In the fourth class of the Latin from Scratch course, we’ll start actually memorizing, as we are about to study the first declension. Luckily, the first Latin declension is the easiest one, since there’s only one table. After memorizing its morphology, we’ll learn some other matters.
I explain everything in the following video ():
Morphology of the first declension
The first Latin declension is quite easy, since it is exactly the same for all nouns (with very little exceptions).
|nom. sg.||domină||nom. pl.||dominae|
|voc. sg.||domină||voc. pl.||dominae|
|ac. sg.||dominăm||ac. pl.||dominās|
|gen. sg.||dominae||gen. pl.||dominārum|
|dat. sg.||dominae||dat. pl.||dominīs|
|ab. sg.||dominā||ab. pl.||dominīs|
In the first declension we have mostly feminine nouns. The only masculine nouns are the ones which refer to men (e.g. Catilina) or men’s professions (e.g. agricola, nauta…). There are no neuter gender nouns.
Notes on nominal morphology
We already know the importance of observing the endings of nouns in Latin, since that’s where the grammatical information is.
Indeed, it is casual endings we’ll have to analyze in order to determine the case of a noun (morphology). Knowing the case is crucial to know the syntactic function of that noun inside a sentence (syntax).
This is precisely what morphosyntactic analysis consists of. Before translating into English, we have to analyze the Latin sentence: first the morphology of each word, then the syntax of the whole sentence. Soon enough we’ll be solving our first analysis and their corresponding translations!
Until that moment, and in order to be able to do it successfully, we have to learn by heart and know the table of the first declension perfectly. For that, I would recommend learning the endings together with a word, not just the endings.