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Chapter 2, PR #7 & #18

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Chapter 2, PR #7 & #18

Postby retypepassword » Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:02 pm

Salvete,

#7: Me vitare turbam iubes
I originally put, "You order the crowd to avoid me," thinking that turbam is in the direct object form because it's the direct object of the verb iubes. However, I checked Benissimus' Wheelock's answers, and it said #7 is supposed to be, "You order me to avoid the crowd." Why is it ordering me and now turbam? How would the sentence be changed to make it say, "You order the crowd to avoid me"?

#18: If your land is strong, nothing terrifies the sailors and you ought to praise your good fortune.
This is mainly about sentence order; all my noun and verb forms are the same as those in Benissimus' answer document. I put, "Si patria tua valet, nihil nautas terret et fortunam magnam tuam laudare debes." According to Benissimus, it's "Si valet tua patria, nihil nautas terret et debes magnam fortunam tuam laudare." Does the different sentence order change the meaning of the sentence?

Thanks in advance.
Valete.

Edit: I understand Benissimus' answers are not official, but I'm certainly not an advanced Latin student; I'm just a self-studier.
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Re: Chapter 2, PR #7 & #18

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:20 pm

Hi,

retypepassword wrote:#7: Me vitare turbam iubes
I originally put, "You order the crowd to avoid me," thinking that turbam is in the direct object form because it's the direct object of the verb iubes. However, I checked Benissimus' Wheelock's answers, and it said #7 is supposed to be, "You order me to avoid the crowd." Why is it ordering me and now turbam? How would the sentence be changed to make it say, "You order the crowd to avoid me"?


The sentence, without any context, is ambiguous due to the free word order in Latin -- I mean, ambiguous in the sense that it could be read either way in the right context. But I understand that Latin doesn't have perfectly free word order in that there's a preferred word order, and this includes "subject before object" so I think it's more natural to take "me" to be the subject of "vitare" rather than "turbam."

But just so I can use this example for the third time in the past two weeks, there's a Roman story about an oracle that said

aio te Aeacida Romanos vincere posse

which can either mean "I say, Aeacides, that you can defeat the Romans" or "I say, Aeacides, that the Romans can defeat you," and so the guy marches off to war and the oracle is right no matter what happens. So these types of sentences are genuinely ambiguous without context.

#18: If your land is strong, nothing terrifies the sailors and you ought to praise your good fortune.
This is mainly about sentence order; all my noun and verb forms are the same as those in Benissimus' answer document. I put, "Si patria tua valet, nihil nautas terret et fortunam magnam tuam laudare debes." According to Benissimus, it's "Si valet tua patria, nihil nautas terret et debes magnam fortunam tuam laudare." Does the different sentence order change the meaning of the sentence?


Usually, different word orders correspond to different elements being emphasized rather than changes in meaning. But again, Latin does have a neutral word order where nothing is emphasized, but since you're using Wheelock, I know there's a section early on there that describes the normal word order (but I don't have my copy right now so I can't tell you exactly where it is).
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Postby retypepassword » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:07 pm

According to Wheelock's, Latin is/was generally written Subject-Object-Verb. Wouldn't it be clearer to change Me vitare turbam iubes to Me turbam vitare iubes? Then, the sentence would be (SOV)V; the first SOV set being the Object, and the second being the Verb.
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Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:51 pm

First, the reason Wheelock uses that order is because it's the order Seneca actually used. Second, if by clearer you mean non- or even less ambiguous, I believe the answer is no -- basically context always trumps word order in these sort of things -- if by clearer, you mean more usual or more neutral, I'm not entirely sure, but I think you'd be right.
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