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Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

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Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby pmda » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:11 am

I understand that the ablative singular participle which usually takes the ending -e will take the ending -i if the use is 'verbal'. I imagine an example would be something like:

Servus ducitur a domino ducenti.

Do I have this right...?
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby furrykef » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:44 am

Perhaps a better term would be 'adjectival', but yes: the ablative is always -ī for third-declension adjectives and -e for third-declension nouns (including adjectives behaving as nouns), and this applies to the present participle as well. (This applies only to the present participle, though. Future and past participle are first/second declension rather than third, and follow the normal rules.)

With the ablative absolute, -e is used: "Caesare dūcente, vīcimus." -- "With Caesar leading, we conquered."

As an annoying exception, comparative adjectives always take -e too (longus = long, longior = longer, abl. longiōre).
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby pmda » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:19 pm

I was looking at LLPSI (Orberg) ch. XIV and he seems to be saying that the Present Participle always takes -e except on the occasion where it acts verbally in the sentence (reading from Orberg's Student's Manual). It was this latter I didnt' understand. Further I don't think Orberg furnishes us with a single example of the latter (well maybe one which I thought i saw but can't seem to find again!!!). So I'm a little confused. Wheelock (on the website) seems to suggest that, like adjectives, it ALWAYS take -i and then, presumaby, it outlines exceptions..... confusing..?

Here's the Orberg example of its use with -e.

Gallus canens non auditur a puero doemiente.
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby furrykef » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:56 pm

You're right... Orberg does say that. (It's the second sentence in the "Grammatica Latina" in chapter 14, for anyone else who wants to look it up.) This is indeed a direct contradiction of Wheelock:

Wheelock, chapter 23 wrote:The present participle has -ī in the ablative singulae when used strictly as an attributive adjective (ā patre amantī, by the loving father) but -e when it functions verbally (e.g., with an object, patre fīlium amante, with the father loving his son) or as a substantive (ab amante, by a lover).


The "ā patre amantī" seems to be equivalent to Orberg's "ā puerō dormiente". I'm not clear why there's the discrepancy... either one of the two is mistaken, or maybe the usage varied depending on time period or region.
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby adrianus » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:54 pm

See A&G §121
Vide apud A&G, centesimâ vicesimâ primâ in sectione Novae Grammaticae.
http://www.hhhh.org/perseant/libellus/aides/allgre/allgre.121.html
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby furrykef » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:45 am

That A&G page would seem to agree with Wheelock and disagree with Orberg. Is Orberg wrong?
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby pmda » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:12 am

In the Latine Disco (student's manual) Orberg says:

As a verb form the participle has -e in the ablative singular, e.g. Parentes a filio intrante salutantur.

and only when used as a pure adjective does it have has it -i
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby Imber Ranae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:44 am

There's no contradiction here. Orberg says essentially the same thing as Wheelock and Allen & Greenough, though pmda misread him originally as saying the opposite. When a participle has verbal force, i.e. when it describes the time, circumstances, condition, reason, etc. during, under, or for which the force of the main verb applies, the ablative singular must always be -e. So likewise when the participle is actually a noun, e.g. amans "lover". However, when the participle acts as a mere attribute to a noun which describes it only in general terms, it will usually have its ablative in -i, just like most other adjectives.

furrykef wrote:Perhaps a better term would be 'adjectival', but yes: the ablative is always -ī for third-declension adjectives and -e for third-declension nouns (including adjectives behaving as nouns), and this applies to the present participle as well. (This applies only to the present participle, though. Future and past participle are first/second declension rather than third, and follow the normal rules.)

With the ablative absolute, -e is used: "Caesare dūcente, vīcimus." -- "With Caesar leading, we conquered."

As an annoying exception, comparative adjectives always take -e too (longus = long, longior = longer, abl. longiōre).


You're speaking a bit too broadly, I think. First of all, there are a few 3rd declension adjectives, such as vetus, veteris and (as you mentioned) all the comparative adjective forms, which are not i-stem and thus have their ablative in -e instead of -i. But more importantly, almost all neuter nouns of the 3rd declension in fact have ablatives in -i, with only a handful of exceptions. The masculine and feminine nouns generally have -e, it's true, but even here certain i-stem nouns, especially those which have identical nominative and genitive forms (e.g. ignis), very often exhibit ablatives in -i, though the Romans themselves weren't always so consistent on this point as we might like them to have been.

furrykef wrote:The "ā patre amantī" seems to be equivalent to Orberg's "ā puerō dormiente". I'm not clear why there's the discrepancy... either one of the two is mistaken, or maybe the usage varied depending on time period or region.


They're not quite equivalent: a patre amanti means just "by the loving father", and not "by the father as/while he loves". On the contrary, a puero dormiente means precisely "by the child as he sleeps", which can be rendered more simply as "by the sleeping child".
Last edited by Imber Ranae on Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby furrykef » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:48 am

Ahh, I've got it now. Thanks.
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Re: Participium Ablativus Singujlaris in -i

Postby pmda » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:23 pm

Seems to have been due to my not paying attention and reading exactly the opposite of what Orberg said. Thanks for the guidance.
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