Dead Language

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I do not know exactly where I got my fascination with the Latin language. Religious hymns in Latin most probably played a good part especially Gregorian Chants. Another might be because Latin is considered the mother or father of most European languages and some words being used in our Philippine languages have traces of Latin in them. The book Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary 6th Edition. John Burke. 1976 will serve as the main reference. With respect to pronunciation, the English speaking world has more or less deviated from the Latin pronunciation. As a general rule, Latin is pronounced much like Filipino: pronounce as you read. There are some few differences though. “J” is pronounced as “i” or “y” therefore “ejusdem” is pronounced as “eyusdem”. “” is pronounced as “ny” just like “magna” which is pronounced as “manya”. “Ci or ce” is pronounced as “chi or che” respectively.

In articulo mortis (At the point of death) Ibid. The Family Code of the Philippines Article 6 provides: “In case of a marriage in articulo mortis, when the party at the point of death is unable to sing the marriage certificate, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to write the name of said party, which fact shall be attested by the solemnizing officer”

Ex officio (By virtue of his office) Ibid. The provincial president of the Philippine Councilors League sits as an ex officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. He is not elected as an SP member but by reason of him being the president of the PCL he sits in the SP.

Flagrante delicto (In the commission of the offence) Ibid. A police officer who witnesses the commission of a crime or in flagrante delicto may arrest the perpetrator at that very moment. It is one of the exceptions to the rule that a warrant of arrest is required before a person may be arrested by police officers.

Functus officio (Having discharged his duty) Ibid. The first memorandum of President Rodrigo Duterte contains the phrase: “…all coterminous in excess of or not covered by an agency’s-plantilla are hereby considered functus officio by 12:00 noon of 30 June 2016”.

Ejusdem generis (Of the same kind or nature). The rule that where particular words are followed by general words, the general words are limited to the same kind as the particular words (Burke). This was applied in the landmark case of Mutuc vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. L-32717 November 26, 1970) where Mutuc’s jingle during the campaign for the constitutional convention was confiscated. The COMELEC said that the taped jingle is included in the enumeration “…hats, matches, cigarettes, and the like…” prohibited by law to be distributed during the campaign. The Supreme Court ruled that the jingle cannot be confiscated since it is not included in the enumeration.

In loco parentis (In the place of a parent) One who assumes the liability for providing for a minor in the way a parent would do. (Ibid)

In transitu (In course of transit) Ibid. Article 15 26 of the Civil Code provides that: “Where the ownership of the goods has not passed to the buyer, the unpaid seller has, in addition to his other remedies, a right of withholding delivery similar to and co extensive with his rights of lien and stoppage in transitu where the ownership has passed to the buyer”.

Latin is now considered a dead language and its use is more or less exclusively by the Catholic Church in its religious ceremonies, hymns, and official documents. Many words and phrases are used in the legal and medical profession.