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North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

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North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby hlawson38 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:39 pm

Context: The Chapter topic is "Final and Consecutive Clauses". Exercise 13, problem 10 sets this sentence for translation into Latin.

In order never to be conquered never be afraid.


My trial effort was this: Ne umquam vincaris ne timeas umquam. My grammar rationale was that the sentence requires a jussive clause in the present subjunctive [ ne timeas umquam. ] and a final clause in the present subjunctive. [ Ne umquam vincaris ].

But, the answer key gives a different solution: Ne umquam vincaris ne timueris umquam.

At first I could give no rationale for timueris, meant to be perfect subjunctive, but I believe I have found the answer in Allen and Greenough, at #450:
Prohibition is regularly expressed . . . (1) by noli with the infinitive, (2) by cave in the present subjunctive, or (3) ne with the perfect subjunctive.


As I read this, the answer key follows (3) in using ne with the perfect subjunctive.
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby mwh » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:51 pm

What a weird-looking sentence.

But yes, you have it. Actually, present subjunctive for the main clause (ne timeas) would be fine. But so is perfect subjunctive. There’s little if any difference in meaning, but present is favored in early Latin, perfect in classical. Cicero has Ne mortem timueritis.

Though not (if I remember) precisely the same, you might care to compare the uses of perfect subjunctive we had in a couple of your recent posts.
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby bedwere » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:01 pm

Michael, is the use of the perfect an influence of Greek?
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby hlawson38 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:14 pm

Thanks to mwh for the grammar check. On weird sentences in grammar exercises: sometimes these work very well pedagogically, as this one did for me. The North & Hilliard key sent me scratching through other books to find a rationale for that perfect subjunctive.
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby mwh » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:48 am

You're quite right, there's nothing pedagogically wrong with weird sentences.

bedwere wrote:Michael, is the use of the perfect an influence of Greek?
I really can’t say, though the question must have been asked, and answered (probably both ways). Direct influence I doubt. There must be a connection of some kind at some level, but Greek pres:aor aspectual distinction doesn’t seem to apply to pres:perf in Latin. In Latin there’s evidently diachronic (~ generic?, ~ stylistic register?) development from present to perfect, which I'd have trouble accounting for. But I’m no grammarian. Pres:impf::perf:plupf subjunctive makes a neat system, though, and maybe that has something to do with the perfect's power grab. Anything in Sihler or Buck, or even in A&G?
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby Hylander » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:37 pm

You might take a look at Woodcock, A New Latin Syntax, sec. 128, pp. 96-7. Elsewhere, he refers to the use of the perfect in prohibitions with ne "aoristic": "it merely denotes that the action is viewed in its entirety, and has no reference to the past. It must, of necessity, refer to the future." See sec. 112, note (ii). He also notes that the present subjunctive is sometimes used in general prohibitions. See sec. 126, note (ii).

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.32106010985098;view=1up;seq=115

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.32106010985098;view=1up;seq=124

Michael, both A&G and Woodcock note that that the present imperative with ne occurs in prohibitions more commonly in early Latin Is it possible that you were thinking of this construction?

At any rate, the present subjunctive should be acceptable in hlawson's original sentence, as it's a general prohibition.
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Re: North & Hilliard: need a grammar rationale, edited

Postby mwh » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:01 am

No I wasn’t thinking of ne with present imperative, or only incidentally, but wondering about the difference between e.g. ne timeas and ne timueris, with reference to bedwere’s question about Greek influence. To be sure there stands to be some semantic difference synchronically, and I have no quarrel with calling the perfect aoristic, but how well does differentiation in such terms really hold up? It’s so much clearer in Greek, and more constant. In Latin there are complicating factors, such as change over time, and register, and interrelations with other constructions both negative and positive. ne+pres.subj. is common enough in early Latin, and not always or even usually of “general” prohibitions.
—But I throw up my hands when it comes to understanding why things are as they are in Latin, or why they changed as they did.
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