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Relative Pronouns in Attic and French

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Relative Pronouns in Attic and French

Postby pster » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:10 pm

French has an elegant and strict rule. The relative pronouns qui and que must be preceded by ce when there is not an antecedent. Thus:

The woman that I love...
La femme que j'aime...

But:

J'aime ce qu'il a dit...
I love that which he said...

This rule is very strict and I don't believe it is ever broken.

Now, this gives me an opportunity to ask the precise question that has been nagging me for a while: Does Attic have a strict rule like this that requires the insertion of a demonstrative pronoun when there is no antecedent? If not, how, how often and under what circumstances does one proceed otherwise? I would like answers that if possible make no reference to either indefinite relatives nor attraction.

It seems that this rule gets broken in Attic but I haven't been able to figure out exactly how. I am finding English to be useless as a guide because I don't know and almost don't want to know the rules of English, so if you can abstain from making reference to English usage, that would be nice also.

I have some inchoate thoughts and speculations about it, but I am really looking for a sharp answer as this has really been bothering me.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Relative Pronouns in Attic and French

Postby pster » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:56 pm

Bump. Can nobody help a brother out?
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Re: Relative Pronouns in Attic and French

Postby NateD26 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:11 pm

If only I knew French. :?


The woman that I love...
La femme que j'aime...

But:

J'aime ce qu'il a dit...
I love that which he said...

Well, Greek have something similar with the demonstrative pronoun that may or may not
appear in the sentence, depending on the need for emphasis or lack thereof.

You can say φιλῶ ταῦτα ἃ εἶπεν or φιλῶ ἃ εἶπεν: the former seems to point out to certain
things that were just said, while the latter is more inclusive.
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Re: Relative Pronouns in Attic and French

Postby NateD26 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:44 pm

I think this site has some comparisons of the French & Classical Greek demonstrative pronouns:
http://www.carolandray.plus.com/TAKE/Pronouns.html
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