Questions tagged [syntax]

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9
votes
1answer
159 views

Genitive Adjective with no Noun Referent

Praejudicium autem cum dico, non volo intelligi qualecunque praegressum judicium in animo; quasi animus ab omni omnino judicio liber esse debeat: sed judicium quod semel formatum tanti fit, ut eo quis ...
8
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2answers
245 views

On the syntax of 'Cogitate quantis laboribus fundatum imperium (…) una nox paene delerit' (Cic. Cat. 4, 19)

Picking up the thread of analyzing beautiful structures involving participles in Cicero's works (e.g. see this link), I'd like to raise a question about the syntax of the following complex sentence. ...
6
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1answer
71 views

In Latin, is there an “adjective form of nation name” vs genitive “of nation name” distinction?

In Latin, is there an “adjective form of nation name” vs “of nation name” distinction? In English we can say “Church of Rome” or “Roman Church”, or “Embassy of Germany” or German Embassy”, or “Prime ...
6
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0answers
112 views

On the syntax of some datives in a beautiful Ciceronian structure

I was wondering if you would like to share your thoughts on the grammar of the datives in the following texts from Cicero. The second example is a very interesting one provided by Kingshorsey in an ...
4
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0answers
87 views

ad obsidionem urbis vs. ad obsidendam urbem

I was wondering to what extent the two Prepositional Phrases (PPs) in the title of the present question can be taken as functionally equivalent. Consider the following text about Caesar's siege of ...
4
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4answers
217 views

Latin version of “non ho che un” or “je n'ai qu'un”

At least Italian and French have an idiomatic way to say "I have only one friend": Non ho che un amico. Je n'ai qu'un ami. Finnish has the same thing: "Minulla ei ole kuin yksi ystävä....
2
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1answer
91 views

participium coniunctum vs. ablative absolute of transitive deponent verbs

I was wondering why the "active meaning" and the transitivity of deponent perfect participles like cohortatus in (1) are not (?) preserved in the Ablative Absolute in (2). Why is it the case ...
1
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1answer
123 views

Can *esse* be elided with a dative of possession?

The possessive dative construction involves a subject possessee, a dative possessor, and a form of esse: Mihi soror est. Dicit sibi sororem esse. In this construction, is esse ever elided? That is, ...
6
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0answers
37 views

Female Names and Heritable *Cognomina*

Suppose I want to speak of the daughter of a man with a heritable cognonmen. Let us take Marcus Tullius Cicero as an example. If I want to clarify that the Tullia I am speaking of is his daughter (...
3
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1answer
164 views

Impersonal Verbs: Are Active Transitives Possible?

Latin utilizes some verbs that pretty much only occur impersonally, like oportet. One can also regularly form impersonal actives from intransitive verbs like placeo and impersonal passives from ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Agreement and possessive genitive

What we do in the following example? I need to combine two words in a phrase: 'professional' and 'holiday'. There is no adjective 'professional' in Latin or my searching is bad. So I can use the ...
7
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2answers
2k views

“Tu quoque, Brutus, mi fili?” Grammar question

Someone told me these were Caesar's actual last words. Google confirms this. But I can't find an explanation for what looks to me like weird grammar. First of all, shouldn't "Brutus" be &...
6
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2answers
137 views

Confusing syntax in two sentences

I seem to be confused by the constructions of these two sentences from a Medieval Latin text: Unde vocum alia suavis est illa, scilicet quae subtilis, spissa, clara et acuta est. and Multiplicem ...
7
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2answers
192 views

Subjunctive with adverb “quam”

Passage: “Quam autem civitati carus fuerit, maerore funeris indicatum est.” Cic. Amic. 11 My translation in English: «Moreover, how dear he was to the citizenry was indicated by the grief of his ...
2
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1answer
113 views

A Completed Action in the Mind OR Indirect Speech?

There are currently two theories (of which I am aware) to explain the use of the perfect subjunctive, in examples from the Latin Vulgate, included in brianpck's answer to Q: Memento quod <...
7
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2answers
273 views

Can a predicate nominative ever be a different gender from the subject?

I want to say "My favorite animal is..." and then give the animal. But "animal" is neuter, so I'll end up with a predicate nominative that doesn't agree in gender with the subject! "Meum dilectum ...
3
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2answers
78 views

Active verb with future passive and perfect participle?

How does the active verb "veniunt" work with the word "consideranda"? Almost like a periphrastic? As I have translated below: "Ac initio quidem duo principalia decreta ante omnia consideranda ...
11
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1answer
178 views

Scope of negation with absolute constructions

In Latin and Greek, when a negator appears in an absolute construction (ablative absolute, genitive absolute), it is generally taken to negate the predicate within that construction: hostibus ...
10
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2answers
281 views

Is it “bene videtur” or “bonum videtur”? Adjective or adverb with verbs/copulae meaning “seem”

With verbs like "seem, appear", one sometimes uses an adverb to express how something appears ("she looked well"), at other times an adjective ("he seemed angry"). How did the Romans do it, ...
8
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0answers
104 views

On different expressions of partitivity in Latin

I was wondering whether there is any difference between the following partitive expressions in Latin: ūnus tribūnōrum and ūnus ex tribūnīs 'one of the tribunes' (cf. the so-called 'partitive genitive' ...
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0answers
62 views

Is an Ablative Absolute construction like “portā clausā” ambiguous in Early Latin?

As a follow-up question of two previous posts (cf. here and here), I was wondering if an Ablative Absolute construction like portā clausā is ambiguous in Early Latin as it is in Classical Latin. For ...
6
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1answer
97 views

Analysis of Dative in >>Confessions<<

In Caput VI Liber II Augustine wrote:"Quamvis mihi nondum fideli......" (Although I was not a Christian...) Here he used the dative case (mihi fideli). What's the dative case for? Why is it dative? ...
4
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1answer
47 views

Confessiones, sentence analysis

This is a sentence in Caput V, Liber II of Confessiones of Augustine: Cum interea non satageret idem pater qualis crescerem tibi. Here what's the case of qualis? According to the declension table it ...
2
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0answers
115 views

Are there “dominant relative clauses”?

As is well-known, the predicate of an AUC construction can be a participle (this is the typical case: e.g., Ab Urbe Condita, whose acronym "AUC" is often used to refer to this very peculiar (...
3
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0answers
65 views

The longest Ablative Absolute construction attested in the Latin literature?

I was curious about the longest Ablative Absolute (AA) construction attested in the Latin literature. For example, the following one from Plautus has seven AAs juxtaposed (used by him to create a ...
5
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1answer
181 views

How to say: “X differs from Y by(in) Z”

I want to say something of this sort: The word "res" differs from the word "rex" by one letter. In "Lexicon totius Latinitatis" I saw under the term "dama": "[Dama] differt a capreis solis ...
4
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2answers
152 views

Using Participles in Latin Tenses

In English, we can communicate progressiveness of an action by combining a form of "to be" with a participle. For instance, "I am acting" is progressive, whereas "I act" is not. I am wondering about ...
3
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2answers
140 views

Infinitival impersonal passives

The impersonal passive is a familiar construction: Pugnatur. "There is fighting / people are fighting / etc." Pugnatum est. "There was fighting / etc." Here a finite passive verb is being used ...
2
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2answers
350 views

“Contra felicem vix deus vires habet” - Need advice on replacing the word “Felicem”

For context, this is for a tattoo I'd like to get but I want to make sure it's syntactically correct as best as possible. I think the phrase is a great one, however I would very much prefer it to be ...
5
votes
1answer
193 views

Can a “dative of agent” appear in an Ablative Absolute construction?

I was wondering to what extent the syntactic distribution of so-called “dative of agent” and that of “ablative of agent” is different. For example, besides appearing in verbal contexts (e.g., Proelium ...
0
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1answer
88 views

Asking a teacher for more (hopefully extra credit) homework

Salvete, Sodales! I'm a student in his second year of Latin study, but my class has been slow in reading our texts and I've been bored from the beginning. I want to ask my teacher to give me more ...
4
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1answer
203 views

In this passage, why verbo instead of verbum?

There's a phrase from the Gospel that's used in the liturgy -- "sed tantum dic verbo" [et sanabitur anima mea], "but only say the word" [and my soul shall be healed]. Why verbo (dative or ablative) ...
6
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1answer
315 views

Can Gerundives be predicates of Ablative Absolutes?

I was wondering if Gerundives, the verbal adjectives referred to as "future passive participles" by Latin grammarians, can appear as predicates of Ablative Absolute constructions. As is well-known, ...
2
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1answer
143 views

Gerundial arguments selected by verbs taking Genitive: e.g., “Memento moriendi”? “Me paenitet vivendi”?

As a follow-up of two previous questions on Latin grammar, I was wondering if examples like Memento moriendi (cf. Memento mori) and Me paenitet vivendi (cf. Me paenitet vivere) are also attested. ...
3
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2answers
57 views

Indirect questions and the passive subjunctive

How would you translate: "He asked if the the city had been captured?" Quaerit num civitatem captum esse? Here I am using an accusative (captum) plus infinitive (esse). Am I right? Thank you!
7
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2answers
86 views

Shuffling Latin sentences

So, I have heard an interesting claim about Latin, and I wonder how true it is. The claim is, given that Latin has declensions, you can shuffle words around and keep the sentence's meaning. Is that ...
4
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0answers
175 views

ante solem occasum vs. *ante diem adventum

The intransitive verbs that typically enter into constructions with perfect participles of the so-called "dominant" type are deponent: e.g., ante Ciceronem mortuum, post Ciceronem natum, etc....
5
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1answer
75 views

How do I name the individual parts of the lumbricals muscle of the foot in latin?

As we can see, Wikipedia lists the lumbricals muscle and tells us that the muscle contains four parts. I need to name all four individual parts of the muscle and their respective side in the body. I ...
8
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2answers
613 views

Where is the correct position to set right or left of muscle names for anatomical names?

Muscles and bones have Latin names as can be found on wikipedia. I need to name muscles and bones with their Latin name and I also need to specify if it's the left or the right muscle in the human ...
4
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0answers
62 views

Any material on so-called “inverse analysis” and “minimal pairs” to practice Latin grammar?

I was wondering if anyone could provide me with references on any online material (pdf, links, etc.) of Latin Grammar which can contain exercises based on so-called "inverse analysis" and "minimal ...
6
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1answer
86 views

Superlatives In Subordinate Clauses

North & Hillard Ex. 198 begins: "It was already dawning when the general gave the signal, promising a great reward to the first man who climbed the walls." The translation: "iam illucescebat cum ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the grammatical “logic” of ablative case in «Tuā et meā māximē interest tē ualēre» (Cic. Fam. 16.4)?

Assuming that ablative case is always a semantic case (see the typical lists of its associated meanings in Latin grammars), I was wondering if Latin speakers could still assign a synchronic more or ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the grammatical “logic” of impersonal constructions like “Me non solum piget stultitiae meae sed etiam pudet” (Cic. De Dom. 29)?

What is the grammatical "logic" of the impersonal construction with psychological verbs like pudet, piget, paenitet, taedet, miseret? (here is a short descriptive characterization of so-...
5
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2answers
271 views

Null expletive objects in Latin? “Cariotae cum ficis certandum habent” (Plin. Ep. 1,8)

How is the gerundive construction to be analyzed in the following example? Cariotae cum ficis certandum habent. (Plin. Ep. 1,8) 'Dates have to fight with figs'. Could you please provide me ...
7
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3answers
266 views

Is this a question or an affirmation?

Reading the Digest (6th century, copy of 9th century), I find this sentence: Sed si plures servum percusserint, utrum omnes quasi occiderint teneantur videamus. One author who established the text ...
5
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2answers
760 views

The Purpose of “Natu”

Following on from the question "Using Genitive & Infinitive To Describe Characteristics"; Joonas (26/6/19): "adulescentis est maiores natu revereri." = "It is of a young person to respect his/ her ...
5
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2answers
574 views

Sentences with no verb, but an ablative

Sometimes I will run across sentences that have no verb, but there is an ablative and I am not sure about the right approach to assuming a verb. For example, in this 16th century sentence: Erat ...
4
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0answers
55 views

Greek: indirect discourse / sequence of moods after κελεύω etc.?

I'm wondering about the proper Greek translation of a sentence like: He ordered me to do whatever I wanted. This sentence has an indefinite relative clause (whatever I wanted) after a verb of ...
5
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2answers
256 views

What is the term for extremely loose Latin word order?

For a Latin-language artificial intelligence called Mensa Latina the user manual will need to discuss and therefore refer to the phenomenon in Latin prose where meaning comes from grammar and ...
10
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2answers
195 views

Omission of a repeated verb in second part of a μέν … δέ

This question is about the Greek equivalent of sentences like I do not fear the Greeks, but I do fear the Romans. Socrates didn't write dialogues, but Plato did. These sentences use or imply the ...