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Gerundive outside of the Passive Periphrastic

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Gerundive outside of the Passive Periphrastic

Postby Rufus Gulielmus » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:10 pm

Salvete, amici!

I've got a question for you guys--most recently inspired by something metrodorus said on the composition board--but definitely encountered elsewhere.

here's the quote from metrodorus:

Mihi est propositum fabula infinita scribendamus


(note: I'm still only at about chapter 30 of Wheelock, so it's quite likely that this is something he hasn't taught us yet)

I recognize scribendamus as a future passive participle (gerundive). I also recognize that a form of "to be" is found in est. Further still, I recognize that there is what could possibly be a dative of agent (mihi), but something tells me that this is not a run-of-the-mill passive periphrastic construction. I understand the sense of the sentence, something along the lines of "I propose that we write an endless story", but the grammar isn't quite falling into place.

How is the gerundive to be translated when it's not found in a passive periphrastic construction?

Gratias vobis ago,
Rufus

PS.
If I'm completely off base in my assumptions, please feel free to let me know.
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Postby MiguelM » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:26 pm

I (until now) read that sentence as with a implicit "ut". Scribendamus isn't really a gerundive. The gerundive would be "scribendus/a/um". The +mus there really throws me off spot. It sounds like the 1st person singular suffix, and it may be thus a substitute to "nobis". That is why I had read it somehow as "Est mihi propositum ut fabulam infinitam scribamus" with a grammatical construction which I would unknow. I really have no idea.

The "mihi est propositum" is a dative of possession. You will see it quite often that ownership is often expressed with the dative. "Mihi est nomen Miguel; Metrodoro est Latinum; et cetera".

I ask for someone more knowledgeable (perhaps ipse metrodorus) to clarify us all?
Last edited by MiguelM on Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby adrianus » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:11 am

Rufus Gulielmus wrote:the grammar isn't quite falling into place...If I'm completely off base in my assumptions, please feel free to let me know.
Your assumptions aren't wrong, Rufus. I said this elsewhere already: Who is virtuous or always shows good judgement or doesn't make mistakes? And who won't be often disappointed looking for intellectual trappings or classical echoes in prose? You're better off wanting less and then you'll be happy. Best not even to seek happiness. Off the scale to seek nothing! We're all beginners here.

Assumptiones tuae, Rufe, validae sunt. Sic aliàs iam inqui: Quis virtutis qualitatem habet? Quis mentem bonam semper ostendit? Quis nunquam errat? Et quis ornata eruditionis et sonoritatem scriptorum classicorum quaerit quin saepe falletur? Meliùs parùm velle si felix sis. Optimè quidem ne felicitatem quaeras. Suprà mensurandum est nihilum quaerere! Hic nos omnes tirones sumus.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:36 am

Sorry, "scribendamus"? That looks like a typo.
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Postby MiguelM » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:08 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Sorry, "scribendamus"? That looks like a typo.


Now that would be fun. :D
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:12 pm

Heh, yes it would.

I'm pretty sure Metrodorus meant "scribere" :

Mihi est propositum hoc scribere, or mihi est propositum ut hoc scriberem.

Or even more simply, mihi est scribenda fabula infinita.
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Postby Kyneto Valesio » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:51 pm

Mihi est propositum fabula infinita scribendamus


I agree that he probably meant "scribere". But then maybe he was trying to write something like: Propono ut fabulam sine fine scribamus.

It is great that people are getting their feet wet with writing in latin. However, from what I have seen, this is not really not a forum where skill levels are extremely high except for one or two individuals (Inter quos, minime me puto numerandum). Itaque si velimus exempla vere praestantia scriptorum hodiernorum legere, ea aliubi quaeramus oportet. Quaerendum est utrum melius sit unus ex optimis loquentibus apud gregem tironum esse an tiro esse inter, ut ita dicam, Cicerones ? Valete amici.
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Mihi est propositum etc.

Postby metrodorus » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:48 pm

Cogito scribendamus non latine est. eheu.

"Mihi est propositum scribere" melior est.

or probably what I intended to write:
Mihi est propositum [ut] fabula infinita scribamur.

However, I doubt the Latinity of this, on reflection, as Mihi est propositum is usually followed by an infinitive verb. Generating correct Latin is much harder than understanding it passively when speaking. I make lots of errors, but I am improving rapidly, and only through stuggling through generating the language do you get command of it. I'm not so worried about making the odd error here and there, as I know from experience learning other languages that these errors resolve themselves when I read more, and learn more grammar.

I've only been studying Latin for 11 months, so there is loads of grammar I don't know yet. Basically, I'm teaching myself as I go along, mainly using Adler. I've put a big effort into getting pronunciation correct, and learning along the way as I do so. I'm focusing on building up my active vocabulary at present. I can feel the language beginning to click into place in my brain, and it is a most satisfying feeling.

Metrodorus.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:57 am

"scribamur"? It has been proposed to you that you be written [as/with] an unending story?
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Postby Interaxus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:42 am

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Postby timeodanaos » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:58 am

Since when was a gerundive part of a 'passive periphrastic' verbal? It used to be a passive adjective of a verb, denoting obligation to do the in the verb expressed action to the correlate.

-

Ut can be left out, at least when denoting a subjective sentence, probably also objective. Citing from memory from Seneca's De Clementia:

'hoc quam uerum sit, admonere te exemplo domestico uolo' - I want to remind you how true this is using a domestic example.

The subject of the English sentence in italic.

Also, in the vulgate, omission of ut seems to be somewhat acceptable, although one shouldn't base on Jerome what is proper Latin.
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Postby adrianus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:06 am

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Postby Interaxus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:36 pm

Gotcha! Thanks, Adriane, for unravelling it all for me. Best lesson I've had in ages. Will try to be more alert in future. :oops:

Kyneto knows his stuff!

What a wonderful site this is!

Cheers,
Int
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Postby adrianus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:09 pm

Interaxus wrote:Kyneto knows his stuff!
I completely agree, Interaxus. If Cynetus wasn't being exceptionally modest when he said above that he doesn't estimate his own skills highly, we must then have pretty poor judgement, Interaxus. And if what Cynetus says about his own skills is true, then not only do we have poor judgement but even worse Latin. It's depressing really!
De tuâ sententiâ de Cyneto, Interaxe, ego tibi absolutè congruo. Si Cynetus permodestus non esset, Interaxe, cum suprà dixit se peritiam suam non altè aestimare, mali ergò rerum aestimatores simus. Et si quod dixit Cynetus de peritiis suis verum est, exinde nos et malum judicium et ignaviorem iam latinitatem habere debemus. Verò, nos oportet abjecto animo esse! :wink:
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Postby Rufus Gulielmus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:36 pm

Salvete, omnes!

Wow... quite the vibrant discussion I seem to have started. Thanks to all have contributed and continue to contribute. Scribendamus was really what was throwing me off... and it's nice to know that it was simply a typographical error.

A note to metrodorus: I was in no way trying to make a display of a mistake of yours--as I saw it, there was no error, just a grammatical construction that I had not yet encountered.

Everything has since been cleared up, and again I thank you all!

Valete,
Rufus
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Postby Rufus Gulielmus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:46 pm

Whoops, sorry.
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errors

Postby metrodorus » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:20 pm

Oh, no worries about pointing out an error - I tend to write my Latin quickly without too much checking over it. I make stupid errors that I would notice immediately if I were reading over the stuff carefully. Missing an accusative is more of a no-no than nonexistent verbs. :) I knew what I meant to write - a subjunctive - it just came out skewed. At this stage, only a few months into my language learning, I'm not getting stressed about mistakes in production of Latin. If I'm still making errors of this type in 12 months time, I will be more hard on myself. I fully intend to become fluent. My reading skills are much better than my writing, but that is to be expected at this early stage. Eventually the two will even out.
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