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Tenses in Indirect speech

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Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby brookter » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:25 pm

Salvēte,

LLPSI, Cap XXI.

To the question Quōmodo Mārcus sē excūsāre cōnātur? I have the response:

Mārcus sē excūsāre cōnātur dīcēns sē ā bove pulsātus fuisse.

Can I use the present participle (dīcēns) this way - ie introducing a sub clause - or would it be more correct or natural to have the participle in the main clause and dīcit as the main verb?

I've used fuisse because Marcus is talking about something that happened in the past relative to when he is speaking - is that right? If so, what would esse mean in this context - that he is being attacked as he speaks?

Many thanks

David
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Re: Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby adrianus » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:19 pm

Possibly ('though I think not) // forsìt "dicens" (id autem dubito) but probably // magìs "[in] dicendo se a bove pulsatum esse"
"pulsatus -a -um esse" (non "pulsatus -a -um fuisse") modus infinitivus vocis passivae tempore praeterito perfecto = past perfect infinitive passive
"A bove pulsatus sum" verbatim dixit.
Others will know better. // Alii meliùs respondebunt.

Three tenses of infinitive can be inserted in reported speech: present, perfect, future (A&G §584)
In orationem obliquam tria modi infinitivi tempora addi possunt: praesens, praeteritum perfectum, futurum.
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: Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby brookter » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:21 pm

Thanks for replying, Adriane.

I haven't really come to the -endo... construction yet - something to look forward to ;-)

If I've understood you correctly concerning the tense, the passive past infinitive is to be seen as a block rather than as perfect participle + infinitive, so 'pulsatum esse' already has the concept of past - so it is not correct to make the infinitive itself past. That makes sense and I should have seen it before....

Many thanks

David
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Re: Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby Emerita » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:03 am

I’m not nearly as experienced as Adrianus, but I think either dicens or dicendo would be grammatically correct. They’d just convey slightly different shades of meaning. Disregarding for the moment the tense of the infinitive, what you wrote, using “dicens” would translate as:

Marcus, saying that he had been attacked by a bull, tries to excuse himself.
(dicens, present participle, as an adjective modifying Marcus)

What Adrianus was suggesting using “dicendo” would translate as:

Marcus tries to excuse himself by saying that he had been attacked by a bull.
(dicendo – ablative of means, using the gerund, a verbal noun formed from the neuter future passive participle of the verb.)

In other words, even though in English, we use “saying” in both sentences, in the first sentence it’s functioning as an adjective (modifying Marcus) and in the second as a noun (modifying nothing and in the ablative in the Latin sentence because it’s expressing the means by which he is trying to excuse himself.)

The infinitive, as Adrianus said and as you appear to have understood, should be “pulsatus esse”, the perfect passive infinitive.
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Re: Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby brookter » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:18 am

Emerita

Thanks - that's very helpful. I'd originally thought of using the second meaning ('by saying') but didn't know how to do it, which is why I went for the first ('dīcēns'). Your explanation of the gerund and ablative is illuminating and I appreciate it.

Thanks

David
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Re: Tenses in Indirect speech

Postby Perseus » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:13 am

Have you seen this dedicated forum to LLPSI?
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11400
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