Anyone who has read the Scholastics, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, is familiar with the basic structure of an articulus: (Here's an example.)
- Objections ("videtur quod...")
- Quote from authority ("sed contra est...")
- Corpus ("respondeo dicendum quod...")
- Response to objections ("ad primum ergo dicendum quod....")
I am curious about the proper parsing of "respondeo dicendum quod." Although it's not surprising to see quod used to begin indirect discourse, I'm especially curious about dicendum. What exactly is it? Here are some possibilities:
- It is an accusative gerund, the object of respondeo.
- It is a neuter singular nominative impersonal gerundive, i.e. dicendum est quod
Neither makes a whole ton of sense to my mind, although it's pretty obvious what a translation should look like. In fact, many translations seem to translate as if it were an ablative, e.g. "I respond by saying that..."