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Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

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Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby Milito » Tue May 06, 2003 3:30 pm

I am working through Cicero's De Officiis, for no particular reason beyond the thought that doing so would probably improve my ability to read in Latin, and probably keep me in pretty good shape for the next chance I have to take a Latin course. Cicero seems to love relative pronouns. I don't.<br /><br />In a grammar book, relative pronouns are pretty straightforward. I can recognize them nine times out of ten at 20 paces. I will admit to having a period of confusion just now between a relative prounoun + "-que" and "quisque" declensions, which caused some difficulty, but even recognizing that little "oops" hasn't helped a whole lot with the latest headache.<br /><br />The phrase I'm trying to deal with is in section (chapter?) 20 of Book 1, and runs this way:<br /><br />Ex quo, quia suum cuiusque fit eorum quae natura fuerant communia quod cuique obtigit, id quisque teneat.<br /><br />Ex quo: From which, referring back to an arguement in the last sentence. <br />Quia: Because. <br />Suum cuiusque fit: .... is driving me around the bend, since it seems to say "its/his own of each (thing) it becomes/happens/arises" ...<br />Eorum quae natura fuerant communia: Of those things which by nature used to be public things<br />Quod cuique obtigit: As far as it befell each<br />Id quisque teneat: Each should keep it.<br /><br />So in general I get: "From which, because ???????? of those things which by nature used to be public, as far as it befell each, he should keep it."<br /><br />I suppose that in this case, it's more indefinite pronouns than relative ones which are causing the difficulty. Can I assume a built-in "which" with the "cuiusque"? Could I translate my mystery phrase as "of each thing which becomes his own of those things which by nature...."? Or am I way off track?<br /><br />Greatly appreciate any help anyone may have on this little nightmare of a sentence.....<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby benissimus » Mon May 12, 2003 6:09 am

Ex quo, quia suum cuiusque fit eorum quae natura fuerant communia quod cuique obtigit, id quisque teneat.<br /><br />Out of which, because each's own thing becomes theirs, (the things) which had been by nature belonging to the public, because to each it befell, each may keep it.<br /><br />I do not say this with surety, but I believe this to be at least mostly correct.<br /><br />That was very difficult :-X
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby benissimus » Tue May 13, 2003 12:14 am

That makes almost no sense at all, but I don't know if it is supposed to without simplification
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby Milito » Wed May 14, 2003 2:44 pm

It is supposed to make sense eventually....<br /><br />I believe that it's supposed to mean something like, "From the preceding arguement, because some things which used to be common property have become private property of individuals, in these cases, whatever a person happens to own, let him hang onto it." The trick is trying to figure out first, if this is correct, and second, how to get over my hang-ups with making the English actually reflect the Latin as closely as possible, which (obviously) isn't always possible............ But I don't know where it's appropriate to draw the line in translation - when is "freely translated" too "free"?<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby Erica » Fri May 16, 2003 5:48 am

"Relative Pronouns are out to get me"...sounds like a bad pop song :)<br />I know it is a bit of a remedial text, but sometimes it is easy to figure things out if one just goes back to the basics, so I would like to suggest you check out the relative pronoun section of the book "English Grammar for Students of Latin"...I hope this does not start a cycle of hate messages to me (because of the text suggestion), (I assume English is your primary language or that you are extremely comfortable working in English, because in reading your posts about the various boards I assumed this is so), and just found that when I would start "over thinking" about grammatical points too much it was easier to go to a text which is set up as a comparative resource, and addresses the languages bit by bit. I realize that is asking one to think Latin via English, and vice versa, but you never know what can help jump start you to just "get" it in Latin again, or to get through a specific rough spot with something you know you are familiar with.<br />E
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby Milito » Fri May 16, 2003 1:35 pm

.... well.... English is my first language, and actually I'm kind of a grammar junkie - I actually like it and am very comfortable with it. It's not the concept of a relative pronoun that's causing me difficulty - it's the usage of relative pronouns in Latin and the correct way of translating them. The big problem, I suspect, is that I am rather stuck on using correct English grammar - and in using correct translation, which causes difficulty when the direct translation doesn't slide smoothly into correct English grammar. For example, a verb that is transitive in Latin, but intransitive in English (or vice versa) tends to cause "does not compute" errors in a small part of my head when I'm trying to translate it. <br /><br />However, I am much intrigued to hear about the book you mentioned - as I said, I'm a grammar junkie, so frankly, an English grammar book written specifically for people studying Latin sounds like a wonderful idea!! I suspect you're entirely right about my "over-thinking" the grammar...<br /><br />I greatly appreciate the suggestion, so I'll run off to see if I can find the book.... no hate mail from this corner! Thank you again!<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Relative Prounouns are Out to Get Me...

Postby Erica » Fri May 16, 2003 3:16 pm

Cool! <br />Yes, I really think you will like this book (English Grammar for Students of Latin)...I am a grammar junkie as well, and totally understand your frustration re: usage -- you just never know what will throw you off track once and again....<br />This book is really good in that it takes a grammatical issue apart in sections both for each individual language and then discusses them comparatively as well. You should be able to find it quite cheap used, I think my copy was $7 used on amazon! Anyway, I'm sure you will "jump start" your brain and hopefully just enjoy the book as well.<br />E :D
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