Posted by Dennis » 1 Comment »
I kind of like Ecce Romani, but one thing that bugs me is the inclusion of the vocative case in noun paradigms. What is the pedagogical justification for this? It adds two forms to every paradigm (vocative singular and vocative plural), and for most words this simply means repeating the nominative.
Isn’t it much simpler to teach students that the form used for direct address is identical to the nominative except in 2nd declension words or names in -us (voc. -e) or -ius (voc. -i)?
A simple rule that notes the exception is more efficient that adding bulk to the paradigms, which are intended to help organize and streamline information.
When teaching the locative I similarly give a rule rather than case forms for the various declensions, and again, I think it’s simpler.
- In the plural, the locative will look like the ablative.
- In the singular, the locative will look like a case that ends with -e or -i.
In the first declension the locative has -ae (= genitive), in the second -i (= genitive), in the third either -e or -i (= the dative or the ablative). Compare, for example, the locative of domus, which is domi (as though from the second declension) but sometimes manuscripts show domui (= fourth declension dative).
Rare, odd, and irregular forms are often best treated by rules rather than paradigms.