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Latin/Latin interrogative pronouns


Hello Maria,

I have such a question, here is the link to the source:
You'll see ten pictures and below them six questions.
My question is why Quid clamat? But not Quis clamat?
Well, I understand like this:
Quis vocat? (Who calls?) Domina vocat! (Why Quis? Because domina is an animate noun.)
Quid tonat? (What thunders?) Porta tonat! (Porta is an inanimate noun and that's why Quid)
Quis laborat? Ancilla laborat! (animate)
Quid flagrat? Flamma flagrat! (inanimate)
Quis cantat? Lucia cantat! (animate)
Quid clamat? Here is my question: why Quid, not Quis? (poultry is an animate noun, no?)
In the Bible we can read: quid leone fortius? = what is braver than a lion? In my Russian language, I would, probably, never ask a question like: "What is braver than a lion?" But if I do, I would expect an answer like: "The T-134 is braver than the lion!" :)
On the other hand to my question, Virgil wrote: "quis furor, O cives, quae tanta licentia ferri?" = what fury ... should it be quid furor, no? It's funny, ain't it? What do you think, Maria?

Thank you so much for your help!


in “Quid clamat?” that refers to the noun “gallīna ”(hen/poultry), which is mentioned in the list of Latin terms at the link you quote, the neuter interrogative pronoun “Quid” is an accusative case as a direct object of the verb “clamat”.

In short, just like you wrote: “Quis vocat?  Domina vocat! “, “Quid tonat?  Porta tonat! “, “Quis laborat? Ancilla laborat! “, “Quid flagrat? Flamma flagrat! “, “Quis cantat? Lucia cantat!”, you must say “Quid clamat?” Gallina clamat “Gagagaa!" meaning exactly :”What does poultry cry out loudly ? Poultry cries out “Gagagaa!".

As you can see, the neuter accusative “quid” (what) does not refer to “poultry”(gallina, animate noun) which is the subject of the sentence, but to “Gagagaa!"(inanimate) as  the characteristic cry/call of  poultry.

As for  “Quid leone fortius? “ (what is braver than a lion? ) in Bible, Judges 14:18, “quid” is the neuter interrogative pronoun, nominative case, used as the subject of the sentence, since in Latin the neuter is the same in the nominative and in accusative case.

Finally with regard to  the verse "quis furor, O cives, quae tanta licentia ferri?"( what fury, o citizens, ...) we read not in Virgil, but in Lucanus, Civil War (Pharsalia), book 1, line 8 (see the link below), “quis” in the nominative case, masculine singular, is correct as it is used as an interrogative adjective (not pronoun) related to the masculine noun “furor”. Therefore “quid furor” would be absolutely wrong.

Hope all is clear enough.Feel free to ask me again.
Best regards,
Lucan. Civil War (Pharsalia), book1, line 8


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