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Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

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Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:23 am

I noticed a discrepancy between Wheelock and M&F's description of indicative or subjunctive verb use in cum-circumstantial clauses. Wheelock's states that:

[pp. 211] Very often...the verb of the cum clause is in the subjunctive mood, especially when it describes either the general circumstances (rather than the exact time) when the main action occurred (often called a "cum circumstantial clause")

The example used is cum hoc fecisset, ad te fugit, which is obviously pluperfect subjunctive.

M&F, on the other hand, states:
[pp. 287] If the cum clause states the circumstances in which the action of the main verb takes place, it is called a circumstantial cum clause...When the action in such cum clauses refers to present or future time, the indicative is used...[When the action] is in the past time, the subjunctive is used

The examples given are cum te videbo, felix ero and cum te viderem, felix eram, which are future indicative and imperfect subjunctive, respectively.

Is Wheelock's ignoring circumstantial cum clauses in the primary tenses, or am I missing something?
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:19 pm

Salve quickly/cumceleritate

I don't have either the Wheelock or the Moreland & Fleisher book but I imagine it's a question of nomenclature. Wheelock classifies "cum" clauses with indicatives as temporal, and, indeed, searching online, I find this quote from Wheelock (if it can be trusted):

Nec grammaticam de Wheelock nec illam de Moreland et Fleischer habeo sed, ut imaginor, res nomenclaturam videt. Clausulas per "cum" quae modo indicativo servant ut temporales nunquàm circumstantiales designat Wheelock, deniquè in interrete haec verba illius auctoris invenio quae bonâ fide cito:
http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Wheelock-Latin/lat31.txt wrote:"There are two categories of meanings for "cum": (a) strictly temporal (when); (b) circumstantial (as, whereas, since, because, although). When "cum" is temporal, the mood of the verb in its clause is often indicative. It is almost always indicative when the tense of the verb in the main clause is present or future tense. When the tense of the main verb is one of the past tenses, then the mood of the "cum" clause is most often subjunctive. But when the "cum" clause is circumstantial, then the mood of its verb is always subjunctive."

If this is Moreland and Fleischer,
http://www.heathwood.org/myer/grammar/mrnltngram.htm wrote:Temporal ("when")...indicative.
Circumstantial ("when" or "after")...present or future time (Primary Sequence), the indicative is used; when the action refers to the past (Secondary Sequence), the subjunctive is used...
Causal ("since/because")...subjunctive.
Concessive ("although")...subjunctive.
"Whenever"...perfect indicative when the main verb is present, and a pluperfect indicative when the main verb is imperfect.

then they agree about the actual usage as they apply it. They just define "circumstantial" differently.

De usu ipso facto inter se concurrunt; de nomenclaturâ discrepant.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:22 am

That's interesting. Looking at the link you provided, my only conclusion is that Wheelock's has simplified their grammatical explanations somewhat in Ed. 6. I understand what they are trying to say (especially after seeing the explanation from an older edition), but I believe that the sixth edition has fairly dramatically oversimplified the distinction. My Wheelock's spends time making a distinction between specific and general time, and this is drawn between temporal and circumstantial, which seems to differ somewhat from the M&F and older Wheelock's.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:00 am

What I mean to say is this: by simplifying their grammatical explanation, I think Wheelock's Ed. 6 has left room for error.

Because the temporal clause designates the specific time at which the main verb occurs, and the circumstantial clause designates the conditions under which the action of the main verb occurred, it would seem that they have allowed the designation of primary tensed circumstantial clauses to overlap with clauses designating an action occurring at a specific time.

For instance, Wheelock's Ed. 6 does not differentiate the following (from the example cum hoc fecisset, ad te fugit):

a. cum hoc faciet, felix erit. When [at the very moment] he will do this, he will be happy.
b. cum hoc faciet, felix erit. When he will do this [under the circumstances of his doing this], he will be happy.

It would seem to me that in (a), the cause of his happiness need not relate to the action to be undertaken; in (b), it must in some way relate to that action.

Is this an incorrect analysis? Am I misunderstanding these clauses. I realize it is trivial, but it's interesting. For instance, it appears that I could nontrivially add to (a) the clause quod hoc fecerit (because he will have done this); however, I could only trivially add this information to (b), or only add the phrase to more directly specify the causal relation between hoc and the agent.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:18 am

The above quote I gave I find is not from Wheelock but from a study guide by Dale A Grote, http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Wheelock-Latin/.
Since I don't have any copy of Wheelock, I can't say if you misunderstand. What exactly does Wheelock say about "cum" clauses and the future tense?

Commentarii a magistro Grote nomine scripti non grammaticae apud Wheelock est locus quem suprà citavi. Cum grammaticam de Wheelock non habeam, de hâc re an recte dicas non dicere possum. Quid verè dicit Wheelock de clausulis per "cum" et tempore futuro?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:36 am

My apologies - I assumed the excerpted text was taken from an earlier edition of Wheelock's. The latest edition has all of the following relevant exposition:

[pp. 211]
Sometimes the verb in a cum clause is indicative, especially when describing the precise time of an action. In these so-called "cum temporal clauses," cum is translated when (or while)...
...Very often, however, the verb of the cum clause is in the subjunctive mood, especially when it describes either the general circumstances (rather than the exact time) when the main action occurred (often called a "cum circumstantial clause"), or describes a circumstance that might have obstructed the main action...
[pp. 212]
[The] temporal [cum clause] has its verb in the indicative, and the three subjunctive types [markup mine] can generally be recognized by analyzing the relationship between the actions in the main clause and the subordinate clause...
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:16 am

quickly wrote:a. cum hoc faciet, felix erit. When [at the very moment] he will do this, he will be happy.
b. cum hoc faciet, felix erit. When he will do this [under the circumstances of his doing this], he will be happy.

I still think you've left out a lot. Never mind, not important. From what you have given, I'd say that Wheelock doesn't count your b. clause as in any way distinct from your a. clause. It's a temporal clause, which you acknowledge by writing "when" in English.

Tamen te multa omisisse suspicor. Licet, tanti non est. Quo datus es legato, inter clausulas tuas per a et b designatas non distinguit Wheelock, ut credo. Singulam clausulam temporalis generis habes, quod per anglicè "when" scribendum agnoscis.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:41 am

That makes sense. We understand both clause types in English by "when" - therefore, we understand both clauses as identical (we require supplemental information to differentiate the relations). As well, I assume the difference is minimal in Latin. Are you saying that the difference is non-consequential or does not exist, though?

Short of scanning pages from Wheelock's, I'm not sure what I can say to convince you, however.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:17 am

quickly wrote:Are you saying that the difference is non-consequential or does not exist, though?

I am, indeed. The circumstance you refer to is temporal by nature,—or, at least, the time of the circumstance and the time of the causal effect are identical. Time is the big thing here (but the use of the future tense says its all, however, I think).
Dico, quidem. Accidens quod demonstras naturâ temporale est,—immò, tempus accidentis quod rem efficit nec ante nec post rem effectam porrigit. Refert tempus ante omnia (separatim usum temporis futuri in ipse, certé!).

quickly wrote:Short of scanning pages from Wheelock's, I'm not sure what I can say to convince you, however.

If you are trying to convince me that you haven't missed something in Wheelock, then you can't convince me until you show me everything Wheelock says on "cum" clauses, because I haven't got Wheelock. The important thing is that, having heard my doubts, you convince yourself, not me.
Si me persuadere te ullam acum quae pertinet non neglexisse vis, te oportet me omnia quae scripsit ille auctor de clausulis per "cum" monstrare, quià librum eius non habeo. Majoris momenti est tibimet non mihimet persuaderi, dubiis meis auditis.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:22 pm

Grammaticam de Wheelock inspexi et, ut dixisti, non plus eo quod dedisti dicit. Me paenitet, quickly/cumceleritate, te de hâc re dubitasse. Atqui sufficere quod dicit Wheelock sententiae tuae puto.

I looked at Wheelock and, as you said, he gives no more than you say on this. So, sorry for doubting you, quickly. What he says is still sufficient, I think, to cover your sentence.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby quickly » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:59 am

No problem. I think you are correct, however (as always, it appears!).

Are there any cases in which the different explanations might lead to misunderstanding, or do you think that the context is enough to clarify? I am under the impression that I was interpreting "circumstances" in a different way than the texts were expecting me to.
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Re: Wheelock/M&F on circumstantial cum clauses

Postby adrianus » Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:58 pm

quickly wrote:Are there any cases in which the different explanations might lead to misunderstanding, or do you think that the context is enough to clarify? I am under the impression that I was interpreting "circumstances" in a different way than the texts were expecting me to.
I'm like you, so before I could say, I have to read more, gather more, understand more. Maybe someone else can say.
Tui similis sum, quâre, ante tibi respondere possim, plura legere, plura conficere, plura intellegere me oportet. Fortassè aliquis alius respondere potest.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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