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Former good articleLatin was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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April 17, 2006Good article nomineeListed
May 25, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
October 14, 2007Good article reassessmentDelisted
October 17, 2009Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Delisted good article

Introduction part about inflection[edit]

It is true that Latin is a highly inflected language, as the introduction states, but many of the examples to demonstrate that were flawed.

First, the locative is not a case in Latin (at least not a productive case) as only about five nouns take it (by the time of Classical Latin, which is what this article deals with, as opposed to Old Latin and Proto-Italic, where there very much was a locative case). So I changed "seven noun cases" to "up to seven noun cases".

Second, the number of principal parts that a verb has has nothing to do with the level of inflection in the language. A principal part is not a grammatical feature (syntactically, morphologically, or otherwise); rather, principal parts are merely a helpful tool to help the Latin user inflect the verb in all of its forms. That is, principal parts are not evidence of inflection: tense, mood, aspect, voice, and agreement are. For this reason I removed "four principal parts" from the list of examples of high inflection. They do, of course, belong in the "Verbs" section, where they remain.

Third, Latin has only three tenses (past, present, future), not six. Pluperfect, Perfect, and Future perfect are not distinct tenses; they are just conflations of tense (past, present, and future, respectively) and aspect (perfect). Whether there are two or three aspects is not obvious, as the perfect forms can double as perfective, while the imperfective forms (imperfect, present, and future) are consistently imperfective in meaning (habitual, continuous, progressive, gnomic, etc.). In any case, the three tenses combine with the two formal aspects to create the six forms that some people would call "tenses", but, again, in reality these are just combinations of tense and aspect. And although there are only two aspects formally (forming the perfective-imperfective dichotomy), as I said, one of them (the perfective) can be also be used with perfect meaning, so there may in effect be three aspects.

Dylanvt (talk) 14:40, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Curiously, Aelius Donatus, in the grammar which became standard throughout the Middle Ages, says there are five tenses in Latin (for some reason he omits the future perfect). But he uses tempora (tenses or times) in two different ways. First he says there are three tempora: present, preterite, and future; but then he says that the preterite has three varieties or aspects (temporis differentiae), namely imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect, making a total of five tenses. So right from the start the word tempus or "tense" has been used in more than one meaning. But I think it is a mistake to try to make out that the Latin present and future tenses are exactly parallel to the past. In past time there is a distinction between perfective and imperfective aspect (feci I did vs. faciebam I was doing), but this distinction does not exist in the present or future. The present and future simple tenses can equally refer to a single event (perfective) or to an ongoing situation (imperfective). To say that the present and future tenses are "consistently imperfective in meaning" is incorrect. Ego hominem necabo ("I will kill the man") is a perfective aspect verb just as much as Ego hominem necavi ("I killed the man"). (See Comrie Aspect p. 18.) Kanjuzi (talk) 05:49, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

Excessive detail[edit]

The section on grammar as it stands currently is excessively detailed for a general introduction. It seems to me that details of grammar, such as the fact that some adjectives end in -er, should be left to the specific pages on grammar and conjugation. Kanjuzi (talk) 09:06, 3 February 2019 (UTC)


Latin, Greek and French have contributed many words to the English language. In particular, Latin (and Ancient Greek) roots are used in English descriptions of theology, biology, science, medicine and law.

Not clear why Greek is being mentioned here, particularly.

Latin is taught in primary, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions around the world.[6][7]

In how many primary schools is Latin taught? Does this give a misleading impression? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

The first statement requires a reliable source since the evolution of the English language is a complex topic. Whether the influence of (some,most,many?) "Latin" words could more properly be attributed to the (French) Norman Conquest is something that strikes me immediately, though I am no expert on the matter. The second statement is sourced with only two examples. Two schools (both in the USA, incidentally), out of how many??? Removed. Maybe it could be replaced with a proper historical "has been taught", and I can certainly think of examples of it being taught elsewhere, but this seems more the exception than the rule nowadays and, as such, I am not sure if it goes in the lead. (talk) 03:24, 23 May 2019 (UTC)