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Yes?

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Yes?

Postby elduce » Fri Dec 24, 2004 3:20 pm

Why does Latin not have an emphatic yes or no? And how is it that Spanish and French do have these words?

Quis ab bello contra Iraqem non mutatus est? aut bello ullo?
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Postby Turpissimus » Fri Dec 24, 2004 6:48 pm

Why does Latin not have an emphatic yes or no?


Who can say? They certainly don't have the exact words, but you can put together emphatic ways of saying yes and no. For example, yes: sane, etiam, ita. No: non ita, non vero, minime.

You can, as I'm sure you're aware, simply answer questions like "Can you cook?" with "I can". Some scholars in the Middle ages were also perplexed by this "defect" in Latin. Peter Abelard in 1121 wrote a philosophical treatise called Sic et Non (thus and not), attempting to put together a simple affirmative and negative in a language which didn't possess it.

However, Vulgar Latin, or some later period of common speech, might have had these words, but since the words for yes vary quite a bit in Romance languages the words probably developed after the colonization of these areas. There's the langue d'oc in the south of France, the langue d'oil in the north (oil, which should have an umlaut or diaresis or whatever over the i, later became oui), and the langue de si in Italy.

Quis ab bello contra Iraqem non mutatus est? aut bello ullo?


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Re: Yes?

Postby Democritus » Sun Dec 26, 2004 7:28 pm

elduce wrote:Why does Latin not have an emphatic yes or no? And how is it that Spanish and French do have these words?


I don't know. :)

German has a word doch which has no exact equivalent word in English. It's a way of disagreeing with someone, but with a positive assertion. We can do this in English, too, of course, but we just don't have a single all-purpose word for this scenario, instead we use phrases like "yes they do" or "oh yes we have."

http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/dings.cgi?o=3001;count=50;service=de-en;query=Doch
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Postby elduce » Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:19 am

Thanks both for the help.
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Postby mingshey » Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:34 am

Just curious.
What's that "est" in Matt 5:37 in Vulgate?

http://www.bibles.org.uk/pdf/bibles/Lat ... #page=1349
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:53 am

Well, speaking of Romance languages, yes, and no words, French also has the word si, which means a lot of things, but one use is in a question like this -

"Does he not love me?"

"Si, he loves you."

Seems like it's like the German word doch. Anyway, the si word slipped into French too, so it wasn't purely la langue d'oil.
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Postby FiliusLunae » Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:54 am

Yeah, GlottalGreekGeek. It's used to affirm something, resulting from a question with a "non". One time, I was talking with a friend I have in Quebec, who only speaks French. I was telling him how Modern French has the "oui", but in Occitan, it is "oc", and then, "si/sim" in Italian/Spanish/Portuguese. Then, he said, rather puzzled, "You know, we do use 'si'". Knowing the reason why already, I asked him in what contexts or when it was that they used "si", instead of "oui". I just wanted to see what he would tell me. He thought a bit, and he didn't really know. He just said something like, "I don't know... we just say things like 'si, I did it'. So, I guess the "si" slipped in as an emphatic "oui", to contradict a "non", e.g. -Tu ne me vois pas? -Si, je te vois.

Well, just like the example you gave. hehe.

P.S. We won't take into account "vis" or Parisien "ouais". :D
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Postby benissimus » Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:54 am

If you should look up the etymology of the word "yes", you might see some interesting parallels ;)
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:04 am

Of course there are the other French uses for 'si' - it can also mean 'if' (as in "Si c'etait vrai" - some book title I saw in the French section of a used bookstore - or in "s'il vous [te] plait" - "if it pleases you/Please!"). It can also mean 'so' with adjectives, such as "Je suis si petite" (a line from "T'es beau tu sais", one of my faviorite Piaf songs).

How do these other uses of 'si' correspond to Latin, I wonder.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:51 am

That is because the si in Romance languages is really two words... one comes from the Latin si "if", and the other comes from sic "thus, so". Many a Latin newbie has gone astray by using "si" to answer a yes or no question in Latin :) I wonder, is the one with the dropped letter accented in any language?
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Postby Amy » Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:36 pm

Spanish has sí and si meaning yes and if respectively
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Postby Skylax » Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:16 pm

mingshey wrote:Just curious.
What's that "est" in Matt 5:37 in Vulgate?


:) "It is, it is". But Cicero would have perhaps said "ita est".

By the way, about OC and OIL meaning "yes" in langue d'oc and langue d'oïl respectively, the Latin origin is the same : Hoc ille (fecit) "This one did it". Southern French saved the (h)oc and Northern French both words (h)o(c)il(le).

Happy New Year to all of you.
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Postby FiliusLunae » Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:51 am

benissimus wrote:I wonder, is the one with the dropped letter accented in any language?

When I first read your question, I didn't really understand it. Do you mean actually accented like, as Amy wrote, "sí" in Spanish?
Well, Portuguese has se(if)/sim(yes). One thing you'll notice in Portuguese is that in affirmative replies, the question verb is simply repeated, somewhat like in Latin, by itself (e.g. -Podes ler-me? -Posso [Can you read me? -(Yes), I can]), or, followed by a "sim", where in other languages you would see it before, e.g. -Ele não é o teu pai? -É sim. (-He's not your father? -He is, yes.)
Italian has se(if)/sì(yes), but it also has così, coming from "eccum sic", meaning "so, in this manner".
Catalan, like Spanish, has si(if)/sí(yes).
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Postby 1%homeless » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:02 am

Southern French saved the (h)oc and Northern French both words (h)o(c)il(le).


This is interesting. I remeber avec was apud hoc or something similar to that. Any way, I had no idea that Occitan was named after a yes and no dichotomy... If that is the case, how did Oc-citan come about? Yes city? Hehe. :wink:

Is sic appropriate as just a single reply?

Example:

Character1: Do this.

Character2: Non.

Character1: Sic.
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