The Latin genitive plurals in -rum are very noticeable in the paradigm. Be it first declension in -ārum, second in -ōrum, or fifth in -ērum, they are heavyweight, attract accent and basicall stand out among other forms. Unfortunately, in the Romance collapse of case forms, it were the accusatives (and rarer nominatives) that survived.

But are there any forms in Romance languages that are directly descended from the genitive plurals? I am looking for the inflectional forms first, as they would be more interesting than singular fossilized explessions (though I am wondering about those singular fossilized explessions as well).

Feel free to resend the question to Latin StackExchange if you feel it could be better answered there, but I expect this question requires more expertise in modern Romance languages and so is for here.

3 Answers 3


If you want inflectional forms, you'd have to look at the major Romance language which still inflects nouns, Romanian.

Even there, you will only find a reflex of -orum in the articles as far as I'm aware, but the indefinite article inflects to unor from Latin unorum, and the definite article is even better because, while coming from ille like in other Romance languages, is used as a suffix to nouns, -lor.

So effectively you have inflected forms of nouns like lupilor ("of the wolves") with a reflex of illorum "built in".


(Latin to French)

inflectional forms:

fossilized expressions:

In Old French there are more examples (like "la geste Francor" < Francorum).

  • 6
    It doesn't add much since it's just the same as your French example, but just for the record, loro (Italian for "their(s)", and all the indirect forms of "they", colloquially also subject "they" which is formally essi) also comes from Latin "illorum" in a straightforward way. However it's definitely not very inflectional since considering it a case of essi would be artificial, and indeed, Italians tend to just use loro for all forms in speech.
    – LjL
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 18:19
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    @LjL Even more frivolous, but I'd like to point out that loro is actually used also in the vast majority of writing, even when formal. Essi (as well as its siblings egli, ella and essa, replaced by lui and lei) survives only in grammar books and the most formal writing. This is not a new phenomenon by the way. Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 16:52
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    Are quorum and variorum really “fossilised”? I thought they were much later re-borrowings from scholarly Latin into the vernacular language, as they are in English, which seems a bit less in the spirit of the questions. (But the earlier examples seem great, especially leur.)
    – PLL
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 17:29
  • The links to atilf.fr show only “Session expirée”. Commented Jun 5, 2022 at 5:30

If toponyms are relevant: in England there are places with the following names which incorporate Latin genitive plurals in -rum: Ashby Puerorum, Buckland Monachorum, Toller Porcorum, Toller Fratrum, Whitchurch Canonicorum.

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