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ex Africa semper aliquid novi

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ex Africa semper aliquid novi

Postby Rufus Coppertop » Wed May 10, 2017 7:06 am

ex Africa semper aliquid novi

Is it my imagination or is this not terribly good Latin?

Shouldn't aliquid novi be taken as an appositive phrase and therefore should novi not be novum?

Agreement in case, number and gender?
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Re: ex Africa semper aliquid novi

Postby Timothée » Wed May 10, 2017 7:41 am

“Aliquid novi” is perfectly good Latin, and in fact it’s a common expression. It’s a so called genitive of totality (genetivus totius). We have it also in e.g. Nil novi sub sole ‘nothing new under the sun’ and Humani nil a me alienum puto ‘I consider nothing human strange to me’.
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Re: ex Africa semper aliquid novi

Postby Shenoute » Wed May 10, 2017 10:18 am

Just to complete Timothée's answer:

- aliquid novum is a possibility
- this genitive is preserved in French for instance, "quelque chose de nouveau", litt. "something of new".
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Re: ex Africa semper aliquid novi

Postby Hylander » Wed May 10, 2017 12:45 pm

Lewis & Short, aliquis:

D Aliquid (nom. or acc.), with gen. of a subst. or of a neutr, adj. of second decl. instead of the adj. aliqui, aliqua, aliquod, agreeing with such word: aliquid pugnae, Plaut. Capt. 3, 4, 54: vestimenti aridi, id. Rud. 2, 6, 16: consilii, id. Ep. 2, 2, 71: monstri, Ter. And. 1, 5, 15: scitamentorum, Plaut. Men. 1, 3, 26: armorum, Tac. G. 18: boni, Plaut. Aul. 4, 6, 5; Ter. And. 2, 3, 24; Vulg. Joan. 1, 46: aequi, Ter. Ad. 2, 1, 33: mali, Plaut. Ep. 1, 1, 60; Ter. Eun. 5, 5, 29: novi, Q. Cic. Pet. Cons. 1, 1; Vulg. Act. 17, 21: potionis, Plaut. Men. 5, 2, 22: virium, Cic. Fam. 11, 18: falsi, id. Caecin. 1, 3: vacui, Quint. 10, 6, 1: mdefensi, Liv. 26, 5 al.—Very rarely in abl.: aliquo loci morari, Dig. 18, 7, 1.—
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