Diacronia 6, September 30, 2017, art. A87 (p. 1–24)

The descendants of Lat. ipse in Romanian

Andra Vasilescu


  • Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest, Str. Edgar Quinet 5–7, Sector 1, 010017 Bucharest, Romania
  • “Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics, Calea 13 Septembrie 13, 050711 Bucharest, Romania


Received May 16, 2017
Accepted June 3, 2017
Published September 30, 2017

Key words

Lat. ipse
history of forms
history of uses
focal particle


The Latin demonstrative ipse had different evolutions across the Romance languages, with Romanian being the one that preserved most of the source-language uses and enriched them with new ones. This article describes the evolution of the forms and functions of îns1, îns2/ins, îns(ă)3, însul, nusul, dînsul, adins, însuși, and of the bound focal particle –și in Romanian. The analysis is based on a rich corpus of old Romanian and non-standard regional varieties of modern spoken Romanian. The most significant phenomena in old Romanian compared to Latin are the proliferation of forms, the preservation of the old uses and the emergence of new ones, semantic enrichments, and a large number of lexical-functional synonymies. During the old Romanian period, the form–function correlations gradually changed, syntactically conditioned variants and differential prepositional object marking emerged, new meanings developed as contextual effects of the focal prototype, the syncretisms with the reflexive and reciprocal pronouns were limited, and the textual deictic was grammaticalized as an adversative conjunction. In modern Romanian, the number of ambiguities has decreased and register differences have appeared. The evolution of the Latin ipse in Romanian illustrates a case of poligrammaticalization and polimorfism, which is not singular in the history of the neo-Latin idioms.


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    Text:Vasilescu, A. (2017). The descendants of Lat. ipse in Romanian, Diacronia 6 (September 30), A87 (1–24),
     author = {Andra Vasilescu},
     title = {The descendants of Lat. ipse in Romanian},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2017},
     month = {September},
     number = {6},
     eid = {A87},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–24)",
     url = {}


© 2017 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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