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A Conditional

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A Conditional

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:09 pm

Grammatici Eruditi...

In the 1st Catilinarian, Cicero says...

Magno me metu liberabis, dum modo inter me atque te murus intersit. (V.10).

"You will free me from great fear provided that there remains a wall between me and you."

I would describe this as a future more vivid with the protasis in the present subjunctive substituting for the typical future or future perfect, giving a kind of rhetorical emphasis of the need for the wall, a mixed condition. But is there a better category or better meta-language to describe it?
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Hylander » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:18 pm

Proviso clauses regularly take the subjunctive. Oderint dum metuant.

Allen & Greenough, sec. 528:

528. Dum , modo , dummodo, and tantum ut , introducing a Proviso, take the Subjunctive. The negative with these particles is nē :1. “ōderint dum metuant ” (Off. 1.97) , let them hate, if only they fear.
2. “valētūdō modo bona sit ” (Brut. 64) , provided the health be good.
3. “ dummodo inter mē atque tē mūrus intersit ” (Cat. 1.10) , provided only the wall (of the city) is between us.
4. “ tantum ut sciant ” (Att. 16.11.1) , provided only they know.
5. “ modo nē sit ex pecudum genere ” (Off. 1.105) , provided [in pleasure] he be not of the herd of cattle.
6. “id faciat saepe, dum nē lassus fīat ” (Cato R. R. 5.4) , let him do this often, provided he does not get tired.
7. dummodo ea (sevēritās) “nē variētur” (Q. Fr. 1.1.20) , provided only it (strictness) be not allowed to swerve.
8. “ tantum nē noceat ” (Ov. M. 9.21) , only let it do no harm.

[*] Note.--The Subjunctive with modo is hortatory or optative; that with dum and dummodo, a development from the use of the Subjunctive with dum in temporal clauses, § 553 (compare the colloquial so long as my health is good, I don't care).

[*] a. The Hortatory Subjunctive without a particle sometimes expresses a proviso:—
1. “ sint Maecēnātēs, nōn deerunt Marōnēs ” (Mart. 8.56.5 ) , so there be Mœcenases, Virgils will not be lacking.

[*] b. The Subjunctive with ut (negative nē ) is sometimes used to denote a proviso, usually with ita in the main clause:—
1. “probāta condiciō est, sed ita ut ille praesidia dēdūceret ” (Att. 7.14.1) , the terms were approved, but only on condition that he should withdraw the garrisons.

[*] Note.--This is a development of the construction of Characteristic or Result.

For a clause of Characteristic expressing Proviso, see § 535. d.
ro


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0001%3Apart%3D2%3Asection%3D10%3Asubsection%3D8%3Asmythp%3D528
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:04 pm

Hylander wrote:Proviso clauses regularly take the subjunctive. Oderint dum metuant.



Yes, of course. My question, however, is how would you describe or explain the entire sentence as a conditional?
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Hylander » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:23 am

I would describe this as a future more vivid with the protasis in the present subjunctive substituting for the typical future or future perfect, giving a kind of rhetorical emphasis of the need for the wall, a mixed condition.


But there are no proviso clauses with future or future perfect verbs in Latin. The subjunctive is not "rhetorical emphasis" -- it's syntax. Proviso clauses require the subjunctive as a matter of syntax. What's the point of postulating some other type of construction underlying them?
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:27 am

Hylander wrote:
I would describe this as a future more vivid with the protasis in the present subjunctive substituting for the typical future or future perfect, giving a kind of rhetorical emphasis of the need for the wall, a mixed condition.


But there are no proviso clauses with future or future perfect verbs in Latin. The subjunctive is not "rhetorical emphasis" -- it's syntax. Proviso clauses require the subjunctive as a matter of syntax. What's the point of postulating some other type of construction underlying them?


Yes, I get your point, and I agree. However, it looks to me as though we have a future more vivid with the proviso clause acting as the protasis. Would that be a fair assessment?
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Hylander » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:43 am

I think it's fair to describe a sentence with a proviso clause as a kind of conditional, where the proviso clause functions as a kind of protasis, but the proviso clause has a syntax of its own which is different from other types of conditionals, and the protasis simply takes whatever tense/mood combination it would if it were a stand-alone sentence. Again, I don't see any advantage to shoehorning this type of condition, with a proviso
for "protasis" and a subjunctive verb, into some other type of conditional.
Last edited by Hylander on Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:46 am

Hylander wrote:I think it's fair to describe a sentence with a proviso clause as a kind of conditional, where the proviso clause functions as a kind of protasis, but the proviso clause has a syntax of its own which is different from other types of conditionals, and the protasis simply takes whatever tense/mood combination it would if it were a stand-alone sentence.


Thanks, very helpful.
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Re: A Conditional

Postby Hylander » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:19 am

I should have written "the apodosis simply takes whatever tense/mood combination it would if it were a stand-alone sentence."

That's true of all types of conditionals other than contrary-to-fact and future "less vivid".
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