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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Coordinating positive and negative imperatives

For positive commands, Latin uses the imperative: Da mihi librum "Give me the book." For negative commands, it uses a number of constructions of which noli + inf. is most common: Noli mihi ...
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Construction with ecce

According to the usual authorities the particle ecce is construed with the accusative in pre-classical Latin, but with the nominative in classical and post-classical Latin. Thus, Lewis and Short: “(...
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Why is the infinitive used instead of a genitive gerund (e.g. "consilium ceperunt ex oppido profugere")?

I was wondering about the grammatical reason(s) whereby a(n expected) genitive gerund/gerundive is sometimes replaced by an infinitive. Here are some representative examples of this phenomenon: ...
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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 ...
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Greek: unattainable wishes about the present

This is a question about how a specific type of unattainable (counterfactual) wish about the present is expressed in Greek. I'm looking for a good way of translating sentences like the following into ...
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Accusative case marking of subjects in infinitival clauses

The present question is based on a previous discussion with Draconis and on a previous question raised by Joonas. The Accusativus cum Infinitivo (AcI) construction is often regarded in linguistics as ...
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Does the indefinite pronoun/determiner "quă" only exist as an enclitic?

I recently learned that there is an indefinite determiner and pronoun quă used in the feminine nominative singular and neuter nominative/accusative plural with the sense "any(one)" (...
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Is "Te id dicente id non fit." good Latin for "You saying so does not make it so."?

Is "Te id dicente id non fit." good Latin for "You saying so does not make it so."? There are a couple of things I am not sure about it. When the participle is in ablative ("...
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Why can’t we wipe the slate clean in Latin?

After reading Luchonachos’ previous post, whose Latin text contains an adjectival resultative predicate (claudus effectus est ‘he became lame’), the following question came to my mind: Why is it the ...
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101 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 ...
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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....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Mr Bean's Latin lyrics

I just saw an episode of Mr Bean and once again heard the choir sing in Latin. Based on what I remember hearing and what I found online, the four segments sung are: Start: Ecce homo qui est faba &...
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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 ...
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On the syntactic distribution of ablative gerund and nominative present participle

I've always taken it for granted that in Classical Latin nominative present participles cannot be replaced by ablative gerunds without a meaning change. For example, in the following case the ...
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General vs specific "mors" and "vita"

To my understanding, words like vita and mors can either refer to the general concepts of life and death ("life is precious", "remember death") or to specific people's lifespans or ...
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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 (...
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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. ...
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On the (necessary or typical?) relationship between double accusative and causation

I was wondering if there is a syntactic/semantic generalization that can account for the so-called "double accusative" predicative frame in Latin (verbs with person & thing (docere ...
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80 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 ...