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use of Quid

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use of Quid

Postby pmda » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:46 am

Hi, I'm a newbie both to this forum and to Latin. i'm teaching myself. I have real beginners question. In the question 'Quid est Sparta' the word 'Quid' is an interrogative pronoun neutral, right? But Sparta is Feminine (I think) nominative. Why doesn't Quid agree with Sparta as in quae or quis? Is Quid (neuter, nominative) simply the default term for 'what'?
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Re: use of Quid

Postby Smythe » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:56 pm

I'd be interested in hearing the answer to this myself. I mean, I know quid is the default, but not sure why it wouldn't agree with the 'thing' that was being asked about.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby Hampie » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:33 pm

pmda wrote:Hi, I'm a newbie both to this forum and to Latin. i'm teaching myself. I have real beginners question. In the question 'Quid est Sparta' the word 'Quid' is an interrogative pronoun neutral, right? But Sparta is Feminine (I think) nominative. Why doesn't Quid agree with Sparta as in quae or quis? Is Quid (neuter, nominative) simply the default term for 'what'?

*edited*
I think you can use ’quid’ as some kind of all-around-pronoun when asking about things.
Här kan jag i alla fall skriva på svenska, eller hur?
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:29 am

Quid est Sparta? = What [thing] is Sparta?
Quae est Sparta? = What Sparta is it? // Which kind of Sparta is it?
Quis est Sparta? = Who is Sparta?
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.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby Essorant » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:32 am

That is because quid is a (pro)noun not an adjective. It is interrogative in "quid est Sparta?", but it is no different in principle from using any other neuter noun and feminine noun:

Ursa (feminine) est animal (neuter) "A she-bear is an animal"

Bellum (neuter) est stultitia (feminine) "War is folly"

Quid is the word used for "what (?)" (implying a thing), while quis is used for "who (?)" (implying a person)
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Re: use of Quid

Postby pmda » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:54 am

Essorant,

[That is because quid is a (pro)noun not an adjective. It is interrogative in "quid est Sparta?", but it is no different in principle from using any other neuter noun and feminine noun:

Quid is the word used for "what (?)" (implying a thing), while quis is used for "who (?)" (implying a person)

- But my table of interrogative pronouns and adjectives (from Gavin Betts' 'Teach Yourself Latin') suggests the following:

1) One would use an interrogative adjective and not an interrogative pronoun - i.e.

M F N
Nom. Sing. Qui / Quis Quae / Quis Quod

and

2) That, in any case, Quid is certainly Neuter and whatever Sparta is it's not Neuter - so what governs the gender of Quid? Your saying that it is not governed by the thing it is referring to - i.e. Sparta, right? OK. if that's the case then why isn't it Quod.....?

A. So my questions are Why is it a pronoun and not an adjective?

B. If if is a pronoun why is it neuter (Quid is ALWAYS neuter) - is that just convention....

According to Betts' table interrogative pronouns ask WHO and interrogative adjectives ask WHAT?

Hence - based on my very limited learning - and looking at Bett's table I'd have written it Quae / Quis est Sparta? I.e. Interrogative adjective Feminine Nom. Singular - governed by Sparta. But even if it's not governed by Sparta then I don't see why it's a pronoun and not an adjective......

I don't doubt that you're right it's just that I don't know why you are right.... :)
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Re: use of Quid

Postby pmda » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:00 am

....OK I think I'm beginning to get it. Because 'Quid' is neutral it implies a thing....and, as an interrogative pronoun it is used for that purpose.... I think I may be over analysing.... thanks.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:03 am

pmda wrote:According to Betts' table interrogative pronouns ask WHO and interrogative adjectives ask WHAT?

No, he doesn't say that, pmda. // Id, pmda, non scriptum est.
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.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby pmda » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:36 am

Here's exactly what he says - on p.69 of TYL.

Interrogative adjective (WHAT chariot do you like?).

then beneath this he has the table: qui/quis; quae/quis; quod etc.....

Above the Interrogative pronoun table he offers 'WHO is that?'.

With the pronouns he's offering only examples of people above the table. With the adjectives he's offering only examples of things. So he seems to be offering WHAT chariot etc...to explain that the interrogative adjective is used when referring to a thing and the interrogative pronoun is used when referring to a person. His illustrations all but state it outright - though he does provide an example of quid which refers to a thing so it's not clear...
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Re: use of Quid

Postby rkday » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:06 pm

pmda wrote:Here's exactly what he says - on p.69 of TYL.

Interrogative adjective (WHAT chariot do you like?).

then beneath this he has the table: qui/quis; quae/quis; quod etc.....

Above the Interrogative pronoun table he offers 'WHO is that?'.

With the pronouns he's offering only examples of people above the table. With the adjectives he's offering only examples of things. So he seems to be offering WHAT chariot etc...to explain that the interrogative adjective is used when referring to a thing and the interrogative pronoun is used when referring to a person. His illustrations all but state it outright - though he does provide an example of quid which refers to a thing so it's not clear...


Surely the difference is simply the difference between adjectives and pronouns; adjectives modify a noun, pronouns stand alone. "What chariot do you like?" is an adjective, because it modifies "chariot"; on the other hand, the 'what' in "what do you like?" isn't modifying a noun, so it's the interrogative pronoun. Likewise "What man is that?" vs. "who is that?", where the distinction is perhaps clearer in English because you can't say "who man is that?".
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Re: use of Quid

Postby Scribo » Sun May 02, 2010 12:00 pm

Interrogative pronoun....

EDIT: hehe: Quid est quid in haec sententia?
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Re: use of Quid

Postby cb » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:53 pm

hi, just to add to the above: the best thing that i’ve read on this is lebreton’s studies on the language and grammar of cicero (études sur la langue et la grammaire de cicéron, 1901), pgs 24-31.

the general rule that lebreton found is this: the pronoun subject is only “attracted” into agreeing with the noun attribute if all three of the following conditions are met:
- condition (1): the pronoun is relative or demonstrative (but not interrrogative or indefinite),
- condition (2): the pronoun represents the subject (but not the attribute), and
- condition (3): the pronoun is neuter before the “attraction” happens.

this rule is stated on pg 24:
http://www.archive.org/stream/tudessurl ... 4/mode/1up

looking back to the original sentence at the beginning of this post (“QVID EST SPARTA?”) –
- condition (1) is NOT satisfied: the pronoun is interrogative,
- condition (2) is satisfied: the pronoun QVID is the subject (and SPARTA is the attribute), and
- condition (3) is satisfied: the pronoun is neuter (because the attribute isn’t a person, unlike e.g. “QVIS EST ISTE LOLLIVS?” from cicero’s DE DOMO SVA s13).

to conclude, because condition (1) isn’t met, the “attraction” doesn’t happen, i.e. the neuter pronoun QVID doesn’t become feminine to agree with the noun attribute SPARTA.

there are exceptions to this general rule, e.g. “QVAE EST IGITVR AMENTIA?” (TVSC. DISP. 3.71), where the pronoun QVAE agrees with the attribute AMENTIA even though condition (1) isn’t met (the pronoun is interrogative). for more exceptions see pg 31:
http://www.archive.org/stream/tudessurl ... 1/mode/1up
cheers, chad :)
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:01 pm

Always surprising when people read the same thing in different ways. I don't think Lebreton is saying what you're saying, chad. He is talking there (pp. 24-31) ONLY about relative and demonstrative pronouns, so any conditions mentioned apply ONLY to relative and demonstrative pronouns.

Quam mirum semper est idem à quoque aliter legi. Meo judicio, chad, sic ut dicis non dicit Lebreton. Is in paginis viginti quattuor ad triginta unam unicè de pronominibus relativis demonstrativisque tractat. Eâ ratione, leges ibi repertae ista sola pronominum genera spectant.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby cb » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:32 pm

hi adrian, did you see pgs 30-31 of lebreton? the "appendice"on those pgs covers specifically interrogative and indefinite pronouns. i gave a link to pg 31in my post above.

to summarise, lebreton says in that that appendix that the attraction which you see in relative and demonstrative pronouns (described in pgs 24-30, and only occurring as a general rule when what i call above conditions (2) and (3) are satisfied) doesn't happen in the case of interrogative and indefinite pronouns: that's why i put in condition (1) as another condition to the "attraction" happening, and that's exactly why i said that in QVID EST SPARTA, QVID is not attracted into agreeing with SPARTA. hope that's clear. cheers, chad :)
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:51 pm

cb wrote:hope that's clear.

Sorry, cb, but your reading of the text I find odd, especially with your 'condition (3): the pronoun is neuter before the “attraction” happens'. He doesn't say that at all.
Me paenitet, cd, interpretationem tuam istius loci contendo, praesertim inventionem legis tertiae. Eam minimè dicit.

condition (3) is satisfied: the pronoun is neuter (because the attribute isn’t a person, unlike e.g. “QVIS EST ISTE LOLLIVS?” from cicero’s DE DOMO SVA s13).

There's a circularity there. Furthermore, what does that mean, "the pronoun is neuter (because the attribute isn’t a person"? Surely I can ask "What is a man?" or "What is Cicero?" and answer "A two-footed animal," or "A Roman writer and politician."
Est argumentum circulare. Porrò, quid id dicere vult? Nonnè licet rogare haec, "quid est homo?" et "quid est Cicero?", dein haec respondere, "animal bipes est" et "auctor Romanus et politicae scientiae peritus".

Lebreton is discussing the issues dealt with by A&G in §296.2.a and §306 and here is some of what he says done into English.
Lebreton tractat de rebus quas spectant haec loca apud A&G: sectiones 296.2.a et 306. En parva eorum quae dicit pars in sermones anglicos conversos.

Lebreton wrote:"On sait que the pronom demonstratif ou relatif n'est attiré au genre du substantif que 1) quand il est sujet, et le substantif, attribut, 2) quand il devrait être au neutre. Ainsi dans les phrases suivantes, le pronom n'est pas attirée au genre du substantif, parce qu'il est non pas sujet mais attribut.
// We know that the demonstrative or relative pronoun is attracted to the gender of the substantive only when (1) it is the subject and the substantive is the attribute (complement) and (2) when it should be neuter. So in the following phrases, the pronoun isn't attracted to the substantive's gender because it is the complement, not the subject.

Nec tamen ille (Gracchus) erat sapiens (quis enim hoc (4) aut quando aut ubi aut unde?) Fin. 4.24.65. Num propterea idem voluptas est, quod indolentia? Fin. 2.4.11. Fit perfecta mens, id est absoluta ratio, quod est idem virtus. Tusc. 5.13.39. (=<<ce qu'est aussi la vertu>>, non <<ce qui est aussi>>....)...
// Nor however was he a wise man (who indeed is [this, a wise man], or when or where or how?) Fin. 4.24.65. Surely therefore pleasure isn't the same [thing] as being without pain? Fin. 2.4.11. The mind becomes perfected, that is it becomes absolute reason, which also virtue does [i.e., becomes perfected]. Tusc. 5.13.39...

De même, le pronom n'est pas attiré au genre de son attribut dans les exemples suivants, parce qu'il est masculin ou féminin (1):
// Similarly, the pronoun isn't attracted to the gender of its attribute in the following examples because it is masculine or feminine (1):

Iste belli causa fuit. Phil. 2 .22.55. An est quicquam similius insaniae quam ira? quam bene Ennius initium dixit insaniae. Tusc. 4.23.52.
// He was the cause of the war. Phil. 2.22.55. Is anything more like madness than anger? which Ennius rightly said was the start of madness. Tusc. 4.23.52."
Last edited by adrianus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby cb » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:40 pm

hi adrian, condition (3) was my way of typing up the substance of some parts you've quoted: "2) quand il devrait être au neutre" on pg 24 and "De même, le pronom n'est pas attiré au genre de son attribut dans les exemples suivants, parce qu'il est masculin ou féminin" on pg 25, ie the attraction doesn't happen (as a general rule - there are exceptions noted by lebreton, as i quoted above) unless the pronoun would have been neuter if no attraction occurred - and so:

- a feminine pronoun subject is not, as a general rule, attracted into the gender of a masculine noun attribute, and
- a masculine pronoun subject is not, as a general rule, attracted into the gender of a feminine noun attribute.

that was the idea i was trying to put in condition (3), cheers, chad :)
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:04 pm

I guess so. It became a bit convoluted but I see what you're saying. Cheers, chad.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby ptolemyauletes » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:25 pm

pmda wrote:
Here's exactly what he says - on p.69 of TYL.

Interrogative adjective (WHAT chariot do you like?).

then beneath this he has the table: qui/quis; quae/quis; quod etc.....

Above the Interrogative pronoun table he offers 'WHO is that?'.

With the pronouns he's offering only examples of people above the table. With the adjectives he's offering only examples of things. So he seems to be offering WHAT chariot etc...to explain that the interrogative adjective is used when referring to a thing and the interrogative pronoun is used when referring to a person. His illustrations all but state it outright - though he does provide an example of quid which refers to a thing so it's not clear...




pmda, you are reading this explanation a bit too narrowly. Betts is not trying to say that interrogative adjectives must be translated as WHAT and that interrogative pronouns must be translated as WHO. These just happen to be the English words chosen in his illustrations here. Rather what he is trying to show is that an interrogative adjective will be describing a noun (WHAT chariot, WHICH chariot, etc.), while the interrogative pronoun stands in place of a noun, hence in the example given he uses WHO. This would correspond to the Latin 'quis est ille', but he might just as easily have chosen 'WHAT is that?' ('quid est illud'), or 'WHOSE is that' ('cuius est illud'), or 'WHOM did you give this to?' ('cui hoc dedisti?').

The examples are meant to illustrate that the interrogative adjective works like any other adjective (modifying a noun), while the interrogative pronoun works like any other pronoun (taking the place of a noun).
I can see how his illustrations might be too limited, as they have clearly led you to a wrong, though perfectly logical, conclusion.

'quae est Sparta', as noted by Adrianus, would seem to mean 'What Sparta is this?', 'or which Sparta is this?'
'quid est Sparta' means something like 'What is Sparta?'
quid is really just a general question word for 'what', and doesn't really need to agree with anything beyond the neuter 'what', as it is a pronoun.



Here is an illustrative example.
question:quid est Sparta?
answer 1: Sparta est urbs.
answer 2: Sparta est oppidum.
answer 3: Sparta est vicus.

All three responses give an answer with a different gender. Normally pronouns take their gender from the noun they are replacing. One might expect to see 'quae' for the first answer, 'quid' for the second, and 'quis' for the third. But if we were to use each different form for each response, that would imply we already knew the answer, and there would be no point in asking the question. These are INTERROGATIVE pronouns, and therefore there is an expectation of not knowing the answer. Neuter quid is simply a default if you expect a thing (or something other than an actual person... a title perhaps, or a concept) as the answer, while masc/fem. quis is the default if you expect the answer to be a person.
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Re: use of Quid

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:14 am

chad wrote:the attraction doesn't happen (as a general rule - there are exceptions noted by lebreton, as i quoted above)

Lebreton points to agreement happening 6 times with interrogative pronouns in Cicero and 30 times not happening. That's enough times for me to ask why it occurred at all, and you won't find an answer in conditions derived from relative and demonstrative cases. Aren't they then interrogative adjectives which always agree? And aren't there many more than six such examples in Cicero? You must add another condition, cb, to cover interrogative adjectival pronouns.

Lebreton dicit sexiens apud Ciceronem interrogativa pronomina genus nominum masculinorum seu feminorum complementariorum assumere contra ferè triciens "quid" pronomen cum masculino vel feminino complemento neutrum genus tenere. Quotiens evenerunt quod sufficit ut rogam quamobrem prorsùs evenissent. Nec responsum invenies cum conditionibus pendentibus ab casibus relativis demonstrativisque. Nonnè sunt quidem pronomina interrogativi et adjectivi quae semper cum genere nominis ad quod adjuncta congruunt? Nonnè tunc etiam multò ampliùs sex sunt apud Ciceronem exempla talis generis? Alia lex addenda est, cb, quae ad pronomina interrogativa et adjectiva pertinet.

Lebreton, as interrogative exceptions (// has anomalias dedit), p.31,) wrote:Didicimus << si in ius vocat >> atque eius modi leges alias nominare. Leg. 2.4.9. Quae servitus est, si haec libertas existimari potest? Par. 40. Quae est enim civitas? Omnisne conventus etiam ferorum et immanium? Par. 27. Fatentur graviores segritudines suscipi, quam natura cogat. Quae est igitur amentia? ut nos quoque idem ab illis requiramus. Tusc. 3.29.71. Quam enim isti bonorum copiam dicunt? Fac sane esse summum bonum non dolere. Tusc. 3.18.40. Quae est igitur philosophia? fr. F. v. 43.

We learned to call "if called to court"* and others of this type laws. Leg. 2.4.9. If this can be considered liberty, what is [the nature of] slavery? Par. 40. What in fact is [the nature of] a community? Is it every gathering even of beasts and brutes? Par. 27. They admit that heavier sorrows are borne than nature imposes. What madness is it therefore, that we also should also require the same thing from others. Tusc. 3.29.71. For what [sort of] abundance of goods do those ones deliver? Assume [/suppose] that not suffering pain is truly the greatest good. Tusc. 3.18.40. What [sort of] philosophy is it? fr. F. v. 43.


* "Si in ius vocat, ito" Tabula Prima Duodecim Tabularum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Tables, quod modò legi.
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