From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: -eius


Alternative forms[edit]


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈei̯.i̯us/, [ˈɛi̯ːʊs̠]
  • (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈe.jus/, [ˈɛːjus]
  • The first syllable scans as heavy in Classical Latin verse. In accordance with this, some dictionaries and other linguistic resources mark the "E" in the first syllable with a length marker (ēius/ējus): however, there is no consensus that the vowel itself was long. Historically, some scholars have thought that the first syllable contained a long vowel /eː/ derived by monophthongization of an earlier diphthong [ei̯].[1] But the geminate consonant /jj/, which was regularly written with single "i" in Latin,[2] would have rendered the preceding syllable heavy even if the vowel itself was short /e/. Compare peior[3] and ieiūnus, and see the discussion of intervocalic -i- in Allen 1978:38-40.[4] An alternative interpretation treats the first syllable as containing a diphthong /ei̯/;[5] this is essentially equivalent to /ej/, as there is no contrast in Latin between vowel-consonant sequences ending in /j/ and diphthongs ending in i̯. (Cser 2016:31-37 discusses the question of the best phonemic analysis of so-called 'diphthongs' in Latin and concludes that it is preferable to analyze them all as vowel-consonant sequences such as /ej/.)
  • An iambic pronunciation, /e.jus/ (with a light first syllable) may occur in Plautus.



  1. genitive singular of is, ea, id (anaphoric/cataphoric determiner): his, of him, her, of her, its, of it; of this/of that
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Daniel.1.2:
      Et tradidit Dominus in manu eius Ioachim regem Iudae.
      And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand.


  • Sardinian: eju

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Raphael Kühner, Friedrich Holzweissig, Carl Stegmann (1912) Ausführliche Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache, 2 edition, Hanover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, page 591:Die Länge des Stammvokals ē im Gen. Sing. — stets ēius — erklärt sich aus der Bildung aus ei̯-i̯o-s; ebenso die fast stets beibehaltene Länge e im Dat. S. aus der Bildung aus ei̯-i-ei. s. § 131 d.
  2. ^ András Cser (2016) Aspects of the Phonology and Morphology of Classical Latin (PhD thesis), Budapest, page 13:Gemination is marked in spelling for all consonants except [j], which is rendered invariably with a single ⟨i⟩ or sometimes ⟨j⟩ in modern editorial practice, as in ⟨eius/ejus⟩ [ejjus] ‘his/her’.
  3. ^ Nishimura, Kanehiro (2011) “Notes on Glide Treatment in Latin Orthography and Phonology: -iciō, servus, aiō”, in Historische Sprachforschung / Historical Linguistics, volume 124, page 193:
    the provision of a macron (i.e., māior, as if the vowel were long) in order to display the syllable weight — the way common in a number of grammar books and dictionaries — is utterly misleading in that it disguises the phonological reality. The same is true of another comparative adjective peior 'worse' (< *ped-i̯os-, via *-di̯- > -i̯i̯-), the verb aiō 'say' (< *ag-i̯ō; see §3), and pronouns like eius (< *esi̯o-s, cf. Ved. asyá).
  4. ^ W. Sidney Allen (1978) Vox Latina, 2nd edition, pages 38-39:With a few exceptions noted below, wherever a single, intervocalic i-consonant is written, it stands for a double consonant, i.e. [yy] [...] the consonant must be double in order to account for the fact that the preceding syllable is always metrically heavy; for the actual vowel is short
  5. ^ Pedro Manuel Suárez-Martínez (2017) “Le vocatif en -ī de la deuxième déclinaison latine”, in Pallas[1], volume 103:Comme Moralejo le montre, ces graphies avec un double -ii- reflèteraient la prononciation [ei-yus], due à la distribution syllabique des -i (-ii-) qui existaient, de manière sous-jacente, dans le -ī à l’origine de la forme eius.

Further reading[edit]

  • eius”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • eius in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • nothing will ever make me forgetful of him: memoriam eius nulla umquam delebit (obscurabit) oblivio (Fam. 2. 1)
    • nothing will ever make me forgetful of him: semper memoria eius in (omnium) mentibus haerebit
    • no word escaped him: nullum verbum ex ore eius excidit (or simply ei)
    • he is in a suspicious mood: suspicio insidet in animo ejus