Textkit Logo

what does eī refer to? orberg text

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.

what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Sofronios » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 am

I have been doing Orberg text for a while, that I almost read it unconsciously in my spare time...
as I am slogging through the text, I get more and more familiar with the text but at the same time I get this 'foggy' feeling that there are things that I still can not fully grasp about the language no matter what...
one of them that pop up at the top of my head is

Sanguis dē nāsō fluit, quod Marcus ā Sextō pulsatus est. (LL cap XXI line 10)

Iuppiter Optimus Maxime! Exclamat medicus perterritus, dum poculum ē manū labitur. (Colloquia personarum cap vicesimum almost to the last line )

why is it the dative 'eī' is there? what does it refer to?
In my head, it should be better read as, sanguis de nasō eius fluit.. or just poculum ē manū eius labitur...
and it seems to me that my native language interfere in my language acquisition.. is it just me or everybody else would encounter the same experience?

thx you
ὁ δὲ εἶπε· πῶς γὰρ ἂν δυναίμην, ἐὰν μή τις ὁδηγήσῃ με;
Qui ait : Et quomodo possum, si non aliquis ostenderit mihi ?
User avatar
Sofronios
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:27 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby procrastinator » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:27 am

I was wondering that as well. I'm guessing it's an example of the Dative of Possession. Can anyone confirm?
procrastinator
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:43 am

Sofronios wrote:why is it the dative 'eī' is there? what does it refer to?
In my head, it should be better read as, sanguis de nasō eius fluit.. or just poculum ē manū eius labitur...
and it seems to me that my native language interfere in my language acquisition.. is it just me or everybody else would encounter the same experience?

thx you


Not, it's not just you. Speakers whose primary language is English have similar moments when learning a complex inflected ancient language.

I'm not familiar with Orberg, but I'd be very surprised if he didn't intend a dative of possession here. Theoretically a dative of reference is possible, but I'm betting that's too advanced a concept for where you are in the book.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Semper melius Latine sonat...
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Alatius » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:26 am

Hm, if we should label this usage of the dative, I would definitely go with dative of reference. Dative of possession refers to constructions such as "mihi est frater", but that is not what we are dealing with here. But, in any case, whatever we call it, to understand the usage here I would concentrate on the general meaning of the dative, namely to express to whom something happens, who is affected by what is happening ("it happened to X that...", "it befell X that...").

So these constructions with the dative pronouns are somewhat more pregnant than they would have been without them. The meaning is basically the same, but perhaps you can say that "sanguis dē nāsō fluit" (without "eī") is a bit more matter of fact "blood flows from his nose", while "sanguis eī dē nāsō fluit" is more like "he has a nosebleed", in that it makes the reader think a bit more about how what is happening affects the person whose nose it is. Similarly, "poculum ē manū labitur" gives an impression similar to "the cup slips from his hand", while "poculum eī ē manū labitur" is more like "he (accidentally) drops the cup": the cup falling from a hand is not something that happens in isolation; there is a person connected to the hand, and the cup falling is something that happens to him.

The construction with the genitive is not really that common with body parts, and would have been unexpected here. "Poculum ē manū eius labitur" is not bad Latin per se, but it gives undue stress to the fact that it is his hand as opposed to someone else's: "The cup slipped from his own hand; it was his hand that the cup slipped from."
Alatius
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 275
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 11:21 am
Location: Upsalia, Suecia

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Sofronios » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:37 am

Alatius wrote:Hm, if we should label this usage of the dative, I would definitely go with dative of reference. Dative of possession refers to constructions such as "mihi est frater", but that is not what we are dealing with here. But, in any case, whatever we call it, to understand the usage here I would concentrate on the general meaning of the dative, namely to express to whom something happens, who is affected by what is happening ("it happened to X that...", "it befell X that...").

So these constructions with the dative pronouns are somewhat more pregnant than they would have been without them. The meaning is basically the same, but perhaps you can say that "sanguis dē nāsō fluit" (without "eī") is a bit more matter of fact "blood flows from his nose", while "sanguis eī dē nāsō fluit" is more like "he has a nosebleed", in that it makes the reader think a bit more about how what is happening affects the person whose nose it is. Similarly, "poculum ē manū labitur" gives an impression similar to "the cup slips from his hand", while "poculum eī ē manū labitur" is more like "he (accidentally) drops the cup": the cup falling from a hand is not something that happens in isolation; there is a person connected to the hand, and the cup falling is something that happens to him.

The construction with the genitive is not really that common with body parts, and would have been unexpected here. "Poculum ē manū eius labitur" is not bad Latin per se, but it gives undue stress to the fact that it is his hand as opposed to someone else's: "The cup slipped from his own hand; it was his hand that the cup slipped from."


what a clear explanation.

gratias tibi ago!
ὁ δὲ εἶπε· πῶς γὰρ ἂν δυναίμην, ἐὰν μή τις ὁδηγήσῃ με;
Qui ait : Et quomodo possum, si non aliquis ostenderit mihi ?
User avatar
Sofronios
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:27 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Hylander » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:17 am

Alatius explains this very well.

Allen & Greenough has a label for this usage: dative of separation. As they note, this is a special case of the "dative of reference".

381. Many verbs of taking away and the like take the Dative (especially of a person) instead of the Ablative of Separation (§ 401).

Such are compounds of ab , dē , ex , and a few of ad :—

“aureum eī dētrāxit amiculum ” (N. D. 3.83) , he took from him his cloak of gold.
“hunc mihi terrōrem ēripe ” (Cat. 1.18) , take from me this terror.
“vītam adulēscentibus vīs aufert ” (Cat. M. 71) , violence deprives young men of life.
nihil enim tibi dētrāxit senātus (Fam. 1.5B), for the senate has taken nothing from you.
nec mihi hunc errōrem extorquērī volō; (Cat. M. 85), nor do I wish this error wrested from me.

[*] Note.--The Dative of Separation is a variety of the Dative of Reference. It represents the action as done to the person or thing, and is thus more vivid than the Ablative

[*] a. The distinct idea of motion requires the ablative with a preposition—thus generally with names of things (§ 426. 1):—

“illum ex perīculō ēripuit ” (B. G. 4.12) , he dragged him out of danger.

[*] Note.--Sometimes the dative of the person and the ablative of the thing with a preposition are both used with the same verb: as, “—mihi praeda dē manibus ēripitur” (Verr. 2.1.142) , the booty is wrested from my hands.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=AG+381&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0001
Hylander
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:42 pm

Hylander wrote:Alatius explains this very well.

Allen & Greenough has a label for this usage: dative of separation. As they note, this is a special case of the "dative of reference".


I'm quite willing to see it as a dative of reference. But in the original examples from Orberg, how is separation implied? For that matter, when we talk about his nose or his hands or his legs, how different is this from the dative of possession, beyond he fact that it doesn't fit the formal definition of having a form of esse hanging about? I've always viewed it more as simply an idiomatic expression (without worrying about the label).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Semper melius Latine sonat...
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: what does eī refer to? orberg text

Postby Hylander » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:30 pm

in the original examples from Orberg, how is separation implied? For that matter, when we talk about his nose or his hands or his legs, how different is this from the dative of possession, beyond he fact that it doesn't fit the formal definition of having a form of esse hanging about?


Sanguis eī dē nāsō fluit This is different from the dative of possession not just because there is no form of esse hanging about (a sufficient reason in itself), but because ei specifies the person to whom the bleeding nose happened, not the possessor of the nose, as in the other examples of the dative of "separation" and, more generally, the dative of "reference". This is definitively not a dative of possession.

As Alatius notes, genitives and possessive adjectives are usually not used with body parts when the person to whom they belong is clear and there's no reason to emphasize the person to whom the body part is attached.

"Separation" is a catch-all term that perhaps may not fit precisely all instances of this usage, but here the blood is separated from or lost to the individual, so I think it can be classified under the "dative of separation" rubric, recognizing that it's a sub-category of "dative of reference." These pigeonholes were of course invented by non-native grammarians to collect patterns of usage, but I don't think that necessarily means they aren't useful.
Hylander
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 101 guests