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Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

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Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:20 am

If the passive periphrastic employs the dative case in place of the ablative of agent to specify the person by whom the action was completed, how then would one specify an indirect object employing the passive periphrastic? ???<br /><br />e.g. Hic liber mihi laudatus est - I ought to read this book.<br /><br />How would one say "I ought to read this book to you"?<br /><br />Normally the ablative would be used to specify the agent, however, for whatever reason, the Romans decided to use the dative case of the noun performing the action with the passive periphrastic, which very much irritates me. >:(
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby Alundis » Mon Aug 11, 2003 6:35 am

I could swear that I read about this today, but I can't find a reference. Correct me if I'm wrong; I'm still learning. To avoid confusion, the ablative can be used instead of the dative to specify the agent.
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby adz000 » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:18 am

I found a passage in Gildersleeve's grammar on this point. Obviously grammars are fallible but the textual evidence is encouraging:<br /><br />355. The agent of the Gerund and Gerundive is put in the Dative, at all periods.<br />[face=SPIonic][size=18=9]<br /> Diligentia praecipue colenda est nobis, C., Or., II. 35, 148; carefulness is to be cultivated by us first and foremost.<br /><br /> REMARK. -- To avoid ambiguity, especially when the verb itself takes the Dat., the Abl. with ab (a) is employed for the sake of clearness:<br /> Civibus a vobis consulendum, C., Imp., 2, 6; the interest of the citizens must be consulted by you. Supplicatio ab eo decernenda non fuit, C., Ph., XIV. 4, 11<br /><br /> Where there is no ambiguity there is no need of ab:<br /> Linguae moderandum est mihi., Pl., Curc., 486; I must put bounds to my tongue.<br />[/face][/size]<br /><br />

<br /><br />I suppose Gildersleeve is right to point out that not every two uses of a dative with a passive periphrastic are ambiguous. Even though there may be a formal ambiguity among cases, sentences can be constructed so that the meaning is obvious. <br /><br />One could also convey the same meaning in different words: debeo tibi recitare hoc librum, for example. A periphrasis of a periphrasis sounds more painful than it is. Of course a good orator would have handfuls of additional ways to express the thought "I need to" and someone like Cicero will have them all scanned. One could try a construction like "opus est..." or substitute egeo for debeo.
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby benissimus » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:21 am

Does that mean that things like "a mihi" would be possible? ???
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby adz000 » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:44 am

The preposition a/ab only takes the ablative as far as I know, so according to Gildersleeve "a me" must be a possibility.
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:20 pm

So, are you saying that the phrase about which I had inquired earlier should be written thus:<br /><br /> "Hic liber tibi a me legendus est.<br /> I ought to read this book to you.<br /><br /> ???
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby adz000 » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:02 am

Yes, if you're determined to express "ought" by the passive periphrastic that's the most un-ambiguous, grammatical way to do it.<br /><br />I have misgivings about using "legere" to mean "read to someone". This is a question a good dictionary like the OLD would put to rest by giving quotations of how the verb legere is used. Does it ever take an indirect object? The concept of "reading to" someone is stranger than it seems. Perhaps a better verb would be recitare?
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Re:Question regarding the passive periphrastic tense.

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:34 am

I am not particularly interested in using the verb legere in such a context. I was merely interested to know how a gerundive would take an indirect object, given that the case employed to indicated such a thing is already used with it to signify the agent by which/whom the action ought to be done.
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