Textkit Logo

Help in a contradiction about Indirect discourse rule

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Help in a contradiction about Indirect discourse rule

Postby Swth\r » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:08 am

Dear friends,
it' s been a lot of time since my last contribution to our lovely fellowship...
At first I would like to apologize to all of you for my very long text, and I hope that I do not violate any of forum's rules.

My request, as I feel, will be of interest perhaps of a minority of fellows, quite experienced in Latin Language or perhaps even Latin teachers . But I ask the opinion of anyone able to help me on this:

Having studied Linguistics and teaching Latin for over 10 years, I have come to the conclusion that in indirect discourse, all past tenses of the indicative are represented by the perfent infinitive. The above statement can also be found (among other sources) in the following Latin Grammar works:

1. E. C. Woodcock, "A New Latin Syntax", page 20, § 30.
“The rule for converting these into O.O (=Oratio Obliqua) is as follows:
[...]
scripsi, scribebam, scripseram epistulam -> Dicit, dixit, dicet se epistulam scripsisse.
[...]
And page 21, § 31
“I will be observed from the scheme given in the previous section that the perfect infinitive has to represent all the four kinds of past tense of the finite verb. Latin has no special infinitive form to express continuous action in the past, like the English ‘to have been writing’, and until late times, when quod-clauses became serious rivals of the accusative and infinitive construction in O.O, there was nothing better than dicit se scripsisse to represent ‘he says that he was writing’. But scripsisse tells us only that the writing took place before the time of speaking; it does not, like ‘was writing’ express clearly the idea of incomplete or progressive action in the past.”

2. Allen-Greenough, "New Latin Grammar", § 534: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... section=12

Tenses of the Infinitive in Indirect Discourse
584. [...]
cadēbam, I was falling; cecidī, I fell, have fallen; cecideram, I had fallen.
dīcit sē cecidisse, he says he was falling, fell, has fallen, had fallen.
dīxit sē cecidisse, he said he fell, had fallen.
[...]

a. All varieties of past time are usually expressed in Indirect Discourse by the Perfect Infinitive, which may stand for the Imperfect, the Perfect, or the Pluperfect Indicative of the Direct.

Note.--Continued or repeated action in past time is sometimes expressed by the Present Infinitive, which in such cases stands for the Imperfect Indicative of the Direct Discourse and is often called the Imperfect Infinitive.
This is the regular construction after meminī when referring to a matter of actual experience or observation: as,tē meminī haec dīcere, I remember your saying this (that you said this). [Direct: dīxistī or dīcēbās .]”

3. Gildersleeve-Lodge, "Latin Grammar" page 333, § 530
“After verbs of saying, showing, believing, perceiving and the like,
[...]
The perfect infinitive expresses prior action
[...]
Remark. — The action which is completed with regard to the leading verb may be in itself a continued action. So in English: ‘I have been studying, I had been studying’. Hence, the Imperfect Indicative (I was studying) is represented in this dependent form by the Perfect Infinitive, because it is prior to the leading verb.
[...]
Prior Action.
Present Tense: Dicit te errasse = He says, that you have gone wrong, that you went wrong, that you
have been going wrong,
Historical Tense: Dicebat te errasse = He was saying, that you had gone wrong, that you went wrong, that you had been {that people had been going wrong.”
[...]

4. Charles E. Benett, “New Latin Grammar”, § 270
270. 1. The tenses of the Infinitive denote time not absolutely, but with reference to the verb on which they depend. Thus:—

[...]
b) The Perfect Infinitive represents an act as prior to the time of the verb on which it depends; as,—
vidētur honōrēs adsecūtus esse, he seems to have gained honors;
vīsus est honōrēs adsecūtus esse, he seemed to have gained honors.

and § 317: Tenses of the Infinitive.

317. These are used in accordance with the regular principles for the use of the Infinitive as given in § 270.
a. The Perfect Infinitive may represent any past tense of the Indicative of Direct Discourse. Thus:—
sciō tē haec ēgisse may mean—
I know you were doing this.(Direct: haec agēbās.)
I know you did this. (Direct: haec ēgistī.)
I know you had done this. (Direct: haec ēgerās.)

5. G. M. Lane, “A Latin Grammar, for schools and colleges“, page 385, § 2226
Any past tense of the indicative, when made dependent on a verb of perceiving, knowing, thinking or saying, is represented by the perfect infinitive.
Thus, in Theophrastus scribit Cimonem hospitalem fuisse: ita enim vilicis imperavisse, ut omnia praeberentur, Off. 3, 64, Theophrastus says in his book that Cimon was the soul of hospitality: he had directed his stewards to furnish everything required, the fuisse represents erat of fuit, and the imperavisse may represent imperabat, imperavit, or perhaps imperaverat ot direct discourse.

6. R. Kühner- C. Stegmann, “Ausführliche Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache”, page 238, § 10027
Der Unterschied, der in der direkten Rede zwischen dem Indikative des Imperfekts, des Perfekts und des Plusquamperfekts stattfindet, fallt in der obliquen Rede weg, da der Indikativ aller drei Zeitformen nur durch den Infinitiv des Perfekts bezeichnet werden kann.

But, in ERNOUT-THOMAS Latin Syntax, page 324 § 325, and also page 423 § 410 it is said that the Imperfect indicative becomes a Present Infinitive (because it denotes continuity of the action), and cites only one example from Cicero, the following:

M. Tullius Cicero. De Officiis (M. Tulli Ciceronis Scripta Quae
Manserunt Omnia. Fasc. 48, ed. C. Atzert, 1932). (0474: 055)
book 1, section 108, line 12

Callidum Hannibalem ex Poenorum, ex nostris ducibus Q. Maximum accepimus, facile celare, tacere, dissimulare, insidiari, praeripere hostium consilia.

I have three questions for you all:

1. What is your oppinion about this?
2. What is your rewiev about ERNOUT-THOMAS Latin syntax work?
3. Does it happen that anyone of you have access to the following book?
LEUMANN-HOFMANN-SZANTYR, Lateneische Grammatik, VOL. II, Syntax
Any quotation from that book would be of great importance to me! Thanks in advance for any reply, and sorry again for my long text!
Dives qui sapiens est...
Swth\r
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:51 pm
Location: Greece

Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bedwere, Bing [Bot], Lucretius2327, whsiv and 103 guests