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Problems in Syntax

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Problems in Syntax

Postby amans » Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:19 pm

Hi all,

I've been wondering about the following sentences for a while:

me vivere coegisti

iubeo eum venire

puto puerum dormire

I am not sure I can define the exact differences between their general syntactical constructions. I have some ideas but... please share your thoughts :)
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Postby Turpissimus » Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:59 pm

Could you write in a smaller font? Letters in bold and enormous type give my eyes a pain.

Also, what do you mean by "exact differences in their general syntactical constructions". Obviously all the constructions consist of a finite verb and an infinitive and a noun in the accusative. But I can't imagine you wanted one of us to waltz in and tell you they were: (a) a prolative infinitive (b) an indirect command and (c) indirect speech.

I've been reading E C Woodcock's A New Latin Syntax this week. He seems to believe that the infinitive in Latin arose as a kind of verbal noun in the accusative case, and that both the infinitive and the object were both conceived as being in the same kind of relation to the finite verb.

But I think that can only remain speculation. We have no evidence about how Early (and by that I mean pre-historic) Latin grammar worked, still less Indo-European grammar. To me it seems a great deal of speculative whimsy.
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Re: Problems in Syntax

Postby benissimus » Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:59 pm

amans wrote:me vivere coegisti

iubeo eum venire

puto puerum dormire

I am not sure I can define the exact differences between their general syntactical constructions. I have some ideas but... please share your thoughts :)

The first two are AcI (accusative with infinitive), the third is an indirect statement. The first two can be translated literally. The third one can be translated literally also: "I think the boy to sleep", but in better English "I think that the boy sleeps". The indirect statement is typically used with verbs related to the senses (e.g. to feel, see, hear, say) or of thought (e.g. to think, believe, opine, judge).
Last edited by benissimus on Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby benissimus » Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:03 pm

Turpissimus beats me again! Woodcock believes the infinitive developed as an accusative? A&G seems to disagree in calling it a petrified locative. I have his book, I should probably check it out (if I can find it).
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby amans » Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:43 pm

Oh, sorry. It's just that the lines are so long when writing in the smaller font.

Benissime, I am not sure, I'd call the first two AcIs. The third is, however, an AcI.

Well, the reason I asked is that I have a grammar which speaks of "direct object with infinitive", and that I have been unsure what that is exactly.

This grammar calls the first two examples "direct object with infinitive" and the last one AcI.

...

As a matter of fact, Turpissime, I wouldn't mind, if you "waltzed" in and shared your knowledge of prolative infinitives.
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Postby ptran » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:14 pm

I'd venture that the first two infinitives are simply object infinitives.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Oct 31, 2004 1:22 am

apparently I don't know some of the international terminology. I thought AcI was just any case where the infinitive causes there to be an accusative.
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Postby Dingbats » Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:41 am

iubeo eum venire

Is that correct Latin? I thought it should be Eum iubeo ut veniret.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Oct 31, 2004 10:07 am

some verbs of ordering/wanting/demanding take infinitive, some take a jussive noun clause. Some can take both, but usually prefer one over the other, like iubeo and volo preferring the object-infinitive.
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Postby Turpissimus » Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:32 pm

I thought that iubeo and veto were always used with the accusative and infinitive. Like this:

Pompeius milites silentio naves conscendere iussit.
Labienum fugientes longius prosequi vetuit.

I always thought it was strange that in English we use the accusative and infinitive for orders and a noun clause for indirect statements, but that in Latin it is generally the other way around.
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