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Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

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Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:02 am

Hi, sometimes when I read points of grammar I find that they're not intuitive or seem blatantly self-contradictory and, therefore, of limited use or, worse, even confusing. I hope I'm wrong and haven't spotted something obvious. Here's an issue and its explanation I have a problem with.

In Hans Orberg's Latine Disco student's manual for Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ch 8. he explains that aspicit is a 3-conjugation verb but with a short i-stem and that this latter fact explains why its ending in 'plural' (i.e. 3 person plural) is -iunt : aspiciunt - despite the fact that it's a consonant-stem conjugation - like Rego, Regere.

So far so good. Then he provides a sort of overview explanation which makes no sense. He says that this short i appears only before an ending with a vowel.

But if the 3rd conjugation is a consonant-ending conjugation - giving us Reg-o, Reg-is, Reg-it, Regim-us, Reg-itis, Reg-unt. we have endings (and here is where I may be going embarrassingly wrong) -o, -is, -it, -imus, -itis, -unt. ALL of these endings begin with a vowel!!! But the short i only appears before the first person singular - aspicio - and the third person plural - aspiciunt. What on earth is he talking about and where am I going wrong here? Thanks.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby rkday » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:54 am

Perhaps the Kennedy explanation is clearer: "In forms derived from the Present stem, these verbs take the endings of the fourth conjugation, wherever the latter have two successive vowels."

Hence we have capimus with a short i (like regimus, not like audimus), but capiunt (like audiunt rather than regunt).

It might also help you to understand Orberg if you consider that (as implied by "i-stem" rather than "consonant stem") the -i- in capis, capit, etc. is a stem vowel - the endings are -s, -t, -mus etc. That makes -o and -unt the only vowel endings in the present active indicative (and the -a-, -o- and -e- endings of the future, imperfect, subjunctive and passive, of course).
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:06 am

Thanks....BUT - Orberg says '...this i [stem ending] appears only before an ending beginning with a vowel. So what you're saying is that the best way to understand Orberg's explanation is to realize that the 'i' in accipit - which is NOT before a vowel - is notwithstanding his explanation an appearance of the i-stem... which contradicts his explanation???

I mean if I'm not looking at the i-stem of accipio, accipere when I'm looking at the ending of accipit as Orberg suggests I'm not - being able only to see it in accipio and accipiunt - then what am I looking at?

I mean the ending of the stem of Rego, Regere is a consonant - g - right? But as a 3rd conjugation verb it will be rego, regis, regit..etc....so an i appears. Yet this i is neither part of the stem or the ending??? So what is it?
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:38 am

I find this explanation needlessly confusing as well. I'd suggest just ignoring the explanation, since I learned what it's trying to teach without such things.

What it's trying to tell you is this. There are two kinds of third-conjugation verbs, i-stem and consonant-stem. The i-stem verbs conjugate exactly like fourth-conjugation verbs, except the 'i' is never long (contrast 'accipis' and 'audīs'; 'accipitis' and 'audītis'), and of course the infinitive is different (as well as the imperfect subjunctive, as it's based on the infinitive). The four principal parts between the two conjugations usually follow different patterns as well, but the way the parts behave stays the same between them aside from what I've already mentioned.

You can always tell which kind of verb you're looking at from the principal parts, by the way:
agō, agere -- third conjugation, c-stem, from the -ō
accipiō, accipere -- third conjugation, v-stem, from the -iō
audiō, audīre -- fourth conjugation, from the infinitive

I wish i-stem nouns were similarly distinguished from their principal parts for the sake of clarity, but usually you have to figure it out using rules.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:20 am

Thanks for this. Gavin Betts' explanation seems also to be clearer. Mind you I am curious to hear, if anyone can tell me, what Orberg is really saying. What does it mean - presumably he's not making a mistake?
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby Hampie » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:00 pm

The third conjugation has two versions: one for verbs ending with -o and one for words ending with -io. One of them have a stem that always ends with a consonant, and one -sometimes- ends with an i. This i is very weak, and dissappears in most of the forms, but is present in capio, capiunt, &c.

By the way, pmda, I really admire your spirit and enthusiasm! That alone will take you far.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:04 pm

Hampie wrote:The third conjugation has two versions: one for verbs ending with -o and one for words ending with -io. One of them have a stem that always ends with a consonant, and one -sometimes- ends with an i. This i is very weak, and dissappears in most of the forms, but is present in capio, capiunt, &c.

By the way, pmda, I really admire your spirit and enthusiasm! That alone will take you far.


Thanks. I'm really struck by how grammar is explained and and how there are always lots of exception and caveats....
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:32 pm

Actually - I think I get it. The endings in Rego, Regere are:

Reg /o
Reg/is
Reg/it
Reg/imus
Reg/itis
Reg/unt

but if you have a 3rd conjugation verb ending with a short i such as Aspicio, Aspicere then you get

Aspici/o
Aspic/is
Aspic/it
Aspic/imus
Aspic/itis
Aspici/unt

And so - as Orberg says the i-stem is visible only in Aspicio and Aspiciunt.... The endings are not o, s, t etc..but o, is, it etc...

That's gotta be correct...surely....?!
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby Hampie » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:48 pm

pmda wrote:Actually - I think I get it. The endings in Rego, Regere are:

Reg /o
Reg/is
Reg/it
Reg/imus
Reg/itis
Reg/unt

but if you have a 3rd conjugation verb ending with a short i such as Aspicio, Aspicere then you get

Aspici/o
Aspic/is
Aspic/it
Aspic/imus
Aspic/itis
Aspici/unt

And so - as Orberg says the i-stem is visible only in Aspicio and Aspiciunt.... The endings are not o, s, t etc..but o, is, it etc...

That's gotta be correct...surely....?!


I think you nailed it :3. By the way, always memorize three forms of a verb: rego, regi, rectum, for sake of the future.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:34 pm

It's better to have four, not three. If you have just regō, rēxī, rēctum (note: rēxī, not rēgī), then you can't tell for 100% certain from the principal parts alone that the verb is "regere" and not "regāre" (though it does look much more like a third-conjugation verb). That's why the infinitive is usually used as the second principal part. There are probably other useful cases as well (is an -iō verb an -ere verb, an -īre verb, or maybe even an -iāre verb if there are any)?
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby Hampie » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:37 am

furrykef wrote:It's better to have four, not three. If you have just regō, rēxī, rēctum (note: rēxī, not rēgī), then you can't tell for 100% certain from the principal parts alone that the verb is "regere" and not "regāre" (though it does look much more like a third-conjugation verb). That's why the infinitive is usually used as the second principal part. There are probably other useful cases as well (is an -iō verb an -ere verb, an -īre verb, or maybe even an -iāre verb if there are any)?

1st decination verbs have -avi as their prefect stem, don't they? As for regular ones of the first declination, you only need the amo-form. :P
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:08 pm

Hampie wrote:1st decination verbs have -avi as their prefect stem, don't they?

stō, stāre, stetī, statum. ;)

Yes, with many 1st-conjugation verbs, you need only the first-person present. But then you still need to remember whether or not the verb follows that pattern.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby ptolemyauletes » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:29 pm

do, dare, dedi, datum
My students must learn all 4 principal parts, or risk a severe beating at my hands.
Just kidding. I get the other students to apply the beating.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:54 pm

I thought about mentioning 'dare', but it's arguably not quite first-conjugation because of its short vowel and its strange behavior (namely how it becomes long in monosyllables... except when the syllable ends in -t or -nt)
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 am

Its Present, Infinitive, Perfect and Perfect Passive Participle, right...? So shouldn't that be do, dare, dedi, datus ?? I notice that text books tend to give the PPP as usually ending in -us but on this threat there are a lot of um examples....is um a neuter form of a noun form....?
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby ptolemyauletes » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:33 am

datus-data-datum
Really makes no difference. The 4th principal part is, as you say, the perfect passive Participle.
Different dictionaries list it in different ways. Some give it with the masculine us ending, some with the neuter um, some as us-a-um. Doesn't really make a difference.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:03 pm

pmda wrote:Its Present, Infinitive, Perfect and Perfect Passive Participle, right...? So shouldn't that be do, dare, dedi, datus ?? I notice that text books tend to give the PPP as usually ending in -us but on this threat there are a lot of um examples....is um a neuter form of a noun form....?

Present indicative // praesens indicativum tempus
Present infinitive // praesens infinitivus modus
Perfect indicative // perfectum indicativum tempus
Perfect participle (either -us or -um --depending on habit or preference, because it's a verbal "-us -a -um" adjective, not a noun)
// Participium perfectum (per -us masculini generis vel per -um neutrius, ut soles vel ut malis, quià est adjectivum verbale primae et secundae declinationis, non nomen)

Yes dō, dăre, dĕdi, dătum (or dătus, if you prefer) and not dō, dāre, dēdī, dātum

Post scriptum
Hi ptolemyauletes. Didn't see your post. Just saying the same, I think.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby pmda » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:17 pm

Many thanks..
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:38 pm

I just realised that my explanation wasn't right. The fourth principal part is either the perfect participle in "-us" as the verbal adjective or the supine (-um) as the neuter verbal noun, depending on what one is used to. Sorry about that, pmda, because you were right to say "-um" is a neuter noun. Clearly, I'm used to the perfect participle instead of the supine.

Me paenitet, modo agnovi me erravisse. Aut participium perfectum per "-us" (ut verbale adjectivum) aut supinum per "-um" (ut nomen neutrius generis) est quarta ex partibus verbi principalibus, secundum quod dicere soles. Mihi ignoscas, pmda, quià probè dixisti "-um" nomen neutrius generis significare. Me participium perfectum non supinum adhibere soleo, ut clarum est.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:46 pm

Is there ever any difference between the (accusative) supine and the neuter perfect participle? I'm guessing the only time there's a difference is when the verb lacks a perfect participle, though I don't know if a supine is even possible in such cases.

Wheelock uses -um for the fourth principal part, but gives the future participle when there is no perfect participle. E.g., sum, esse, fuī, futūrum -- correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the last one cannot be a supine.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby ptolemyauletes » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:02 pm

Yes Furrykef, you are correct, insofar as form is concerned. There is obviously a difference in usage, and surely in basic understanding, but for all intents and puropses they look the same. You can see future active participles for verbs that regularly have no 4th principal parts. Some dictionaries will give the fut. act. participle as a 4th part, some won't.
You cannot use the fut. act. participle as a supine. My advice is not to even worry about supines, at least for a while. They are relatively rare in Latin, and often confined to certain phrases or usages. In addition, the verbs that are regularly used as supines in Latin are only a handful.
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Re: Can anyone explain the 'explanation'

Postby furrykef » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:21 pm

Yes, I'm just puzzled that adrianus said -- and others have said -- that some books use the supine instead of the perfect participle and I'm always thinking, "What's the difference?". (Yes, the usage is different, but these are principal parts, so it's the form that we're talking about...)

ptolemyauletes wrote:My advice is not to even worry about supines, at least for a while.

Actually, supines are covered in the very next chapter of Wheelock for me. :lol: Supines are pretty easy to grasp, though; I've been familiar with the grammatical principle for a while, I just haven't put it into practice.
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