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The following sentence comes from lines 74–75 of chapter XXV of Lingua latina per se illustrata. Familia Romana, after Ariadna has said some words to Theseus:

Haec locūta, Ariadna Thēseō fīlum longum dedit

This explanation is written in the margin of the book:

haec locūta = postquam haec locūta est

This clarifies the meaning of the expression haec locūta. In addition, since it says est, I see that haec locūta must be singular: it cannot be neuter plural. So it must be feminine singular, but I'm not able to understand why. Why is the feminine used here? In chapter XXI (lines 123–124), we find this other sentence

Mārcus ipse haec scripsit et ā magistrō laudātus est

with the margin note

haec (n pl) = hae rēs

So, why isn't neuter (plural or even singular, hōc locūtum) used in the first sentence?

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    In my opinion, the margin note haec (n pl) = hae rēs, which is associated to the example Mārcus ipse haec scripsit et ā magistrō laudātus est, is a bit misleading since here the direct object haec (n. pl. acc.) can be replaced by has rēs (but not by hae res = fem. pl. nom.).
    – Mitomino
    Nov 9, 2023 at 18:00
  • In fact, after rereading your question, I realize that the first margin note can also be misleading (at least for you) given your conclusion ("This explanation is written in the margin of the book: haec locūta = postquam haec locūta est. This clarifies the meaning of the expression haec locūta. In addition, since it says est, I see that haec locūta must be singular"). Perhaps a less misleading margin note would have been: haec locūta = postquam has res locūta est. Cf. my comment above on the second margin note).
    – Mitomino
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:27

2 Answers 2

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Locuta doesn't go with haec, but rather with Ariadna. Locuta is singular, but haec here is neuter plural.

"Ariadne, having said (locuta, fem. sing. nom.) these things (haec, neut. plur. acc.), gave Theseus a long string."

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    I see. So Ariadna is the subject of the verb locūta est. That is, the meaning is postquam haec locūta est Ariadna = "after Ariadna has said these things".
    – Charo
    Nov 9, 2023 at 16:50
  • @Charo Yes, but you don't need to repeat the subject twice, which is why it wasn't spelled out explicitly.
    – cmw
    Nov 9, 2023 at 17:00
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    @Charo I think it would be more accurate to say that locuta is a perfect participle that agrees with the subject Ariadna. In deponent verbs, past participles have an active meaning, as cmw's translation shows. In other words, it's syntactically similar to a sentence like, "haec dicens Ariadna filum Theseo dat."
    – brianpck
    Nov 9, 2023 at 18:37
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    @brianpck I thought she meant in the gloss postquam haec locuta est. In the actual sentence (locuta est Ariadna...), you're right, but in the gloss, Ariadna is the subject and locuta est is the verb.
    – cmw
    Nov 9, 2023 at 19:46
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By reading the sentence without the explanation from the note that adds "est", I would consider it a joint participle with a temporal value (as mentioned in the other comments, having said these things). I am not sure if joint participle is the right expression in english for this latin grammar form: with that I mean that in the absolute ablative the subject of the main sentence has nothing to do with the noun in the ablative case (the subjects are different); with the joint participle, the subject of the main and secondary sentence is the same.

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    As for your term "joint participle", I'd say that the one that is (more) often used in Latin grammars written in English is the Latin one: i.e. participium coniunctum (in Sp. and in Cat. we say "participio concertado" and "participi concertat", respectively). Note also that the term that is often used for the other type of construction is "ablative absolute" rather than "absolute ablative". Your word order could be said to make sense but "ablative absolute" is the preferred one in Latin grammars written in English.
    – Mitomino
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:16
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    As for the typical rule of the ablative absolute you mention in your answer, it is worth pointing out that even in very classical authors like Caesar, some exceptions can be found: e.g. see latin.stackexchange.com/questions/15055/…
    – Mitomino
    Nov 11, 2023 at 18:18
  • Thank you for the details and the link to the thread about the AA exception. In my own language (Italian), I also say the equivalent of participium coniunctum (participio congiunto), but I was unsure about english.
    – Davide
    Nov 18, 2023 at 10:17

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