Textkit Logo

Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Einhard » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:14 pm

Salvete!

It's been a while, but I'm back again with a query which, once it's been answered by someone else, will no doubt seem obvious in retrospect!

It's to do with the perfect passive participle and whether it can be used with esse to indicate the present.

For example,

"Catena qua canis vincitur ex ferro facta est"

Can facta est be translated as both "was made" and "is made"? Can it be both the perfect passive indicative and a form of the perfect passive participle?!

Thanks,

Einhard.
User avatar
Einhard
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:05 pm
Location: Hibernia

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:38 pm

Salve Einharde

Yes.
You can also say, "Catena quâ canis vincitur ferro est."
Ita est. Et hoc tibi dicere licet.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:59 am

Einhard wrote:"Catena qua canis vincitur ex ferro facta est"

Can facta est be translated as both "was made" and "is made"? Can it be both the perfect passive indicative and a form of the perfect passive participle?!


Not really. It is possible to read it as a predicate adjective, but more normal as a periphrastic.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Essorant » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:06 pm

"Is made" in English (even though it is literally an equivelant construction) doesn't carry enough of a past tense connotation on behalf of the word "made" to be a good equivelant in meaning. Therefore it makes more sense just to translate it as "was made".
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:29 pm

Essorant wrote:"Is made" in English (even though it is literally an equivelant construction) doesn't carry enough of a past tense connotation on behalf of the word "made" to be a good equivelant in meaning. Therefore it makes more sense just to translate it as "was made".


"is made" is a present passive in english (and would be faciat in latin). However, if you were parsing facta as a predicate adjective (like gallia divisa est/gaul is divided) than you could indeed translate it as "is made from iron." I don't recommend this translation, though. It is not as clear as if a/ab were used to designate agent (passive sentences are an inversion of actant/patient where the patient becomes the subject and the actant, if present, is introduced by "by" in english a/ab in latin, hypo in greek, par in french, etc), but "was made from Iron" where facta forms a periphrastic with "to be" is a better and more natural reading than parsing facta as a predicate adjective.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:43 pm

In Plautus's "E rubigine est, non è ferro factum" (Rudens, 5.3.14) what difference if you translate "is made" or "was made" in English? If anything, it works better in the present there, I think.

In Plauti comoediâ Rudens nomine, habes hoc: "E rubigine est, non è ferro factum". Quid refert an anglicè vertas per tempus praesens? Meliùs istîc per praesens, dico.

Plautus, Rudens, actus quintus, scaena tertia, versus decimus et tertius et quartus, wrote:Quid me intro revocas? Hoc volo hic ante ostium extergere. Nam hoc quidem pol e robigine est, et non e ferro factum. Ita quanto magis extergeo, rutilum atque tenuius fit.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:37 pm

I totally agree with Adrianus. A perfect passive verb is very often defined as a past action that has resulted in a present state. In Einhard's sentence the phrase can, and in fact should be translated thusly:

Catena ex ferro facta est The chain is made of iron.

Latin Perfect passive verbs are periphrastic. Latin does not actually have a perfect passive verb, at least not in the way that it clearly has a perfect active verb (feci). Rather it uses a perfect passive participle in conjunction with the verb to be (factum esse). A true translation of the sentence would be thus:

Catena ex ferro facta est The chain is having been made from iron.

What sort of chain is it? It is a having been made of iron chain. It is a facta ex ferro chain.
When you think about it, this corresponds exactly to the English translation, 'The chain is made of iron', which some seem to be worried is in the present tense. Technically it isn't.

The chain is made from iron. 'is' is certainly present tense, but 'made' is a perfect passive participle, corresponding exactly to the Latin 'facta.'

A true present tense sentence would be 'The chain is being made out of iron.'

The problem is, English has many more subtle distinction in tense than Latin.

Perfect passives can be translated either as a true past tense, or with a present tense, depending on context.
'domus deleta est' can clearly be translated as 'The house was destroyed.' Even though it is true to say that the past action has resulted in a present state of a destroyed house, there is no house left, and it works better to say the house was destroyed. However, one could justify translating domus deleta est as 'the house is destroyed'. That's what kind of house it is.

However, if one was talking about the construction of the house, and stated 'domus e lapide facta est', this is clearly best translated as 'the house is made of stone', unless the context is historical... it really depends on context.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:10 pm

adrianus wrote:In Plautus's "E rubigine est, non è ferro factum" (Rudens, 5.3.14) what difference if you translate "is made" or "was made" in English?


First, I think your citation is wrong. I have that line as 5.2.

Second, my version has e robigine, non est e ferro factum

Finally, the line ought to be translated as a past tense: "from rust, not from iron [this] was made."
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:I totally agree with Adrianus. A perfect passive verb is very often defined as a past action that has resulted in a present state.


Hence "is made" which is present passive, is not an adequate translation. A perfect passive is not translated as a present passive, even if it is perfective in aspect (and latin does not distinguish between a perfective past and a simple past).

In Einhard's sentence the phrase can, and in fact should be translated thusly:

Catena ex ferro facta est The chain is made of iron.


You are misunderstanding not only the perfect tense in general but specifically the latin perfect. In english (and greek) the perfect is a past completed action with present implications. However, it is still a PAST action. Even in a language which distinuishes between a simple past of some sort and a perfect, a perfect passive should be translated a past tense. The french perfect lacks a "simple past" and is thus used in this capacity. Yet when made passive it is NOT translated into an english present tense. The same is true in German (where the perfect and simple past have no real difference). In greek, there IS a difference between the aorist and perfect, yet STILL we do no translate a perfect passive with an english present.

The best translation is "the chain WAS MADE from iron" nor "is made."

Latin Perfect passive verbs are periphrastic. Latin does not actually have a perfect passive verb

Only it does. That is like saying we don't have a future, because our future (will go, will make, etc) is periphrastic. The perfect passive is like english, german, french, greek, italian, and others in that some tenses are formed with auxiliaries. This does not mean they aren't full verbs.



Catena ex ferro facta est The chain is having been made from iron.

This is to mistake constructions, which play a large part in grammar (see the various works of Fillmore, Croft, Croft & Cruse, Goldberg, etc). The english future tense originated from the volitional "will," as in "it is my will that this be done." However, it is now used purely as an auxiliary to form a future tense, where the auxiliary is semantically bleached, providing only the tense.

What sort of chain is it? It is a having been made of iron chain. It is a facta ex ferro chain.
When you think about it, this corresponds exactly to the English translation, 'The chain is made of iron', which some seem to be worried is in the present tense. Technically it isn't.


"The chain was made from iron" allows for the past tense and the passive tense of the periphrastic construction. Why on earth would you choose a present tense passive over this?
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Einhard » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:28 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. I can see why some would say that "is made" is incorrect, or at least less correct. It seems to be something of a grey area, governed by subjective opinion rather than absolute grammatical rules. The sentence itself illustrates this. It comes from Lingua Latina, and the surrounding text is in the present tense. Thus, I thought that "The chain was made", while technically correct, would be slightly incongruous. I suppose it really depends on what makes sense in translation.
User avatar
Einhard
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:05 pm
Location: Hibernia

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:42 pm

Einhard wrote:It comes from Lingua Latina, and the surrounding text is in the present tense. Thus, I thought that "The chain was made", while technically correct, would be slightly incongruous.

You're right.
Rectè dicis.

oberon wrote:"The chain was made from iron" allows for the past tense and the passive tense of the periphrastic construction. Why on earth would you choose a present tense passive over this?

"Why on earth"??

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae...
All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae occupy...

Why translate "All Gaul was divided into three parts"? Can you find a published translation in English that does, oberon?
Cur aliter quàm sic anglicè vertas? Potesne, ô oberon, exemplum in traductione anglicâ invenire quod sic facit?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:28 pm

adrianus wrote:Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae...
All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae occupy...

Why translate "All Gaul was divided into three parts"? Can you find a published translation in English that does, oberon?
[/quote]

Did you even read what I said?
oberon wrote:However, if you were parsing facta as a predicate adjective (like gallia divisa est/gaul is divided) than you could indeed translate it as "is made from iron."


I said that when parsing sum+ participle you can parse it as a predicate adjective. Sometimes, as in gallia divisa est this is the best reading. However, this is the exception, not the rule. The periphrastic perfect passive is "was X" not "is X." Only when you assume that the participle is to be read as a predicate adjective should est or other forms of sum be understood as verbs independent of a passive construction.

As for translations, a quick look through Plautus translations reveals past tense translations of your quote.

There are times when what looks like a periphrastic passive past should be interpreted as "to be"+ participle-as-adjective. This isn't one of them. "The chain was made from iron" is more natural not only for latin but also in english.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Einhard » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:33 pm

I think that as an independent sentence, then "the chain was made from iron" is indeed more correct. However, as you acknowledge oberon, it's sometimes best to translate as a predicate nominative rather than a periphrastic, and within the context of the surrounding sentences in the passge, I think this may be one of those times. It's good to know though that it is something of a grey area, and that, in certain circumstances, one would not be entirely wrong to choose "is made" rather than the alternative.
User avatar
Einhard
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:05 pm
Location: Hibernia

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:06 pm

oberon wrote:First, I think your citation is wrong. I have that line as 5.2.

Different editors divide the scenes in different way. Schneider (Rudens, 1824) and Riley (The Comedies of Plautus, 1881) have it in 5.3. I didn't check it in Leo (where it's 5.2) or Lindsay.
Redactores variè inter se scaenas dividunt. Recensiones de Schneider et de Riley, non Leonis nec de Lindsay, citò consultavi.

oberon wrote:As for translations, a quick look through Plautus translations reveals past tense translations of your quote.

I know. Nothing wrong with that. I say the present tense might be better in modern English and reflect better the sense in Latin. Note that an older translation may use "has been made" rather than "was made" to convey the sense of "present perfect" in English.
Id scio. Licet. Quoàd attinet ad sensum loci fideliorem, per linguam nostrorum dierum anglicam, usum praesentis temporis praefero. Meliùs "has been made" quàm "was made" istîc in traductionibus serioribus anglicé.

You said / scripsisti hoc: "Why on earth would you choose a present tense passive over this?"
You said / et hoc: "There are times when what looks like a periphrastic passive past should be interpreted as "to be"+ participle-as-adjective"
You said / et hoc: "This isn't one of them. "The chain was made from iron" is more natural not only for latin but also in english."
How do you know that ("This isn't one of them" & "more natural not only for latin but also in english"), or what evidence have you for that?
Quomodò id scis? Vel ubi est argumentum?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:55 pm

Addendum
A&G, §403.2, wrote:2. Material:
erat totus ex fraude et mendacio factus ([Cicero, pro Cluentio] Clu. 72) , he was entirely made up of fraud and falsehood. [Nota benè: non est tempus praeteritum plusquamperfectum // not "he had been", note. Adrianus hanc adnotationem scripsit.]
...
factum de cautibus antrum (Ov. M. 1.575), a cave formed of rocks.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Essorant » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:58 am

"is made" is a present passive in english (and would be faciat in latin).


But faciat is active. Am I misunderstanding something?
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:15 am

Essorant wrote:
"is made" is a present passive in english (and would be faciat in latin).


But faciat is active. Am I misunderstanding something?


No, I meant to say fit. My error

I say the present tense might be better in modern English and reflect better the sense in Latin. Note that an older translation may use "has been made" rather than "was made" to convey the sense of "present perfect" in English.


First, "has been made" is not conveying the sense of the present perfect. "Has been made" is a perfect passive in english.

The problem here is that latin does not distinguish between a simple past and a perfect. The perfect is a past action. It can be translated as an english perfect or simple past, and this depends not only on context but also to a large degree on the translator's choice.

In other words, conveying the sense of the english perfect is often an incorrect translation, because english, (like greek) makes a distinction which latin does not. Its like the continous present in english (he is making). I have yet to come across a language which has this as a present tense. So translating present tense verbs from latin, greek, german, or french is made more difficult because english often uses the continous present.


How do you know that ("This isn't one of them" & "more natural not only for latin but also in english"), or what evidence have you for that?


First let's go back to the options. Either facta est is a perfect passive, in which case it should not be translated with "is," (which is present not past) or it is a predicate adjective + copula, in which case facta is simply an adjective (not a periphrastic with est) and "is" is correct, because in this case est is the only verb, and it is present (as opposed to be part of a verbal periphrastic construction).

One reason facta should not be read as an adjective is pretty simple. Adjectives are descriptive in particular ways, and certain verbs lend themselves to such uses. For example, "divided" is easily read as an adjective. Likewise, "the door is closed," "His head was turned," the painting was colored" and so forth all use verbs as adjectives (participles). This is because they are describing what is or could be a state or aspect of something.

"to make" does not lend itself to adjectival use. "Made" is a one time occurance the results of which are permanent (barring destruction). "Made" is not descriptive in the way "colored" or "divided" is. It is in all forms an action. In the sentence "the book is colored" the adjective colored describes the book. However, in "the chain is made" made doesn't describe the chain (it isn't really a quality or aspect of the chain the way that colored is of a book); rather, the passive "is made" describes an EVENT (which makes it a verb). So it doesn't work well as a predicate adjective. This reading is strengthened by the PP "out of iron." The prepositional phrase is adverbial in that it describes the PROCESS (a verbal element) of making.

"What does the book look like?" "It is colored." Colored describes the book.
"What is the book made out of?" "The book is made out of paper." "out of paper" is a description of how the book was made (an action). Adverbs describe the "how" of actions, not adjectives.

Also, this copula+ predicate adjective is where the passive construction came from. See, e.g. Allen & Greenough 495: "From this predicate use arises the compound tenses of the passive,- the participle of completed action with the incomplete tenses of esse developing the idea of past time: as, interfectus est, he was, (or has been) killed.

Moreover, it is far less common for the perfect participle to carry present meaning (which is why there is a present participle). The same is true for the perfect in general.

Finally, the ex ferro is akin to an agent of a passive construction, forcing a passive reading rather than a predicate adjective reading.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Essorant » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:32 pm

When you think about it, this corresponds exactly to the English translation, 'The chain is made of iron', which some seem to be worried is in the present tense. Technically it isn't.


Actually the verb is in present tense, just as it is in Latin. "Is made" is more like the Latin in structure, but not usually in meaning. The difference I think is that when we say "The chain is made of iron", we focus on the tense of "is" for the sentence, rather than the past tense of "made" and therefore "is" determines the tense of the sentence more than the participle "made". But in Latin I think it is usually the other way around. Instead of focusing on the tense "est", the focus is on the tense of the participle/adjective facta, and therefore the participle itself determines the tense more than the est.
Last edited by Essorant on Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:37 pm

Cripes. Who would have thought such a topic would get people so worked up. I am actually quite enjoying this. It is great to have a forum where people can debate something as interesting as the finer points of Latin grammar.

Oberon, I am afraid I am still going to have to disagree totally with your asseessment of this matter. Having said that, I am not entirely certain of the context of the original sentence, and don't have the time to re-read the whole posting. Nevertheless, here is my summary of how 'catena ex ferro facta est might be translated.
Ultimately, context is what matters, not grammatical rules, not what Lingua Latina, or Fillmore, or Bennett, or Allen and Greenough, or Gilbert and Sullivan say. Grammatical rules are based on observations of language, but do not dictate language. Common sense must rule.

"is made" is a present passive in english

Sorry, but I don't agree... 'is being made' is a present passive in English, or a present progressive passive as Grammarians might say. 'Is made' is a combination of the present verb 'to be' and the perfect passive participle of 'to make' It is a mathematical equation. est (present =0) + facta (past =-1) = -1. It is a past action resulting in a present state. The Latin perfect is frequently used to describe the present.

Why on earth would you choose a present tense passive over this?

I haven't - see above.

You are misunderstanding not only the perfect tense in general but specifically the latin perfect.


I don't think I am. 'est' is not past tense. 'facta' is past tense. 'It is made'. 'catena ex ferro facta est' literally means 'the chain is having been made of iron'. It does not matter whether you describe it as a periphrastic perfect, or est with a predicative adjective or as green cheese. Behind the grammatical explanation lies a present verb plus a perfect participle. that is what the Latin perfect passive is.

In english (and greek) the perfect is a past completed action with present implications. However, it is still a PAST action.

Yes, the making of the chain was a past action, and now here sits the chain, before our eyes, in the present. How is it in the past? Surely i could not see it if it was in the past?

Once again, context matters.
catenam viderunt. ex ferro facta est. They saw a chain. It was made of iron.
Here we use the past tense in English because of context.

'ecce! catenam video. ex ferro facta est.' 'Look! I see a chain. It is made of iron.'
Who would say 'it was made of iron' here? That makes it sound like it suddenly vanished.

If, as you argue, Oberon, 'it is made of iron' is a present passive, then the Latin would have had to be to be 'catena ex ferro fit.' But this cannot work, as this would mean 'it is being made of iron', implying it is magically happening before our eyes.


Finally, English does not have a proper future tense. It just doesn't. It has multiple ways to express the future, but it does not have a future tense in the way Latin has amabo, amabis etc.
Equally, Latin does not have a perfect passive. It has a means of expressing the perfect passive, which is the verb to be combined with a participle.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:49 pm

Essorant, despite what it may seem like above, I really wouldn't argue that 'is made' is not a present tense, bu nor that it entirely is. For all intents and purposes it certainly can be argued such. But, as you say, it has a perfect participle in it, and must be said to be a past action resulting in a present state, as I am arguing about perfect tenses. The perfect tense is unique and straddles the line between past and present. And 'is made' can certainly NOT be rendered in this case by the Latin present passive, which would have to be translated as 'being made'.

Again, my other example of the destroyed house applies.

domus ardebat multas horas. denique senex reveniebat. 'eheu!' inquit. 'mea domus deleta est.'

How might we translate this?
Sure, we could say 'My house has been destroyed.' But it is just as likely that we could say 'My house is destroyed.' There is really not much of a diference.
Is the second example present tense? Perhaps, perhaps not, but certainly if you put it back into Latin using a Latin present passive you would end up with a totally different meaning.
'mea domus deletur.' clearly means 'my house is being destroyed', a far cry from either 'My house has been destroyed' or 'My house is destroyed.'
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:11 pm

Lastly (yeah, right) Oberon, I 100% disagree with your assessment of the distinction between adjectival use of words like coloured and divided vs. made. They are exactly the same.

Gallia est omnis divisa et. can be translated as 'Gaul is completely divided' OR 'Gaul has been completely divided'. There is NO DIFFERENCE. Nor is there any real difference in calling the phrase an adjective with the verb to be, or a perfect passive of the verb divido. A perfect passive is the verb 'to be' combined with a participle, which is an adjective with tense, or rather an adjective with relative tense.

The examples you give of coloured vs made do not stand up. Both are innately adjectival, for both are participles, which are adjectives with a verbal quality.
'What type of book is that?' 'It is a coloured book.' which is saying 'this is a book that has been coloured.'
'What type of chain is that?' 'It is made of iron.' which is the same as saying 'this is a chain made of iron.' That is 100% descriptive, regardless of how adverbial ex ferro is.
The colouring of the book results from a past action that has been completed (barring destruction or change), resulting in a present state. That is the perfect tense.

A better example is mortuus est. 'He is dead' but it can also be translated as 'he has died.' Both are perfect tenses. Finished. He is not coming back. present tense, 'moritur' means 'he is dying'... right now... he can be saved... it is not a complete action.

Can the iron chain be prevented from being iron? If it were in the present tense, we could intervene, as it was being made, and change the material. Sorry, but the chain is made of iron. That is the result of a past action that is complete. That is the perfect tense. IT is not simply a past tense, akin to a simple present or imperfect in English. It can, and often is, translated with verbs that seem present in English.

Also, this copula+ predicate adjective is where the passive construction came from. See, e.g. Allen & Greenough 495: "From this predicate use arises the compound tenses of the passive,- the participle of completed action with the incomplete tenses of esse developing the idea of past time: as, interfectus est, he was, (or has been) killed.


Oberon, this does not strengthen your argument, but defeats it, as far as I see. The perfect passive is not a true verb form but one that arose from participles, which are adjectives.

sorry, i have to stop now, my browser is acting crazy and i cannot stabliz e the text... it kthe ilitte box keeps leaping up and down and my cursor is going crazy...
Last edited by ptolemyauletes on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:32 pm

oberon wrote:"to make" does not lend itself to adjectival use. "Made" is a one time occurance the results of which are permanent (barring destruction). "Made" is not descriptive in the way "colored" or "divided" is. It is in all forms an action.

He lives in a house made of straw! E stipulâ factam domum habitat!

SCIMUS ENIM QUONIAM SI TERRESTRIS DOMUS NOSTRA HUJUS HABITATIONIS DISSOLVATUR QUOD: AEDIFICATIONEM EX DEO HABEMUS DOMUM NON MANU FACTAM/ AETERNAM IN COELIS http://pmsa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/CL/CLCOL218.htm

Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum factam... (John 2)

Iterum:
A&G, §403.2, wrote:2. Material:
erat totus ex fraude et mendacio factus ([Cicero, pro Cluentio] Clu. 72) , he was entirely made up of fraud and falsehood. [Nota benè: non est tempus praeteritum plusquamperfectum // not "he had been", note. Adrianus hanc adnotationem scripsit.]
...
factum de cautibus antrum (Ov. M. 1.575), a cave formed of rocks.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:17 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:
"is made" is a present passive in english

Sorry, but I don't agree... 'is being made' is a present passive in English, or a present progressive passive as Grammarians might say.

Yes, "is being made" is present progressive/continuous passive, not present passive.


'Is made' is a combination of the present verb 'to be' and the perfect passive participle of 'to make'
Wrong. English does not have perfect participles. "Made" is the past particple. And, it is used in all forms of the passive construction:

The chain will be made by that man
The chain is made by that man
The chain wasmade by that man

All of tense of the English passive use the past participle. This is because the present particple is used in English to form a different tense (the progressive). The present passive in english is formed using the present form of the verb "to be" + past participle.

It is a mathematical equation


No, it is a grammatical construction.

It is a past action resulting in a present state. The Latin perfect is frequently used to describe the present.


The Latin perfect (I will get into this in a seperate post) is a conflation of the two past tense endings of late PIE. The Latin perfect does not distinguish between simple past and perfective past. Most importantly, it is completely a past tense, and even when used with present implication, the perfect is in the past.




I don't think I am


You are, and in addition you are misunderstanding English verbal constructions, namely the important distinction between participial usage in English vs. Latin, and in addition the difference between the various passive tenses in English.


'est' is not past tense


Do you know what "periphrastic" means? In a verbal construction it is (usually) a finite verb is combined auxiliaries. The construction as a whole is important for determining tense. It doesn't matter if est is present if it is part of a periphrastic construction.

Look at it this way:

I will go
I have to go
I go

Now, the finite verb in all of the above sentences is the present tense "go." The tense is changed because of auxiliaries. The same is true in English constructions which use the past participle.

The money will be stolen
The money is being stolen
The money is stolen
The money was stolen
The money has been stolen
The money had been stolen

All of the above use the past participle.

Latin (obviously) is a far more inflected language than English. However, there are still verbal constructions that depend on combining finite verb with a past participle (i.e. the perfect passive and pluperfect passive). To assert that, simply because periphrasis, rather than inflection, is used to form these tenses means they aren't actual tenses is simply to mistake verbal constructions.

It does not matter whether you describe it as a periphrastic perfect


Yes, it does. Because a periphrastic perfect is "was made/has been made." I don't think you adequately understand periphrasis.

,
In english (and greek) the perfect is a past completed action with present implications. However, it is still a PAST action.


Yes, the making of the chain was a past action, and now here sits the chain, before our eyes, in the present. How is it in the past? Surely i could not see it if it was in the past?


1. You are confusing the results of the verbal action with the action itself. You see the chain, not the making of the chain, in the present, because the verbal element in the english perfect (has made) is over with.
2. The Latin perfect is unlike the English perfect. The Latin perfect does not distinguish between perfective past and simple past (I will get into this more later).


If, as you argue, Oberon, 'it is made of iron' is a present passive


I'm not. I am arguing that it is the perfect passive.

Finally, English does not have a proper future tense. It just doesn't. It has multiple ways to express the future, but it does not have a future tense in the way Latin has amabo, amabis etc.


Wrong. Inflection is not the only way to form tense. Using auxiliaries is common cross-linguistically.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:17 pm

It appears that it is necessary to address this issue in more detail in order to resolve it. To do that I will first go into the origins of the relevant parts of the Latin language and then address those aspects directly. I will being by noting the origins of the Latin perfect and passive. From there I will go on to address specifically the issue of participles in verbal constructions.


To begin, I want to give a few works on relevant topics, some of which I will cite. This list is by no means exhaustive. It is simply designed to give those interested some places to go for further information.

On the origins of Latin:

Baldi, Philip. The Foundations of Latin. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2002.

Kurzová, Helena. From Indo-European to Latin: The Evolution of a Morphosyntactic Type. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1993.

Sihler, Andrew L. New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

General info on Indo-European and Proto-Indo-European:

Clackson, James. Indo-European Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Meier-Brügger, Michael. Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2002.

Kurylowicz, Jerzy. The Inflectional Categories of Indo-European. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1964.

On Pre- or Proto-Indo-European as possessing and Active/Stative typology:

Gamkrelidze, Thomas V. and Vjaceslav V. Ivanov. Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans: A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and a Proto-Culture. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995.

Lehmann, Winfred P. Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics. London: Routledge, 1993.

Bauer, Brigette. Archaic Syntax in Indo-European: The Spread of Transitivity in Latin and French. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2000.

On Grammatical Concepts:

Croft, William. Syntactic Categories and Grammatical Relations: The Cognitive Organization of Information. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Fried, Mirjam. Grammatical Constructions : Back to the Roots.Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005.

Langacker, Ronald. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. 2, Descriptive application. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.

Goldberg, Adele E. Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Part 1: Origins


The origins of the Latin Perfect:

A few things need to be noted about the language from which Latin developed. First, at one point, pre- or proto-indo-european was an active/stative language (See Bauer, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, and Lehmann cited above). This means that transitivity was not a feature of the language. Additionally, the passive voice was never a part of PIE, but developed independently in the daughter languages: “In PIE itself there was no true passive, that is, a type of morphosyntax with the direct (or indirect) object as the subject of the verb, with an agent in an oblique case. In the several IE languages that have them, the forms used to express the passive are different and grew up independently” (Sihler, p. 448). In fact, during the active/stative stage of the proto-language, there were no direct or indirect objects at all.

Now, concerning the perfect itself.

“The PIE stative was formally different from the eventive…types in most person endings, in the formation of the finite stem, and the participle. This is the paradigm traditionally known as the PERFECT TENSE. In fact, it was neither perfective (completive) nor a tense: it was instead STATIVE, and tenseless” (Stihler, 564).

From this Active/Stative verbal system (see section 3.2 in Kurzová and chapter 5 in Gamkrelidze and Ivanov) eventually a transitive system resulted, as well as a series of tenses which varied from daughter language to daughter language. The Latin perfect is a conflation of both active and stative endings. The reason for this is clear: the aorist/simple preterite endings of PIE were part of the active system, while the Perfect of PIE was stative. Latin did not retain a distinction in past tense marking. The endings are therefore similar both to aorist and perfect endings of other IE languages: “The Latin perfect stem continues the form and functions of the late PIE perfect and aorist. Because of its hybrid origins, the perfect stems in Latin come in a variety of shapes and types” (Baldi p. 377).

What is the point of all of the above? Let me some up the important relevant points:

1. At one point, the parent language of Latin did not have transitivity as a feature, nor a was there a passive voice.

2. While other languages developed verbal tense systems out of the active/stative endings which differentiated the preterite (past tense) tenses, Latin did not. This is vital to understand, because previously in this thread there have been more than a few comments about the “perfective” aspect of the Latin perfect tense. In reality, the Latin perfect is a bit of a misnomer. It is, in actuality, simply a past tense. Only context will give one a clue as to whether a perfect verb should be translated as an English perfect or simple past. Generally, unless it is quite clear, the simple past is preferable, because the Latin language did not distinguish between completive past and simple past.


Part 2: Participles as adjectives

First, a participle is partly verbal and partly adjectival. However, it is vital to understand that in Latin, as opposed to English, the tense of a participle is much more important. This is because English uses participles primarily to form periphrastic verbs.

Consider the example already discussed previously: Gallia est divisa. This sentence is usually translated as “Gaul is divided,” understanding the participle to be basically adjectival, even though the same construction is used to form the Latin perfect passive. However, something is lost in this translation, which can be seen in the following:

Gallia est divisa
Gallia est dividens.

You can see above that I have written the sentence using both the present and the perfect participles. English cannot do this, because when the present participle is put in the predicate position it forms the English periphrastic continuous present tense. In “Gaul is dividing” “is dividing” is an English verbal form (verb “to be” + present participle = continous present). It is not at all an adjective. Additionally, it is important to note that the participle itself is temporally bleached, in that the “time” of the construction is carried by the copula (which is semantically null or bleached), and the semantic value is carried by the participle.

“Gaul is dividing”
“Gaul was dividing”

The tense change is entirely due to the copula, not the participle. The point here is that when Gallia est divisa is translated as “Gaul is divided” the temporal component of the Latin participle is lost in translated. A more accurate but rougher translation which distinguishes between Gallia est divisa and Gallia est dividens is “Gaul is in-a-past-state-of-having-been-divided” vs. “Gaul is being divided.”

The point is, even when sum + perfect participle is NOT translated as the periphrastic perfect passive, there is still a past tense value which is difficult to get across in English.

3. When is it an adjective, and when is it passive?

The above question is an issue both in Latin and English, and is the center of this discussion. At issue, after all, is whether facta in the phrase est facta should be understood as more as an adjective, or as part of a verbal construction (the perfect passive). How does one know? There are a few relevant issues here.

A) There is the distinction between stative or instransitive verbs vs. agentive/active verbs. Consider the following sentences:

1. The man was dead.
2. The man was killed.

It is far easier to read the past participle “dead” in the first sentence as simply adjectival, rather than part of the English past perfect construction. The reason for this has to do with agency:

1. *The man was dead by a criminal
2. The man was killed by a criminal

The active nature of “kill” vs. “die” make it much harder to read “killed” in a passive construction as simply adjectival. In other words, it is far easier to read “the man was killed” as a past passive construction than it is to read “killed” as an adjective.


B) Verbal semantics

The agentive (or ergative) vs. stative aspect of a particular verb is not the only thing that helps decide whether, when used as a participle, it should be understood more as an adjective or as part of a verbal construction. For example:

1. The book was colored.
2. The book was ripped.

Both of the above sentences use past participles which can easily be understood as adjectives rather than part of a passive construction, even though they are agentive/ergative verbs. This is due to the semantic component of the verb itself. “Colored” or “ripped,” like “divided,” refer to adjectival aspects of the subject. Many verbs, however, do not have the same semantically adjectival component as the above, and are far less easy to read as adjectives. This can be seen when the participle is used attributively. In English, while a predicate participle can either be understood as an adjective or as part of a verbal construction (e.g. past continuous), an attributive adjective cannot. Consider the following:

1. The colored book was on the shelf.
2. The ripped book was on the shelf.
3. *The read book was on the shelf
4. *The made book was on the shelf

The above sentences demonstrate how certain participles do not lend themselves to adjectival use. I have deliberately used “made” as an example, because both the English “to make” and the Latin facere do not lend themselves to adjectival usage. They are among a class of verbs whose participles lack the necessary adjectival semantic component. Facio is also agentive. In other words, the verbal aspect of the participle is primary over the adjectival, and therefore the construction est facta should be understood as a periphrastic perfect passive (was made/has been made), not a present construction of est + an adjective.

4. English vs. Latin past passive constructions

There is a further reason for the importance of discerning when a form of sum + past participle should be understood as a periphrastic perfect passive, and when the participle should be understood more as an adjective (albeit with a past sense, as noted above). Notice the difference in the following sentences:

1. The man is killed by his own folly
2. The man was killed by his own folly

The above sentences are the English present passive and past passive respectively. Both versions use the past participle. In fact, all passive tenses in English use the past participle (is being killed, will be killed, etc). This is because the present participle is not sanctioned, or blocked (see Langacker on this), from being used in a passive construction because it is already used to in a different verbal construction (continuous).

The practical meaning of this is the lack of a distinct difference in semantics when trying to decide whether a particular form of “to be” + past participle should be understood as a passive construction or whether the participle should be considered a simple adjective. Consider again the sentence “The book was colored.” This sentence can be forced to be understood as a passive construction by adding an agent: “The book was colored by a famous artist.” In other words, it is possible that “The book was colored” is a passive construction, and that “colored” is part of a verbal construction rather than an adjective. However, for all intents and purposes, if the sentence lacks the agent forcing, it doesn’t really matter whether you understand “was colored” as a passive construction or understand “colored” as an adjective. The sentence still means more or less the same thing. The difference is one of emphasis: in the passive construction, the verbal aspect is emphasized, whereas in the adjectival reading, the adjectival aspect is.

The same is NOT true for Latin. There big difference between reading est divisa as a present tense + adjective vs. a periphrastic perfect passive. This is because, unlike English, present form of “to be” + perfect participle is NOT a present verbal construction, but a PAST one. In other words, the difference between the two readings is “Gaul is divided” vs. “Gaul was divided,” or present reading vs. past reading. Again, in English “Gaul is divided” is present whether you interpret it as a passive or not. This is not so in Latin, which makes it much more important to understand whether est facta is passive or not.

The answer is that est facta is almost certainly a periphrastic passive construction. The reason for this is the nature of the verb facere. Notice the differences between the participles in the following sentences:

Catena fracta canem devinciebat
?Catena facta canem devinciebat


Here I have used two participles attributively. In the first sentence, the participle can be easily rendered as a simple adjective: the broken chain used to bind the dog. In the second sentence, however, it requires much more work to get the meaning across in English, because of the fundamental verbal nature of facio as a verb meaning “to make.” One would have to say something like “the chain, having been made, used to bind/was binding the dog.”

The relevant point is, again, that facio in the sense used here (to make) does not have the requisite adjectival nature to be rendered as a simple adjective. Therefore, reading catena facta est as “the chain was made” is far superior than “the chain is made.”
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:41 pm

Well, I suppose I have to go and find a bunch of books now, to show that I too have a library.
Oberon, I can easily confess that your understanding of English grammar surpasses mine. I have never endeavored a study of English grammar, which language I consider better served by chaos theory than any grammars ever constructed.
However, I have been in the Latin game for some time, and I think you are being far too dogmatic and rigid in your interpretation of Latin participles/tenses, and their translations. One language does not translate to another in a rigid, perfectly determined manner. CONTEXT is what matters.

The Latin perfect tense is a perfect tense. It is called the perfect tense by Latin grammarians (from the Latin verb perficio) because it is describing a past action that is resulting in a present state. That is its main function. It can, and often is used as a simple past. As you say, there is no real distinction between the two, as Latin did not have two different tenses, yet CONTEXT once again rears its head. You have not beaten the simple argument I put forth about the chain, or the house. These simple sentences disprove all of your arguments.

ecce! catenam video! catena ex ferro facta est.
This is most idiomatically rendered as 'Look! I see a chain! It is made of iron!'
I am sorry, but no amount of arguments about PIE or stative verbs will convince any moderate reader of Latin that this sentence could not be translated this way. This is called translation.


Nor have you made a convincing argument about the difference between adjectives and participles used with the verb to be. I am not convinced as to how the verb facio does not work in the manner of other adjectives/participles. In English it may not, as in your example, but in Latin it does. Perfectly. Just because it takes a bit of fiddling to render it into English in a manner that cannot use an adjective, does not mean it cannot do so in Latin.
'catena facta canem devinciebat' rendered literally in English comes out as 'the made chain held the dog.'

I
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:52 pm

oberon wrote:Therefore, reading catena facta est as “the chain was made” is far superior than “the chain is made.”

But much inferior when it reads incongruously in English.
Infimmum autem cum sic anglicè legere non congruens est.

oberon wrote:The above sentences demonstrate how certain participles do not lend themselves to adjectival use. I have deliberately used “made” as an example, because both the English “to make” and the Latin facere do not lend themselves to adjectival usage.

Sophistry! To say "do not lend" does not exclude legitimate, grammatical use. Ambiguum quod dicis, quià sic facere (participium ut adjectivum legere) semper possibile est.
"There are twenty unmade beds and ten made beds in the hotel whose owner is a self-made man."
"I have 400 unread books on my shelf and 7000 read books, but all my English grammar books are read ones. Of course, books read aren't necessarily understood or read information retained."
Last edited by adrianus on Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:09 pm

Gallia est divisa
Gallia est dividens.
You can see above that I have written the sentence using both the present and the perfect participles. English cannot do this, because when the present participle is put in the predicate position it forms the English periphrastic continuous present tense. In “Gaul is dividing” “is dividing” is an English verbal form (verb “to be” + present participle = continous present). It is not at all an adjective. Additionally, it is important to note that the participle itself is temporally bleached, in that the “time” of the construction is carried by the copula (which is semantically null or bleached), and the semantic value is carried by the participle.

“Gaul is dividing”
“Gaul was dividing”



English cannot do this? Nor can LAtin, Oberon.

The present participle is not normally used in combination with the verb 'to be.'
Your example 'Gallia est dividens', is a bit strange, and not really proper Latin. I have been marking Latin composition A2 exams for several years now in England, and this is a pretty elementary error which would be marked wrong. 'Gallia dividit', sure, but 'Gallia est dividens' will not work, unless you complete the verb to be with a predicate. BOTH languages could do that. 'Gaul is a large country dividing Germania from Aquitania. Gallia dividens Germaniam ab Hispania est magna terra'.

PArticiples. They are extremely simple. I am not quite sure about bleaching them...
Their tense is relative to the main verb.
A past participle is an action that has occurred before the main verb.
A present participle is an action occurring at the same time as the main verb.
A future participle is an action that will occur after the main verb.
They are all adjectives with a verbal quality.

Latin and English do not work the same. English is much more precise with its tenses, while Latin is more flexible. If we were to adopt your rigid,inflexible approach, we would never be able to render the six Latin tenses into anything beyond I walk, I will walk, I was walking, I walked, I had walked, and I will have walked. Yet in reality we are able to render those six Latin tenses into EVERY English tense. Latin uses other markers and combinations to shade its tenses with subtleties. It uses markers like ubi, iam, mox, postquam, etc to give fine distinctions in meaning.

When translating the imperfect tense into English are we limited to 'was' and 'were'? No, we can translate amabam as I loved, I used to love, I was loving, I kept loving. We can translate amavi as I loved, I have loved, even I had loved if it falls in a postquam clause.
We can translate amo as I love, I am loving, I do love, and even in several past tenses if it is being used as a historical present, or falls in a dum clause.

Let's look at indirect speech.
ecce! catenam video. credo catenam ex ferro factam esse. Oberon, how would you translate this? I suspect you would only allow 'I believe the chain was made of iron.' I would say this is fine, but I think 'I believe the chain is made of iron' could be better, and certainly could not be disallowed. If you do not allow this, how would you render 'I believe the chain is made of iron.' into Latin? Would you use the present passive? If so, you would be in error, for the present passive would mean that the chain is being constructed before our eyes. The only alternative is to admit that the sentence cannot be rendered into Latin, and this surely cannot be the case.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:37 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:and I think you are being far too dogmatic and rigid in your interpretation of Latin participles/tenses, and their translations.

On the contrary, the theory of linguistics I subscribe to is cognitive lingusitics, and I make extensive use of construction grammar. The various constructions grammars (Croft's Radical Construction Grammar, Fillmore's Construction Grammar, Langacker's Cognitive Grammar, and so forth) are anything but rigid.

One language does not translate to another in a rigid, perfectly determined manner. CONTEXT is what matters.


Context is one of the things which matters. Semantics, both of constructions and morphemes, are also important.

The Latin perfect tense is a perfect tense. It is called the perfect tense by Latin grammarians (from the Latin verb perficio) because it is describing a past action that is resulting in a present state.


Not true. For one thing, Latin grammarians from Kühner to Gildersleeve to Pinkster have always made the distinction between the "perfective" latin perfect and what corresponds to the English simple past. Your interpretation of the Latin perfect tense does not allow for any past action that is simply a past action. After all, pluperfect is "an action completed in the past." It has been noted by indo-european linguists even before Delbrück's seminal multi-volume work Grundiss der vergleichended Grammatik der Indogermanischen Sprachen, and certainly since, that the endings of the Latin perfect are a result of conflation of aorist and perfect of late PIE. This conflation extends to the temporal value of the perfect as well.

That is its main function

It really isn't. Have you studied indo-european language development? Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, etc, all developed verbal systems after branching off which differ. The same is true of nominal systems, and syntax in general, but the point is that it has been recognized for a LONG time by indo-european scholars that latin combined two seperate systems of personal endings (from the active aorist and stative perfect) in creating the perfect tense.

As you say, there is no real distinction between the two, as Latin did not have two different tenses, yet CONTEXT once again rears its head.


Yes, context is important. For example, the latin scribo can be translated in English as I write, I am writing, or I do write. This does not change the fact that Latin itself doesn't distinguish between any of these tenses, and, just like the distinction between perfective past and simple past, it is a result of translation not of the language.

You have not beaten the simple argument I put forth about the chain, or the house. These simple sentences disprove all of your arguments.

Wrong. Let's look at the house one first:
"He lives in a house made of straw! E stipulâ factam domum habitat!"

These two sentences are not at all the same. The English "He lives in a house made of straw" is only liscenced because English allows the omission of the relative pronouns in some relatives clauses:

He lives in a house made of straw
He lives in a house which is made of straw

In German or French, for example, the first sentence would not be acceptable. As for the latin "E stipulâ factam domum habitat" "he lives in a house made of straw" does not get the sense of the participle across. "He lives in a house, [that house] having been made of straw" is closer, but awkward English. The point is that the participle retains temporal value of past time, and the verbal elemant of facere makes it impossible to adequately translate the sentence by simply turning it into an adjective.


ecce! catenam video! catena ex ferro facta est.
This is most idiomatically rendered as 'Look! I see a chain! It is made of iron!'
I am sorry, but no amount of arguments about PIE or stative verbs will convince any moderate reader of Latin that this sentence could not be translated this way. This is called translation.


Why do you think Latin has a present tense? Are you seriously arguing there is no difference between the sentence you wrote above and ecce! catenam video! catena ex ferro facit

In English it may not, as in your example, but in Latin it does. Perfectly.


Incorrect. See below.
Just because it takes a bit of fiddling to render it into English in a manner that cannot use an adjective, does not mean it cannot do so in Latin.
'catena facta canem devinciebat' rendered literally in English comes out as 'the made chain held the dog.'


No, because your "literal" rendering is anything but. It completely misunderstands the nature of the participle in latin. Sometimes, in translation, the verbal aspect of the participle can be left out, with minimal loss of meaning (although there is always something lost in translation). "The made chain held the dog" isn't English, and therefore fails to get across the Latin meaning, which is that the chain has already been made in the past, and was afterwards used to hold the dog.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:38 pm

Oberon et al., my apologies for posting in these awkward chunks, but my browser is doing that jumpy thing when I get to the the bottom of the typing box. Anyone have any ideas?

3. When is it an adjective, and when is it passive?

The above question is an issue both in Latin and English, and is the center of this discussion. At issue, after all, is whether facta in the phrase est facta should be understood as more as an adjective, or as part of a verbal construction (the perfect passive). How does one know? There are a few relevant issues here.


Doesn't matter, and in fact there is no real difference. Many adjectives are created from participles. And they do not cease being a participle simply because they are listed as an adjective in a dictionary. Why would that matter? amicus is an adjective even if it is used so often as a noun that it is listes as such in the dictionary.


B) Verbal semantics

The agentive (or ergative) vs. stative aspect of a particular verb is not the only thing that helps decide whether, when used as a participle, it should be understood more as an adjective or as part of a verbal construction. For example:



Your argument here is itself based on semantics. I am dealing with real translation, which is the skill that is ultimately most important, and the whole point. It doesn't matter what you call it, what name grammarians give it, how PIE experst explain it, all of this is pure semantics. catena ex ferro facta est simply CAN be translated as 'The chain is made of iron.' This sentence is NO DIFFERENT from Gallia est omnis divisa.


1. The colored book was on the shelf.
2. The ripped book was on the shelf.
3. *The read book was on the shelf
4. *The made book was on the shelf



Again, your asterisked examples do not stand up, because these examples, while clumsy in English, can be understood, as Adrianus shows above. Furthermore, and far more important, they can be rendered in Latin. If, in marking a LAtin Prose comp Paper, i came across a sentence such as:
'librum lectum posuit in mensa' as a composition of 'After I finished the book I placed it on a table' I would award the student a bonus mark, never mind worrying about whether it was an adjective of a verb that does not lend itself to adjectival use. Just because it works clumsily in one language does not mean it does so in another. Further, One could translate this as 'I placed the read book on the shelf.' Might not sound great and might get an English teacher angry, but I am sure it has been done before. Rules, especially grammatical ones, are made to be broken, and do not dictate what is correct. Speech by a large segment of a population dictates what is, or will be correct. Grammar is simply the observation of yesterday's educated people's language.


4. English vs. Latin past passive constructions

There is a further reason for the importance of discerning when a form of sum + past participle should be understood as a periphrastic perfect passive, and when the participle should be understood more as an adjective (albeit with a past sense, as noted above). Notice the difference in the following sentences:

1. The man is killed by his own folly
2. The man was killed by his own folly


This whole section (read above) does not make a convincing argument and in fact seems to argue against your earlier points.


Finally some questions.
1. Can you give me one example where the English participle 'made', or any other past participle in English, is not passive?
2. If 'Gaul is divided' is rendered as 'Gallia divisa est' (adjective, so you say, not periphrastic verb construction -I say no difference) how would you render 'Gaul was divided' as a past tense? Now, how would you render 'Gaul had been divided'?
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:56 pm

Oberon, I am having more and more difficulty folowing your argument, as you keep contradicting what you have said previously.



e.g.
The point is that the participle retains temporal value of past time, and the verbal elemant of facere makes it impossible to adequately translate the sentence by simply turning it into an adjective.


What?!?! You did it yourself with this example.

Catena facta canem devinciebat


There is a Latin sentence using facta as an adjective. I have not argued that it need be rendered with an adjective in English, but that it is one in Latin. You have argued that facere does not lend itself to adjectival use, then you have given an example where it clearly is an adjective.


Are you seriously arguing there is no difference between the sentence you wrote above ('Look! I see a chain! It is made of iron!) and ecce! catenam video! catena ex ferro facit



Umm... yes... a huge difference, One that I would hope all my students could spot.
Your Latin means 'the chain is making .......? out of iron.'

Now I will assume you meant to use the passive of facit, which is fit.

catena ex ferro fit does not mean 'the chain is made of iron', but the 'chain is being made of iron'. Present tenses are happening before our eyes. The chain is made of iron cannot be rendered in Latin with a present tense because the chain is already made. It isn't happening now. In all your arguments you have not once addressed this.
How would you render 'the chain is made of iron' in Latin?
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:04 am

ptolemyauletes wrote:English cannot do this? Nor can LAtin, Oberon.


Actually, latin can (or at least it can in a way english cannot). The present participle isn't typically used as a predicate in either language. However, Latin does not have the same tense constructions english has, and in particular lacks the "to be" + present participle construction.

The present participle is not normally used in combination with the verb 'to be.'


True enough, at least not as a basic predicate adjective. The point I was trying to make is that Latin participle retain far more temporal value than English participles, namely because English typically uses participles in verbal constructions.

Your example 'Gallia est dividens', is a bit strange, and not really proper Latin.

It is far more possible than equivalent. However, it is strange, and a better example would be something like gallia dividens corrumpor/ Gallie, having been divided, is ruined. The point is that a tense distinction for participles is far more pronounced in Latin than in English.PArticiples.


Latin and English do not work the same. English is much more precise with its tenses, while Latin is more flexible. If we were to adopt your rigid,inflexible approach, we would never be able to render the six Latin tenses into anything beyond I walk, I will walk, I was walking, I walked, I had walked, and I will have walked. Yet in reality we are able to render those six Latin tenses into EVERY English tense. Latin uses other markers and combinations to shade its tenses with subtleties. It uses markers like ubi, iam, mox, postquam, etc to give fine distinctions in meaning.


English also uses markers for "fine distinctions in meaning." In fact, every tense in English other than simple present and past uses "markers." The typical "grammatical" future tense, for example, "I will walk" is not the only way English can talk about the future (e.g. I am going to walk, I am about to walk). English has FAR more markers than latin to make temporal distinctions.

We can translate amo as I love, I am loving, I do love, and even in several past tenses if it is being used as a historical present, or falls in a dum clause.


I'm guessing you don't have a linguistics background. Yes, we can translate the latin present tense into multiple different english tenses. Just like we can translate facio with do or make or whatever else. The point, however, is that this is imposing english semantics and syntax, or rather a particular construal of cognition, onto latin, in order for it to make better sense in english.

The only alternative is to admit that the sentence cannot be rendered into Latin, and this surely cannot be the case.


Why on earth would you argue this? There are plenty of sentences which cannot be adequately translated from one language to the next. How many languages have you studied? How we translate a sentence is just method or attempt to get the meaning across. More often than not, particularly with languages in which there is a great divide, this is done very imperfectly.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:05 am

Just because it takes a bit of fiddling to render it into English in a manner that cannot use an adjective, does not mean it cannot do so in Latin.
'catena facta canem devinciebat' rendered literally in English comes out as 'the made chain held the dog.'


No, because your "literal" rendering is anything but. It completely misunderstands the nature of the participle in latin. Sometimes, in translation, the verbal aspect of the participle can be left out, with minimal loss of meaning (although there is always something lost in translation). "The made chain held the dog" isn't English, and therefore fails to get across the Latin meaning, which is that the chain has already been made in the past, and was afterwards used to hold the dog.


My literal rendering is exactly that... a literal rendering. It PERFECTLY understands the nature of the paerticiple in Latin. Even better would be 'the having been made chain held the dog.' This is how I have taught it for years. this is how my colleagues teach it. This is how I was taught it by all my professors. This is how we discuss it at examination moderation meetings.
I never suggested it was good English, in fact I called it literal, which is rarely good English. I suggested that it gets across the meaning in a manner which allows the student to EXACTLY understand the nature of the perfect passive partiple, which is a verbal adjective in essence. Regardless of whether it can be translated into English with an adjective, it is one in LAtin. OBVIOUSLY one would expect a better translation than my explanatory example.
I don't care if English, German, French, Swahili, or Klingon do not like the constructuion. Latin does. LAtin is fine with facta as an adjective.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:16 am

Oberon, your Latin is starting to really puzzle me.

gallia dividens corrumpor


This is gibberish. Dividing Gaul... I am being corrupted


The point is that a tense distinction for participles is far more pronounced in Latin than in English.PArticiples.


Who cares? This is true, and I have never argued against it, in fact I just said the same thing above. What has it got to do with anything? TEnse of participles is relative to the main tense.

I'm guessing you don't have a linguistics background.

I am guessing you don't have a Latin background. This is starting to take on the pattern of civil servants and prefessors of education dictating to teachers how to teach, without ever once having stepped into the classroom.

The only alternative is to admit that the sentence cannot be rendered into Latin, and this surely cannot be the case.

Why on earth would you argue this? There are plenty of sentences which cannot be adequately translated from one language to the next. How many languages have you studied? How we translate a sentence is just method or attempt to get the meaning across. More often than not, particularly with languages in which there is a great divide, this is done very imperfectly.


Oberon.... I am not arguing this. I am arguing that you seem to be suggesting this...

How many languages have I studied? Latin, Greek, Old Norse, Old English, French, German, Italian and a whole lot of LAtin, Latin Latin. Who cares? Should I show you my muscles now?

Any language can be translated into another adequately. Sure we lose shades of meaning, and with Latin poetry for example we lose a lot with word order etc. etc.. But surely we can translate a simple sentence about a damn chain into Latin? But I have yet to see how you would do it?
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:18 am

ptolemyauletes wrote:Further, One could translate this as 'I placed the read book on the shelf.' Might not sound great and might get an English teacher angry, but I am sure it has been done before. Rules, especially grammatical ones, are made to be broken, and do not dictate what is correct.
Believe me, ptolemyauletes, that sentence breaks no rule in English.
Crede mihi, ptolemyauletes, haec sententia anglicè à regulâ non aberrat.

oberon wrote:ecce! catenam video! catena ex ferro facit

oberon wrote:['Gallia est dividens'] It is far more possible than equivalent. However, it is strange, and a better example would be something like gallia dividens corrumpor/ Gallie, having been divided, is ruined.
Clearly, what you think you are saying in Latin, you aren't, oberon.
Nunc clarum mihi est, oberon, quod latinè dicere velis non potes.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:24 am

ptolemyauletes wrote:The point is that the participle retains temporal value of past time, and the verbal elemant of facere makes it impossible to adequately translate the sentence by simply turning it into an adjective.


What?!?! You did it yourself with this example.

Catena facta canem devinciebat


I didn't. I specifically pointed out that in order to get the point of facta across here it is necessary to to add the verbal element (the chain, having been previously made, used to bind the dog).

There is a Latin sentence using facta as an adjective

No, it isn't. See above.

but that it is one in Latin. You have argued that facere does not lend itself to adjectival use, then you have given an example where it clearly is an adjective.


Wrong, because in order to get the participial "sense" across the verbal element of facta is lost as a simple adjective.


Umm... yes... a huge difference, One that I would hope all my students could spot.
Your Latin means 'the chain is making .......? out of iron.'


Ha! This is why one does not usually consume lots of alcohol while debating.


Present tenses are happening before our eyes.


Not true. The latin present tense is not limited to "immediate present" but can be translated "is made" or "is being made." The Latin present tense can express general truths, incomplete current actions, present actions, etc. Hence, catena ex ferro fit is not limited to "happening before our eyes."
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby oberon » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:31 am

ptolemyauletes wrote:Oberon, your Latin is starting to really puzzle me.

gallia dividens corrumpor


This is gibberish. Dividing Gaul... I am being corrupted


I am going to respond to this last post, and then come back to this argument when I am sober tomorrow.

gallia dividens corrumpor

gallia dividens corrumpit




I am guessing you don't have a Latin background.


I do, or at least a classical languages background. Both undergrad and graduate.






Any language can be translated into another adequately.


No, it can't, at least not all the time. For example, I listed previously the book Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. This book is translated from Russian. The author starts out with an apology explaining how so much is lost in the translation.
oberon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:43 am

participles are adjectives with tense. They are still adjectives. facta is an adjective. I cannot make it more clear.

No Latin person I know would ever object to 'catena ex ferro facta est' being translated, in the correct context, as 'The chain is made of iron.'
In another context it would mean 'The chain was made of iron.'

CONTEXT is the MOST IMPORTANT factor in translation. Without it we are reduced to robots scurrying about looking for references in grammar and linguistic texts.

It IS a chain that WAS made at some point in the past out of iron. It is made of iron. ex ferro facta est. I would NEVER mark that wrong in the appropriate context.

I think I am finished with this thread, as it is growing wearisome saying the same few simple things again and again. If someone wants to insist that 'catena ex ferro facta est' be translated as 'the chain was made of iron' and should not ever be 'the chain is made of iron' who am I to not allow them to knock themselves out? Neither I nor any other LAtin teachers or professors I know would ever insist on this strange point, but if a linguistics expert wants to, then fine. For now I'll go back to teaching Latin.

gallia dividens corrumpit
This still doesn't say what you wanted it to.
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby adrianus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:19 am

ptolemyauletes wrote:I am guessing you don't have a Latin background.
It seems so. [I myself am all foreground, I admit, but I try not to ********.]
Sic id videtur. [Sic et ego, fateor, at non ineptire conor.]

oberon wrote:Not true. The latin present tense is not limited to "immediate present" but can be translated "is made" or "is being made." The Latin present tense can express general truths, incomplete current actions, present actions, etc. Hence, catena ex ferro fit is not limited to "happening before our eyes."

I agree with oberon about this thing, ptolemyauletes: "catena [è] ferro fit" works for me alongside "est catena [è] ferro facta". Same with "dividitur". I guess I have no more to say, either.
Hâc de re, cum oberon concurro. Hui sententiae "catena [è] ferro fit" nihil obstat, puto, unâ cum "est catena è ferro facta". Iterum de "dividitur". Et ego sat dixi.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby Essorant » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:42 am

Ptolemyauletes,


Can you give me one example where the English participle 'made', or any other past participle in English, is not passive?


Not all past participles in English are passive. For example: been, come, gone, swum, waxen, walked, risen, fallen etc.
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Re: Perfect Pass Part with "esse"

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:51 am

Yes, Essorant, but those are intransitive verbs, incapable of being passive.
I hope everyone forgives me for my late night crankiness. I come off sounding a bit of a prick. Clearly I didn't get my story before bed. :)
The only thing we can guarantee when communicating via the internet is that we will be almost completely misunderstood, and likely cause great offence in doing so. Throw in an attempt at humour and you insure a lifelong enemy will be made.
User avatar
ptolemyauletes
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:26 am

Next

Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 80 guests