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Two questions Multum

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Two questions Multum

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:38 am

Hope someone can put me straight on the question of multim / paulum what they are and whether they do anything to the things they refer to.

In LLPSI Orberg LLPSI has:

Quod autem paulum aquae est in Tiberi, magnae naves in eo flumine navigate non possunt.

1) I understand that 'Paulum' is an indeclinable adjective meaning 'little' or 'a small quantity / amount'?

2) Is 'aqua' genitive singular or nominative plural?

3) And if it's the former do multum and paulum take genitive case?

I'm thinking that aqua is like english water and that the plural is not commonly used....but if aqua is nominative plural then I'm confused about nothing.
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Re: Two questions Multum

Postby furrykef » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:53 am

You got it: "paulum aquae" = "a small amount of water", so it takes the genitive. (Of course, you can't always match Latin cases with English cases/prepositions, but in this case, you can!)

I'm a bit confused about "multum", myself, because when used with uncountable nouns like "aqua" and "pecūnia" (money), I seem to encounter it used either way: "multa aqua" (with "multa" agreeing in gender) or "multum aquae" (where "multum" is always a neuter noun). Perhaps somebody could clarify this for me: is there a difference, or are these entirely equivalent?
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Re: Two questions Multum

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

Thanks furrykef.
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Re: Two questions Multum

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:17 pm

furrykef wrote:I'm a bit confused about "multum", myself, because when used with uncountable nouns like "aqua" and "pecūnia" (money), I seem to encounter it used either way: "multa aqua" (with "multa" agreeing in gender) or "multum aquae" (where "multum" is always a neuter noun). Perhaps somebody could clarify this for me: is there a difference, or are these entirely equivalent?

From what I've read, the constructions are generally* equivalent in meaning. But it doesn't have to be an uncountable noun, e.g. from Woodcock's A New Latin Syntax, "navium quod fuerat coegerant" or even "quid mulieris uxorem habes!". I think, though, that in classical Latin prose, the genitive construction is preferred only with certain pronouns and adjectives like "multus", and is rarer with thing like the example "vana rerum" = "vain things" you find in poetry.

* Woodcock also has the example "quid praemii erit" = "what will there be by way of reward" as different from "quod praemium erit", but I'm not really sure I get the difference he's aiming at.
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