many people seemed to have compared vīrus to bellum, looking at the bellum-type as the ultimate touchstone of neuters of the second declension, while losing sight of why bellum is the way it is in the first place. Instead of finding the differences between vīrus and bellum, we ought to be noticing how vīrus behaves like the other neuters.
I still support, without reservation, the second-declension vīra as a cogent plural form of vīrus, one that is derived from the actual rules of the language. - Diaphanus 142.167.188.149 12:02, 24 Iunii 2011 (UTC).
Mihi quidem omnino persuasisti! --Fabullus 09:21, 25 Iunii 2011 (UTC)
Mihi quoque. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:46, 25 Iunii 2011 (UTC)

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