Author Topic: Varying words for God in Latin  (Read 1075 times)

Offline SamVanHouten

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Varying words for God in Latin
« on: April 06, 2014, 08:10:52 AM »
As we all know, the Mass begins like so, from Psalm 42:

Introibo ad altare Dei, adDeum qui laetificat juventutem meam..., etc., etc.

We also have "Deus" and "Deo". I don't get it. Would "Dei" be used in the first person to signify I go TO God, and "Deum" be something in the third person, as in "This goes to God"? It's a confusing language, sometimes.
Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
 

Offline Ancilla Domini

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 12:37:30 PM »
Latin is an inflected language with a case system, meaning that a noun's function in a sentence is indicated by endings attached to the noun rather than by the noun's position in the sentence. These are all different forms of the same word. Deus is the subject, Deum is a direct object, Dei is possessive or adjectival, Deo is an indirect object or object of a preposition, among other things. The classic example used to explain this in textbooks is Man bites dog versus Dog bites man. In English the question of who bites whom is indicted by word order. In Latin, this is indicated instead by the various endings attached to a noun. In the example you cited, a literal English translation would be, I will go in unto the altar of God, to God who brings joy to my youth...

   
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 10:03:35 PM by Ancilla Domini »
 

Offline Ancilla Domini

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 01:25:00 PM »
We do have some remnants of a case system in English in our pronouns. For instance we say he, his, him, etc. where he is a subject, his is possessive, him is an object - whether direct, indirect, or object of a preposition. This is the same thing that is going on with the various forms of the Latin word for God.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 01:27:53 PM by Ancilla Domini »
 

Offline perdurabit

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 05:44:59 PM »
ad altere Dei - Genitive case: to the altar of God

ad Deum - Accusative case: to God

There are seven cases: Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, Ablative, Locative and Vocative.  The last two relate to place and name and the locative is rarely used.  The vocative is the case used when calling a name:( e.g. Marcus! or hey, you lot!).

 Of the other five cases:-

Nominative - Names the subject of the sentence

Accusative - Can be used in three ways: (1) Names the direct object of the sentence, (2) Describes a goal of movement: a person or thing, or (3) describes the extent of an action in time or place.

Genitive - Most commonly, the possessive case (e.g. Martin's house, Sally's hat, etc).  Also adjectival - where one noun is used to qualify another (a donkey of great stubbornness, a man of distinction, etc.)

Dative  - Indicates the indirect object of a sentence: the person or thing affected by the action of the sentence.  Can usually be translated with "to" or "for" (e.g. I gave the book to Annie, these flowers are for Mary, etc.)

Ablative - There are umpteen usages of the Ablative, some of which are quite complex.  The three main usages are: (1) To indicate separation (e.g. the train left the platform, he left the room, etc), (2) To indicate precise location (use superseded the locative case) (e.g. he is right here, she is in the house now, etc), and (3) to indicate association (e.g. he hit me with a brick, she eats with a fork, etc).  Usually translates into English as "by" "with" or "(away) from"
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 05:48:57 PM by perdurabit »
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 07:17:02 PM »
Is the case pronounce ah blah tiv, ah bluh tiv, uh blay tiv, etc.? h
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Offline perdurabit

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 07:20:55 PM »
Ah-blah-tiv  :D
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Varying words for God in Latin
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 07:56:05 PM »
For your viewing pleasure and education:


http://rgoing.livejournal.com/184767.html (full lyrics and a picture of Sister Anna Roberta, C.S.J., the song's writer)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 07:57:52 PM by Gardener »
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