Questions tagged [syntax]

Syntax are the rules for how sentences and phrases are constructed in a language, including word order and how words change based on their relations to other words (snl.no/syntaks).

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What is the correct analysis of the personal dative in the so-called "double dative constructions"?

The so-called “double dative construction” contains a "dative of purpose" (e.g. maxumo terrori in ex. (1) below) and a personal dative (e.g. Numantinis in (1)) that turns out to be affected ...
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On the (alleged) ambiguity of "Fabricius a subsellis demisso capite discesserat" (Cic. Clu. 58)

Some Latinist scholars (e.g. Lavency (1986) and Longrée (2014), i.a.; see the full references at the bottom of this post) have noted that the following example from Cicero could in principle be ...
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What is μέγεθος referring to in Jewish War 3.4

In the Jewish War chapter 3.4, it says: μόνον [οὖν] εὑρίσκει Οὐεσπασιανὸν ταῖς χρείαις ἀναλογοῦντα καὶ τηλικούτου πολέμου μέγεθος ἀναδέξασθαι δυνάμενον "He found only Vespasian a match for the ...
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Do these Latin phrases make sense?

So I am working on a phrase I want to put on a piece of apparel I am making. The phrase in English has two lines. In English, the lines are as follows: "The Church must always be reformed" ...
Nicholas's user avatar
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"Qui meus tuus apud te locus, qui tuus velim ut meus"

In Letter XI of the apocryphal correspondence between Seneca and Saint Paul, the following passage is found Haut itaque te indignum prima facie epistolarum nominandum censeas, ne temptare me quam ...
Ferdinand Bardamu's user avatar
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"Ut optimus quisque unum pro multis donatum est caput"

In this passage taken from the apocryphal correspondence between Seneca and Saint Paul (Letter XII): Grassator iste, quisquis est, cui voluptas carnificina est et mendacium velamentum, tempori suo ...
Ferdinand Bardamu's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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If blood speaks, DNA is its voice

I'm trying to come up with a motto that pays homage to my forensic background. I'm considering sanguis ipso loquitor. Before I carve it into wood, I want to make sure I've not blundered grammatically.
Eques deVentus Occasus 's user avatar
3 votes
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Why ablative "natu" is used in these expressions?

In the novella Filia regis et monstrum horribile, by Andrew Olimpi, I have read (emphasis mine): Fīlia prīma nātū est puella pulchra. Sed fīlia secunda nātū pulchrior est quam soror sua. [...] Fīlia ...
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What does Martin Waldseemüller mean by "asie partis" in his map Carta Marina?

This webpage from Spanish BBC talks about the second main map by Martin Waldseemüller, the first mapper to name the continent America, called Carta Marina. There, we see the southern portion of ...
Quaestor's user avatar
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Usage of ablative in a sentence by Curtius

This text comes from Quintus Curtius Rufus Historiae Alexandri Magni, book 3, chapter 5 (emphasis mine): Mediam Cydnus amnis, de quo paulo ante dictum est, interfluit. Et tunc aestas erat, cuius ...
Charo's user avatar
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Why ablative "corporibus" and "funeribus" are used in this excerpt from Tacitus "Annals" XVI?

In Tacitus Annals XVI, 13, one can read (emphasis mine on the words that cause me difficulty): Vastata Campania turbine ventorum, qui villas arbusta fruges passim disiecit pertulitque violentiam ad ...
Charo's user avatar
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Do my Latin phrases make sense?

I'm attempting to create a Latin motto or saying to be used in a short story that I'm writing and want to ensure that it makes grammatical sense. I've attempted to figure this out by myself, but just ...
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LLPSI: Ch. 14, Ln. 38, "et oculōs aperiēns..."

My question stems from a passage of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata Familia Romana in chapter 14 on page 104 beginning at line 38 as follows. Question Does "aperiēns" modify oculōs even ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
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3 answers
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About the nominative on "dimitte nobis debita nostra"

The phrase dimitte nobis debita nostra belongs to the famous prayer Our Father in Latin. I can understand that dimitte is in the active imperative singular form and nobis is on dative of "us&...
hellofriends's user avatar
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LLPSI: Ch. 13, Ln. 120, 'Hōc annī tempore...'

My question stems from a passage of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata Familia Romana in chapter 13 on page 99 beginning at line 120 as follows. Question What is the role of “Hōc annī tempore” in the ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
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1 answer
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Haec verba tandem mercātōrem perturbātum aliquid cōnsōlāri videntur

In page 236 line 12–126 of lingua latina per se illustrata there is the following sentence Haec verba tandem mercātōrem perturbātum aliquid cōnsōlāri videntur. I gets to me that it is trying to say ...
Dolphínus's user avatar
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Syntax of sentences with the verb "pudet"

In Lewis and Short, I have seen that the verb pudeo is chiefly used as an impersonal verb. In fact, I have found some examples of such usage in chapter XXIII of Lingua latina per se illustrata. ...
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Position of reflexive pronouns

In Allen and Greenough all the examples of reflexive pronouns have them come before the verb, but Pliny the Younger in e.g. letter 6.20.11 has 'non moratus ultra proripit se effusoque cursu...' and ...
G. Lewis's user avatar
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Translation of "Fluctuat nec mergitur"

Hello fellow native speakers, For a tattoo with my sisters I wanted to translate the Latin motto “Fluctuat nec mergitur”, used by the city of Paris, into English. Searching for the correct translation ...
ChantalHill's user avatar
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How would you understand this sentence from Karlstadt's commentary on Augustine's de Spiritu et littera?

In his Augustinkommentar, Karlstadt attacks the opinions of many Catholic "scholastic" theologians. In this passage, he seems to attack both the Thomists and Gabriel Biel, but I lose the ...
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What's the role of the word "scribam" in this Cicero's sentence?

This sentence comes from a letter by Cicero to Atticus written when the former is in exile. It can be found in Epistulae ad Atticum 3, 5: Ad te quid scribam nescio. I understand that "nescio&...
Charo's user avatar
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How would you say "I can't help but wonder whether..." in Latin?

I am trying to translate the lyrics of the Eric Bogle's song "The Green Fields of France" to Latin. The first two verses of the last stanza of the song are: And I can't help but wonder, oh ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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ut sibi complaceam in Stabat Mater

Verse 10 of the Stabat Mater reads: Fac ut ardeat cor meum/ in amando Christum Deum/ ut sibi complaceam. I am stumped by "sibi" in line 3. Most translations give "that I may please him&...
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How would you translate "to" in "I am happy to still be a child." or "You are lucky to be alive."?

I know that English infinitives often do not correspond to Latin infinitives (for example, you cannot grammatically translate "Here to save the day." as "Hic servare diem."), and I ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
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Why is "se" used with "secum" in this quote from Livy?

In this quote from Livy (6.8.6): "ita quocumque se intulisset victoriam secum haud dubiam trahebat." "thus, in whatever direction he went, he carried certain victory with him." ...
tony's user avatar
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Greek "datives of agent" in Latin classical prose?

When including the following poetic examples from Horace and Ovid in what turned out to be a long answer to a previous post on datives of agent, I made this hesitant remark: Perhaps I'm wrong but I'd ...
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On the alleged passive meaning of so-called (miscalled?) "passive periphrastic"

As is well-known, the use of "datives of agent" in so-called "passive periphrastic" constructions (formed by the gerundive/verbal adjective with -nd- and the verb esse) like the ...
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Searching for a proper definition of "Ablative Absolute" (AA)

When including the following two examples from Cicero in what turned out to be a too long! answer to a previous post, a terminological question came to my mind: How would one classify those ...
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3 votes
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Should -que be used with a noun or adjective?

A recent question about linking words with -que prompted another question in my mind. If you have two sets of nouns with modifying adjectives, do you add -que to the adjective, noun, or whichever you ...
Adam's user avatar
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How would you say "The older a rabbit gets, the more it behaves like a dog."?

How would you say "The older a rabbit gets, the more it behaves like a dog." in Latin? The literal translation from English would be "Senior cuniculus sit, plus agit ut canis.", ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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Odyssey A.65: how is περὶ used in περὶ νόον ἐστὶ βροτῶν, περὶ δ᾿ ἱρὰ θεοῖσιν // ἀθανάτοισιν ἔδωκε?

The use of περὶ in verse 65 of Odyssey A is not entirely clear to me, neither in syntax nor in meaning: πῶς ἂν ἔπειτ᾿ Ὀδυσῆος ἐγὼ θείοιο λαθοίμην, ὃς περὶ μὲν νόον ἐστὶ βροτῶν, περὶ δ᾿ ἱρὰ θεοῖσιν ...
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How would you say "for the longest time" in Latin?

"For the longest time" is a name of a song by Billy Joel. And ReasonTV, a libertarian podcast, modified the lyrics of it to parody the Traveling Security Administration. George W. Bush ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
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Question about consecutio temporum in fabulae syrae

I am reading Fabulae Syrae and I am having some questions about consecutio temporum. I do know the basic rules from familia romana. However there are some sentences that are causing me some trouble. 1....
Guitu123's user avatar
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1 answer
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Use of 'suus' in 'ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est'

Seneca, Epistolae LXXI: ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est commonly translated as 'he who does not know which port he is heading to has no favourable wind'. Could anyone explain what ...
Alexandre's user avatar
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How do you say "Don't get too close!" in Latin?

So, how would you say "Don't get too close." in Latin? I know the Latin for "getting close" is "approximare", so my guess is that it starts with "Noli approximare...&...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
163 views

How would you translate "join", as in "join us" or "join the dead heroes" (i. e. "die in a war")?

I am trying to translate the lyrics of the Eric Bogle's song The Green Fields of France. In the first stanza, you have: I see by your gravestone, you were only nineteenwhen you joined the dead heroes ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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1 answer
2k views

Why is it "Gaudeamus igitur, *iuvenes dum* sumus!" rather than "Gaudeamus igitur, *dum iuvenes* sumus!"?

Why is it "Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus!" rather than "Gaudeamus igitur, dum iuvenes sumus!"? In English, "Let's be happy, therefore, young while we are." sounds ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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How would you translate "too" and "to" as in "The science is *too* bookish and nerdy *to* understand, oh no!" to Latin?

So, how would you say "The science is too bookish and nerdy to understand, oh no!" in Latin? My attempt would be "Scientia ita litteraria et incircumscripta est, ut non possit ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
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How do you say "a sign that" as in "That is *a sign that* your rabbit loves you."?

How do you say "a sign that" as in "That is a sign that your rabbit loves you."? Would it be "Id est signum quod tuus cuniculus te amet."? Or "Id est signum ut tuus ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
386 views

In the construction "magno argumento esse", does "argumento" take an explanatory infinitive?

Cicero, Phil. 2.16: Quod autem idem maestitiam meam reprehendit, idem iocum, magno argumento est me in utroque fuisse moderatum. Cicero, ND 1.1 (LCL 268): De qua tam variae sunt doctissimorum ...
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Is there a poetic term for breaking up a phrase, rather than a word?

In the classical rhetorical tradition, the term "tmesis" is used for breaking up a compound word, as in Ovid's circum virum dant for virum circumdant. Is there a term for breaking up a noun ...
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Which sounds more natural in latin?

I know you can often shuffle the order of words in Latin sentences, preserving the meaning of the sentence if you do it right. Still, there are some things that just don't sound "natural" or ...
YetAnotherUsr's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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Cethegus (...) recitatis litteris debilitatus atque abiectus conscientia repente conticuit. (Cic. Catil. 3, 10)

I was wondering about the correct/preferred syntactic analysis of recitatis litteris in the following complex sentence from Cicero: Tum Cethegus, qui paulo ante aliquid tamen de gladiis ac sicis, ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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9 votes
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Use of reflexive pronoun in passive periphrastic constructions

As I understand it: the reflexive pronoun is used when the object of a sentence relates to the subject e.g. puer cor suum sequitur - the boy follows his (own) heart. to convey a meaning of ...
grumio's user avatar
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How do you say "One more question for you." in Latin?

So, how do you say "One more question for you." in Latin? I think it would be "Unam plurem quaestionem ad te.", but I am not sure.
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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1 answer
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How is this perfect passive participle being used?

From Metamorphoses book II: nec minus Heliades fletus et, inania mortimunera, dant lacrimas, et caesae pectora palmisnon auditurum miseras Phaethonta querellas nocte dieque vocant adsternunturque ...
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3 votes
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How do you say "I've been serving my master my whole life." in Latin?

How do you say "I've been serving my master my whole life." in Latin? I think it is "Totam vitam servo dominum meum." (literal translation of Croatian "Cijeli život služim ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
150 views

LLPSI: Cap. XIII, '...quibus haec sunt nōmina...'

My question concerns the sentence which begins at Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, chapter 13, line 1. What are the cases of 'haec' and 'nōmina' in the following excerpt? "Annus in duodecim ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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LLPSI: "Mārcus Quīntum ad terram cadere uidet."

I am attempting to come to a elementary understanding any clauses in the Latin sentence "Mārcus Quīntum ad terram cadere uidet" on page 73 in the work entitled "Lingua Latina Per Se ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
176 views

Should apposition in ancient Greek be identified as juxtaposition or coordination?

I have noticed in Greek grammars that varying descriptions of the syntactic relationship of elements placed side-by-side (with no conjunction) have been alternately described as either A) (...
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