Textkit Logo

Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:58 pm

Salvete!

In the past I have repeatedly stumbled upon sentences in which an adjective is used when I would have expected an adverb, e.g.:
  • Eis iniuriis vulneratus [Phaethon] non respondit, sed acer [instead of acriter] ad matrem properavit.
  • Phaethon alacer [instead of alacriter] in eum [= currum] ascendit.

In the same passage from a "narratio facilis" titled "Phaethon et Aesculapius" there are real adverbs, too, e.g.:
    Nox et luna iam se removerant; celeriter igitur nullo duce equos acres per iter ignotum ad caelum altum egit.

I do not quite understand why an adjective is used in one case and an adverb in the other. Allen & Greenough' "New Latin Grammar" has the following to say about "Adjectives with Adverbial Force":
290. An adjective, agreeing with the subject or object, is often used to qualify the action of the verb, and so has the force of an adverb.

This does not really "enlighten" me all that much as I still do not know when to use an adverb and when an "adjective with adverbial force". Or does it really make no difference?
Can anyone help me with this question?

Gratias vobis ago,

Carolus Raeticus
Carolus Raeticus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:46 am

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby furrykef » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:31 pm

This occurs in modern Romance languages too: "entraron ruidosos" ("they entered noisily", but literally "they entered [being] noisy"). I would guess that it works similarly between the Romance languages and Latin, but it wouldn't be the first time I've thought "Oh, that's just like Spanish!" and it turns out that in fact it isn't.

I notice that both examples with adjectives are being used with a verb of motion, though, which does seem consistent with the Romance usage I'm familiar with. (I don't think it's restricted to verbs of motion; it's just a typical kind of verb where you'd see this.) As I've hinted above, you can think of the adjectives as referring to the state of the subject, rather than the manner in which the verb is performed. In fact, I wonder if using "ācriter" instead of "ācer" in the first sentence could suggest a different meaning or connotation, since ācer is a rather versatile word with several meanings and may well tend to be used differently when applied to an action than to a person.
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
I also have a lang-8 journal where I practice Spanish and Japanese.
User avatar
furrykef
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:18 am

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby brookter » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:06 pm

I thought it was basically the same construction we can have in English (although it can sound stilted), except that we'd add a definite article:

.... but the sharp [one] hurried towards the mother
.....the eager Phaeton climbed...

As to which you'd choose in specific circumstances, I don't know - unless it's just a matter of style.

Regards

David
brookter
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:20 pm
Location: Deva

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby lauragibbs » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:03 pm

It is very much a matter of style, and the remarks by Allen & Greenough are actually misleading - what they mean is not that the adjective functions like an adverb in the Latin (an adjective is an adjective, and it qualities the noun with which it agrees), but rather than WHEN TRANSLATING INTO ENGLISH, you might want to choose an adverb instead. Just as general rule, Latin is more sparing in its use of adverbs than English is, at least in part because adverbs, as indeclinable words, are so "disconnected" from the rest of the sentence.
Laura

P.S. Here's the note I included about that in my Aesop's Fables in Latin book (http://tinyurl.com/dbmbg3)
Grammar Overview
Adjectives and Adverbs
In Latin, the system of nouns and adjectives is very strong and flexible, but the adverb system is much less fully developed. As a result, there are often instances where Latin will use an adjective while in English we might tend to use an adverb instead. This is especially true when Latin uses an adjective to modify the subject of the verb. Consider this example from the fable you are about to read: asinus oneri totus succubuit. The adjective totus modifies asinus, the subject of the verb. So, translated literally, the sentence would read: “The whole donkey collapsed under the weight.” That is what the Latin says, but it sounds quite odd in English! If you use an adverb in your English translation, instead of an adjective, the result will sound much more idiomatic: “The donkey collapsed completely under the weight.” So, whenever you see an adjective being used to modify the subject of a verb in Latin, it is worth thinking about whether that adjective really belongs with the noun, or whether it is perhaps better rendered in English with an adverb instead. (Similarly, if you are translating from English into Latin or composing in Latin, think twice before you use an adverb: there are many situations where we might use an adverb in English, while Latin would prefer to use an adjective instead.)
Here is the fable in question:
DE EQUO ET ASELLO ONUSTO. Agitabat Coriarius quidam una Equum et Asinum onustum. Sed in via fatiscens, Asinus rogabat Equum ut sibi succurreret et velit portiunculam oneris tanti tolerare. Recusabat Equus et mox Asinus oneri totus succubuit et halitum clausit supremum. Herus accedens mortuo Asino sarcinam detraxit et, pelle superaddita excoriata, omnia Equo imposuit. Quod cum sensisset Equus, ingemuit, inquiens, “Quam misellus ego, qui, cum portiunculam oneris socii ferre recusaverim, iam totam sarcinam cogar tolerare.”
User avatar
lauragibbs
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby adrianus » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:16 am

LauraGibbs wrote:but it sounds quite odd in English!

"The donkey all at once collapsed" one can translate, Laura, where the adverb "altogether" has a tiny difference in meaning.
"The donkey all at once collapsed", Laura, aptè in sermones Anglicos sic traditur, ut opinor, ubi "omninò" idem paenè significat.
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.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby lauragibbs » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:15 am

Which is why I really don't like translating at all... it seems so much better just to spend more time reading and writing, and paying attention to how each language works on its own terms (I work as an English composition teacher).
For example: in Latin there is often a choice between totus and omnis (which is a choice the author of that Latin fable had: asellus omnis, or asellus totus) - that seems to me much more interesting than worrying about how either or both of them comes out in English. Sound, meaning, style, not to mention word order - lots of things to consider in the Latin, completely aside from English.
For example:
Omnis echinus asper.
Totus echinus asper.
You can find both proverbs in Latin... figuring out just how authors choose the one they prefer each time is the thing that intrigues me more than an English translation.
User avatar
lauragibbs
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Adverb vs. Adjective with adverbial force

Postby adrianus » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:31 pm

lauragibbs wrote:Omnis echinus asper.
Totus echinus asper.

Both are ambiguous in the same way. An author might want to please by conjuring extra (Gestalt) dimensions from words. For example, in English not "All hedgehogs are prickly" but "Hedgehogs are all prickly".
Utrum eodem modo ambiguum est. Auctor quidam è paucissimis verbis multiplices formas interdùm fascinando placere velit.
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.
adrianus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3270
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:45 pm


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Craig_Thomas, Dominus Faba and 26 guests