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Quis? quae?

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Quis? quae?

Postby Lucus Eques » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:08 pm

In one of the sample pages of Ørberg's Familia Romana, it has phrases like so:

Quis est Marcus? Quae est Iulia?

And in the annotations on the side, it shows "quis" and "quae" next to each other, somehow equating one as the masculine version and the other feminine version of the same word. Am I missing something? "Quis," as I understand, is "who?" for masculine and feminine, "quid" being the neutral "what?". I also realize that qui, quae, quod can be used as the interrogative pronouns for "which?", "what?", so "quae" is fine, especially since the phrases are referring to a picture involving the characters. But then why not "qui est Marcus?"
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Postby Cyborg » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:26 pm

that's an excellent question. I'm not using the same book, but the two I'm using also says that the this interrogative pronoun is "quis, quae, quid". Then I went to forum romanum and they said it is "quis, quis, quid", and the same for aliquis (aliquis, aliquis, aliquid), quidam (quidam, quidam, quiddam), quisquam (quisquam, quisquam, quidquam) and quisque (quisque, quisque, quidque), while my two books say that the following feminine forms exist, respectively: aliqua, quaedam, (here it says quisquam has no feminine), quaeque.

What's wrong?
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Postby Ioannes » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:39 pm

quis = whom
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Re: Quis? quae?

Postby amans » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:39 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:In one of the sample pages of Ørberg's Familia Romana, it has phrases like so:

Quis est Marcus? Quae est Iulia?

And in the annotations on the side, it shows "quis" and "quae" next to each other, somehow equating one as the masculine version and the other feminine version of the same word. Am I missing something? "Quis," as I understand, is "who?" for masculine and feminine, "quid" being the neutral "what?". I also realize that qui, quae, quod can be used as the interrogative pronouns for "which?", "what?", so "quae" is fine, especially since the phrases are referring to a picture involving the characters. But then why not "qui est Marcus?"


salue Luce

If I understand you correctly you are asking two questions:

1) Why quae and not quis in the example given?

I suppose you are correct in assuming that when someone is asking "Who is it?" and does not know the person's gender the "who" would be quis. But here someone is asking who is Iulia, a girl -- I think this kind of congruence is called "attraction".

2) Why not qui?

Normally the interrogative qui would be used as an adjective. It can, however, also figure as a noun with a different meaning: in your example you're not asking, "who is Marcus?" but "what kind of person is Marcus?" At least, I think so... :)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:47 pm

Ioannes wrote:quis = whom


quem = whom
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Postby mraig » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:12 pm

If this were an actual piece of Latin - particularly an archaic piece - it would be no big deal, because the distinctions we like to make between 'quis, quid' the interrogative pronoun and 'qui, quae quod' the relative pronoun/interrogative adjective are distinctions that were decided by grammarians and influential authors, and did not necessarily reflect the usage of normal everyday Latin speakers. Since Latin was not invented in one day by God and handed down to the Roman people, but developed slowly over time in different ways for different people, every individual speaker had his own internalized grammar that he probably never gave much thought to - just as we do with English. Ask your average speaker of English about when he uses 'that' and when he uses 'which' as a relative pronoun and you'd probably get a blank stare, because - even though there are rules that are written out by grammarians - we don't generally look to any authority when we formulate our speech - we just do it, and sometimes it's not 100% consistent from speaker to speaker, or even from day to day with a single speaker.

Now, that said, if you've gotten this from a textbook, that's a little different, because introductory Latin textbooks should be written with an eye to the prescriptive grammar that was worked out in the late Republican period. Given that, I would say that this is either (1) a mistake, and the second sentence should read "quis est Iulia", or, (2) more likely, that the second sentence should be translated as "which is Julia?" or possibly "which Julia is it?", since that's what it says. For example, if I were talking about two different women named Julia, and you were to ask me which one was the daughter of Caesar, you would say something like "Quae est Iulia Caesaris filia?" using "quae" the interrogative adjective instead of "quis" the interrogative pronoun.

Just my two cents.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:10 am

Very interesting! It seems like this was just the preferred mode of some ancient speakers that the author is immitating. Here is the page I was referring to:

http://users.cybercity.dk/~bbe6711/cap213.htm
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Postby mraig » Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:18 am

Well... like I said, an actual Roman would probably have no trouble understanding "Quae est Iulia?", but after looking at this page, I think it is just wrong. Unless there's something I'm not getting here, this is just not standard Latin, and it's not the paradigm one should learn when learning Latin. Does someone else see something I don't?
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Re: Quis? quae?

Postby amans » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:24 am

Lucus Eques wrote:But then why not "qui est Marcus?"


I just read these lines in Horatius, Sermo I, 9, 54-56:

uelis tantummodo: quae tua uirtus expugnabis; et est qui vinci possit, eoque difficilis aditus primos habet

Here qui is a noun, an indefinite pronoun. I'd translate it as: "and he is such a man who is capable of being won".

Perseus has:

"You need only be inclined to it: such is your merit, you will accomplish it: and he is capable of being won;5 and on that account the first access to him he makes difficult."
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:06 pm

mraig wrote: I think it is just wrong. Unless there's something I'm not getting here, this is just not standard Latin, and it's not the paradigm one should learn when learning Latin. Does someone else see something I don't?

According to A&G (section 1.148):
The singular quis is either masculine or of indeterminate gender, but in old writers it is sometimes distinctly feminine.

and
The feminine forms qua and quae are sometimes used substantively.

I'm not sure why the originally quoted phrase is so controversial. Since quae is an acceptable substantive form and since the gender is not in doubt but known to be feminine it seems perfectly correct to me. Of course, quis could also be used and be correct, but the question would seem to have an unnecessary gender ambiguity.
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Postby vialucis » Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:13 pm

I think we may seek on the Web with Google to solve the problem.
Thus we can see how many and what type of interrogative Latin sentences could contain "Quae".
I do not think such a way is reliable, but it is easy enough.
This is the first words of mine on this Forum, by the way.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:38 pm

vialucis wrote:This is the first words of mine on this Forum, by the way.

Welcome to the forum! Of course, we all know what happened to Caesar at the forum, but that's a different story...
vialucis wrote:I think we may seek on the Web with Google to solve the problem.
Thus we can see how many and what type of interrogative Latin sentences could contain "Quae".
I do not think such a way is reliable, but it is easy enough.

Searching google like that may be difficult (because so many other languages and uses of quae would come up), but in any case, it's not necessary. Cicero used the term often enough. Consider (from his oration against Piso):
Perseus Reference wrote:quae est igitur poena, quod supplicium?

He's clearly asking "What is punishment?" not "which punishment is it" and using quae to match the known gender of poena.
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Postby vialucis » Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:26 am

Of course, we all know what happened to Caesar at the forum, but that's a different story...

I don't want to know anything not concerning the Latin study. I am only a pure lover of study language.

At first I began to study Latin with some Russian textbooks (since I gruaduated from my college as a Russianist), and Russians in general belive that "quis est...?" is the standard use, but I think this is more or less because of the influence of their own language (in Russian, the interrogative pronoun "who" have no distinction in gender).
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Postby mraig » Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:43 am

edonnelly wrote: Cicero used the term often enough. Consider (from his oration against Piso):
Perseus Reference wrote:quae est igitur poena, quod supplicium?

He's clearly asking "What is punishment?" not "which punishment is it" and using quae to match the known gender of poena.


If he were using the 'quis, quid' interrogative pronoun, Cicero would have said, "quid supplicium?" instead of "quod supplicium" Since he uses 'quod', not 'quid', he is using the interrogative adjective "qui, quae, quod', and not the pronoun 'quis, quid,' and of course in this case it is correct to use 'quae.' But since the sentence in the textbook couples "quis est Marcus?" with "quae est Iulia?", it appears to be mixing forms.

I'm not quite sure that either of your A&G quotes apply. In the first one:

The singular quis is sometimes either masculine or of indeterminate gender, but in old writers it is sometimes distinctily feminine.


there is no suggestion of an alternate feminine form, only that 'quis' can be used as the feminine.

The second,
The feminine forms qua and quae are sometimes used substantively


is under the Indefinite Pronoun 'quis' and 'qui' meaning "anyone" and "any". This is not the same as the Interrogative Pronoun, which is what we're dealing with here.

But I DO see, in the note under 148, the following:

But qui is often used without any apparent adjective force; and quis is very common as an adjective, especially with words denoting a person"


I suppose that's what's happening here; it's not that 'quae' is being used as the interrogative pronoun, it's that 'quis' is being used as the interrogative adjective.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:29 am

I suppose that's what's happening here; it's not that 'quae' is being used as the interrogative pronoun, it's that 'quis' is being used as the interrogative adjective.


Ah! well that makes sense. Bravo! Thank you for taking that load off my mind.
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Postby Cyborg » Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:24 pm

does that mean, certe, that "quae" may never be used as the feminine form of the interrogative pronoun "quis"?
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Postby benissimus » Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:30 am

Cyborg wrote:does that mean, certe, that "quae" may never be used as the feminine form of the interrogative pronoun "quis"?

As the note says, the interrogatives qui and quis can be used adjectivally or pronominally. When qui is mentioned, you may assume that quae and quod follow the same rules, and when quis is mentioned, you may assume that quid follows the same rules. Therefore all forms (including the feminine) can be used as the interrogative adjective or interrogative pronoun. It is common practice to distinguish between quis, quid and qui, quae, quod as the former being the interrogative pronoun and the latter being the interrogative adjective (as well as relative pronoun), but as this thread has discussed, that distinction is not pure.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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