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D'ooge EX. 39/40

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D'ooge EX. 39/40

Postby jsc01 » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:42 pm

Hello all,

I am new to Latin, new to D'ooge and new to this forum. I was wondering if anyone would be able to clarify something for me in Exercises 39 and 40.

In Exercise 39 Part I Number 1, it asks for the English translation of "Diana est dea", which I translate as "Diana is a goddess". In the Latin version, why is dea, which is the object of the sentence, in nominative singular form and not accusative singular?

This leads into my question in Exercise 40 (conversation), Number 1. Here it asks you to translate into English and answer in Latin. The question is "Quis est Diana?". My answer is "Diana is the goddess of the moon". Would that be "Diana est dea lunae" or would it be "Diana est deam lunae"?[/i]
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Postby Episcopus » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:56 pm

Hello, jsc01! A very warm welcome to you!

Basically sum is intransitive meaning that it can not take a direct object. The compliment of sum is nominative here "Diana est dea lunae" as you rightly said. As in english we don't say "whom are you" but "who are you", yet if an object "whom did you choose to become goddess?"

I'm sure some one else (i.e Skylax) can explain that more clearly. I'm sure D'Ooge says something about this.

Welcome again and I hope you post often and with great eagerness :o
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Postby jsc01 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:49 pm

I think I figured this out.

In Diana est dea we use the nominative singular form of dea because the noun dea is not an object. There is no verb in this sentence to govern any object. There is only the copula, est. Therefore, it would not be proper to use the accusitive singular form.

Given this, in order to say "Diana is the goddess of the moon" we would write Diana est dea lunae.

Does this sound like a plausable explanation?
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Postby Episcopus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:57 pm

yes :)
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Postby benissimus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:28 pm

Part of the reason for this is that you can reverse the apparent subject and predicate with relatively little change in the sentence's meaning, and no change at all in the event described. I believe all Indo-European languages follow this rule.

Think about it:
Dea est Diana = A goddess is Diana
Diana est dea = Diana is a goddess

Meus est filius = Mine is the son
Filius est meus = The son is mine.

The first examples sound a bit odd to our ears because English has fairly recently abandoned such constructions for the most part, but hopefully you can see that the meaning is unchanged.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby jsc01 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:15 pm

Yes, I think I understand. That is scary.

Thanks!
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