BillWood wrote:I have a lot to learn about moods voices etc, but I had a thought with this. AND, I know I can get myself into a lot of trouble with this thought : ) But here it goes. Most of our Latin, and to some extent Hebrew and Greek studies, we handle as dead languages. The roots, moods and so forth are at least for the most part "In Stone" But is it possible 'intention' enters the picture at times more then what was actually said? At least at one time, these were living languages and the times at hand often redefined a word or two. So, a latin phrase coming from a latin teacher might be OK if it is used is such and such a way. Again I may be wrong here, but if you are "so at home with a language" you can read into and out of it much more then say myself with little or no background... ??? Just thinking. I know in English, I often say what I do not literally mean, but you totally understand me because of a dozen other things that enter the picture. Again I emphasize I'm walking on pretty thin ice here, as I should translate what the speaker said, not what the teacher was thinking : ) how do I know what was going through their minds??? Thanks for putting up with me : ) Happy Studies Bill
Bill, I think you're definitely on to something. When we get bogged down in rules of grammar, it's easy to forget that these were living languages that people used to chat about all sorts of things. And when you speak something as your native language, you speak in a certain way not so much because some teacher tells you to, as because you've internalized a set of rules and grammar instinctively. Sometimes, you can bend the rules a little bit for effect; you can say unusual things that are figurative or metaphorical. Past a certain point, you can't bend the rules or the sentence becomes nonsense. And on top of this, you have the fact that teachers DO prescribe certain usages; these "rules" do impact people's usage in complex ways; the way you talk is also influenced by how you want to present yourself in a given social situation (and speaking too "correctly" is not always a good thing) -- all of these factors interact in complicated ways. We can analyze this for modern languages (in the branches of linguistics known as pragmatics and sociolinguistics). It's obviously harder to get data for ancient languages, but it's good to remember that these types of issues really were in play.