Salvete omnes! Hello all!
In April of this year, Sandus decided to replace the constructed language Sancta with Latin as its third official language. This position as the “third official language” is unofficially known as the cultural language of Sandus, and the replacement of Sancta with Latin ought to imply a cultural renewal — as, now, cultural items can now be produced in a language that is more widely understood, which has more resources to learn it, and which already has many communities which support its growth and culture. But the big question is: how do you decline Sandus in Latin?
Latin is one of a few languages which has declensions — or, a pattern of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles which are inflected to show number, gender, and case. Latin is not the only language with declensions, though. Arabic, German, Dutch, Basque, Greek (both Modern and Ancient), Icelandish, Irish, Russian & other Slavic languages, and even Middle English are or were languages with declensions. Declensions are useful to understand what word modifies what — especially if the language does not have a developed word order or syntax.
In case you didn’t know this, Sandus’s original name was “Sandefreistikhan” — which meant, roughly, “the Free Land of the Sande.” In July 2009, two months after Sandus was created, the name was shortened to “Sandus.” The name Sandus has always been a complex one: the English demonym of Sandus, Sandum, does not follow regular English construction (i.e., it’s not Sandian, Sander, Sandi, etc.).
Now, anyone who knows Latin declensions will probably be thinking: “What declension is this?! This isn’t a typical second or fourth declension, or even a third declension.” It’s an irregular form of the second declension, however, and it may make sense to some people who know Sandus and know Latin. The only two declensions that are irregular are the genitive and the locative constructions.
The genitive case is odd because one might expect it to be Sandī or Sandōrum, but it is not because — over the years — Sande in English has become an adjective for Sandus and Sandum related things. It was decided, then, to make it an irregular genitive by making the long I into a long E, as it is in the English adjective; the same is true of the plural, whose -ērum ending is unique in Latin.
The locative case is odd because Latin has so few of them: only three common nouns in Latin have a locative case (rus, domus, and humus). Otherwise, the locative case is used only for cities and small islands. However, because Sandus is a micronation, it was decided that a locative case would be appropriate to have, which acts as if a fourth declension genitive. But, you inquisitive Latin linguists may be asking, “why does Sandus have a plural locative when it’s just one place?!”
In fact, why does Sandus have a plural at all? Well, Sandus has never really created its own demonym in English, or Latin for that matter. Though Sandus is a proper noun, it’s also an adjective (much like “Sandum” in English is Sandus’s adjective) and — because of that — it can be used as a substantive to denote the Sandum People. Therefore, Sandī can be translated as “Sandum People,” since there’s no equivalent in English. By this point, you are probably thinking “Sandī īte domum. Ēbriī estis.”
“But, of all this discussion of cases and numbers… what about gender?” Most second declension nouns in Latin are masculine nouns, and when it comes to adjectives — the -us ending almost always is a masculine adjective. So, if you guessed that “Sandus” was a masculine noun and adjective, you’re right! …but that’s not the whole story. “Sandus” as an adjective is more than just masculine: it’s also feminine and also neuter. “But, Gāī, why?!” Well, the long-and-short of it is that it’s about politics and the Sandum conception of gender. Sandus — as a nation, society, and culture influenced by transhumanism and postgenderism intellectual movements — is a name that can be used in any gendered context. After all, we are a micronation — a nation we have created with, as the Sandum saying goes, “with our own hands.”
Sandus sum. And, with that, I hope I have given you, Sacerdotium’s reader, enough intellectual stimulation about our humble patria.
— C. Sörgel P.