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Super and Supra

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Super and Supra

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:29 am

I hope someone can advise - a simple question I'm sure..

Orberg's LLPSI Ch XVI has in the first line:

Italian inter duo maria interest, quorum alterum, quod supra Italiam situm est, 'mare Superum'.....

'Why 'Supra' and not 'super'? I was under the impression - but I can find no confirmation on the internet - that super was masculine and supra was feminine....??? In any case why supra? - are these prepositions super, supra declined...in any way..?

Oh I figured it out. It is feminine and it agrees with Italiam, right.?
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby furrykef » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:50 am

pmda wrote:'Why 'Supra' and not 'super'? I was under the impression - but I can find no confirmation on the internet - that super was masculine and supra was feminine....???


No, they are prepositions, which never decline for number or gender. Only nouns and adjectives do that.

I think the basic difference is that "super" is more like "directly on top of", and "suprā" is more like "above". For example, if I were standing on a table, I would be super mēnsam, but if I were to jump, while I was in midair, I would be suprā mēnsam. (In the case of Italy, the sea "above" it would be the northern sea.)

However, according to Whitaker's Words, "super" can also take the ablative, and I think in that case it's more like suprā (even though suprā always takes the accusative, not the ablative). I'm really not sure about that part, though.

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Re: Super and Supra

Postby Hampie » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:07 am

furrykef wrote:
pmda wrote:'Why 'Supra' and not 'super'? I was under the impression - but I can find no confirmation on the internet - that super was masculine and supra was feminine....???


No, they are prepositions, which never decline for number or gender. Only nouns and adjectives do that.

I think the basic difference is that "super" is more like "directly on top of", and "suprā" is more like "above". For example, if I were standing on a table, I would be super mēnsam, but if I were to jump, while I was in midair, I would be suprā mēnsam. (In the case of Italy, the sea "above" it would be the northern sea.)

However, according to Whitaker's Words, "super" can also take the ablative, and I think in that case it's more like suprā (even though suprā always takes the accusative, not the ablative). I'm really not sure about that part, though.

- Kef

Ablative location, accusative when moving, I think it is. So if its moving superish it's accusative, but if it is at superish it's ablative :D.
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:18 am

Hampie - yes but the Adriatic isn't going anywhere?? I believe that Super and Supra take acc. period..
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby adrianus » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:56 pm

Supra morem "super" et "supra" supra rem similia sunt.
Supra vires, supra quod, si supra citata separes.


(More than usually "super" and "supra" are superficially similar.
Besides which it's beyond one's power to separate them.)

:? :D
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: Super and Supra

Postby Smythe » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:04 am

Garrr ... I stumbled across this same problem just a few minutes ago and my initial internet search led, of course, to textkit.

This is vexing because in the first instance of 'super' occurring In LLPSI, it gives the sentence, "Super caput capillus est" and then in the notes in the margin it says, "super: prep + acc". Caput was definitely not in the accusative there.

So is "Super caput capillus est" a viable grammatical construction? or do both super/supra always need to take the accusative or the ablative?
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby Alatius » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:26 am

Smythe wrote:This is vexing because in the first instance of 'super' occurring In LLPSI, it gives the sentence, "Super caput capillus est" and then in the notes in the margin it says, "super: prep + acc". Caput was definitely not in the accusative there.


It is in fact in the accusative; because it is a neuter noun, its accusative form is identical to the nominative. (There is no word "capitem".)
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby furrykef » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:57 pm

And, in fact, no preposition ever takes the nominative. They can only take the accusative or ablative. (As the sole exception, Whitaker's Words classifies "causā" as a preposition that takes the genitive -- and even then I'm not sure why, since the "causā" usually comes after the noun and it looks for all the world that it's simply the ablative of the noun "causa".) So if you see a preposition appear to take the nominative, then you're actually looking at a neuter noun, or you should double-check your assumption that you're looking at a preposition.

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Re: Super and Supra

Postby joels341 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:49 pm

Salvete,

While they may share some meanings depending on context, I think it would be more precise to think of "supra" as usually meaning "beyond" rather than above/on top of ("super").

So the sentence given could be understood as "beyond Italy" (going past it, outside of its area).

How does that sound?

There is also "inter" and "intra". Where maybe "inter" means between two things and "intra" means inside something.
inter pueros = among/between the boys
intra muros = within the walls
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Re: Super and Supra

Postby Smythe » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:19 pm

Alatius wrote:
Smythe wrote:This is vexing because in the first instance of 'super' occurring In LLPSI, it gives the sentence, "Super caput capillus est" and then in the notes in the margin it says, "super: prep + acc". Caput was definitely not in the accusative there.


It is in fact in the accusative; because it is a neuter noun, its accusative form is identical to the nominative. (There is no word "capitem".)


Of course it is neuter. That's what I get for doing Latin past midnight. Thanks, though.
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