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Allen and Greenough/ NewLatin Grammar

Names of Actions and Abstract Nouns

239. Nouns denoting acts , or means and results of acts, are formed from roots or verb-stems by the use of the suffixes—

-men, N.; -mentum, N.; -mōnium, N.; -mōnia, F.

ag-men , line of march, band;AG, root of agere , to lead.
regi-men , rule; regi-mentum , rule;regi- ( rege- ), stem of regere , to direct.
certā-men , contest , battle;certā-, stem of certāre, to contend.


colu-men, pillar; mō-men, movement;nō-men , name; flū-men, stream.
testi-mōnium, testimony;testārī, to witness.
queri-mōnia , complaint;querī , to complain.

-mōnium and -mōnia are also used as secondary, forming nouns from other nouns and from adjectives: as, sāncti-mōnia , sanctity ( sānctus , holy ); mātrimōnium , marriage ( māter , mother.

Note Of these endings, -men is primary (cf. § 234 . 2.14); -mentum is a compound of men- and to-, and appears for the most part later in the language than -men : as, mōmen, movement (Lucr.); mōmentum (later). So elementum is a development from L-M-N-a, l-m-n's (letters of the alphabet), changed to elementa along with other nouns in -men. -mōnium and -mōnia were originally compound secondary suffixes formed from mōn- (a by-form of men-), which was early associated with mo- . Thus almus (stem almo-), fostering; Almōn , a river near Rome; alimōnia, support. But the last was formed directly from alō when -mōnia had become established as a supposed primary suffix.

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