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Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pronoun

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Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pronoun

Postby jowens » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:17 am

Salvete,

In Familia Romana, Cap. XII, around line 25 is this sentence
Aemilius avunculus est, id est frater matris.

Doesn't the id refer back to Aemilius avunculus, so shouldn't it be the masculine 'is' instead of the neuter 'id'?
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pronoun

Postby Alatius » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:54 pm

jowens wrote:Aemilius avunculus est, id est frater matris.

Doesn't the id refer back to Aemilius avunculus, so shouldn't it be the masculine 'is' instead of the neuter 'id'?


Good observation, but the intended meaning here is not to give more information about Aemilius, but to explain the meaning of the word "avunculus". In English we would translate it as "Aemilius is [an/the/his/her] uncle, that is the mother's brother" (not "he is the mother's brother").
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pronoun

Postby jowens » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:43 pm

Ah, thank you for explaining that. That one had been bugging me for a couple of days.
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pronoun

Postby ptolemyauletes » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:09 pm

In fact, Jowens, what you are looking at here, 'id est', is the full length version of the commonly used i.e., 'that is to say', which does not provide an example, as many people think, but a clarification, or expansion of a point.
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby D. Q. Dauthier » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:36 pm

In addition to the other great replies, I think it is worth mentioning, from a cultural standpoint, that Iulius is defining the word avunculus for his children. I think this is a very likely sentence which must have been used in one form of another millions of times by Roman parents throughout the generations to teach their children the remarkably complex kinship terminology of Latin.

How does this relate to the original question?

In reference to the original question, It is grammatically correct to write “Aemilius avunculus vester est, is est frater matris,” and it would translate very well into English, too: “Aemilius is your uncle, he is your mother’s brother;” however, as I mentioned above, Roman kinship terminology is remarkably sophisticated. The sentence with is isn't likely to occur in authentic Latin because avunculus can only mean the mother’s brother. If Aemilius had been the father’s brother, he would have said “patruus” rather than “avunculus.” In short, the alternate version with is would be redundant.
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby adrianus » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:17 am

D. Q. Dauthier wrote:The sentence with is isn't likely to occur in authentic Latin because avunculus can only mean the mother’s brother. If Aemilius had been the father’s brother, he would have said “patruus” rather than “avunculus.” In short, the alternate version with is would be redundant.

I think there's a non sequitur there, D.Q. (Welcome, BTW.) I think it's grammatical and proper to pose the question "Who is your uncle on your mother's side?" and to follow with "Aemilius is your uncle on your mother's side. He is your mother's brother."

"Aemilius is your uncle on your mother's side, that is, your mother's brother." answers the question "How exactly is Aemilius related to you?"

Non sequitur, D.Q. (Gratus obiter tuus adventus.) Ut opinor, rectè grammaticéque rogatur modo rhetorico "Quis est avunculus?", cum declamatione sequenti (quo "Is" vim habet), "Aemilius avunculus est. Is est frater matris."

"Aemilius avunculus est, id est, frater matris" quaestioni sequenti respondat: "Quo affinitatis gradu tibi est Aemilius?
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: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby joels341 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:18 pm

Adrianus, I think I see DQ's point here.

In Latin, you would never ask "uncle on your father or mather's side?" because Latin had two different words.

avunculus = uncle on mother's side

patruus = uncle of father's side

Who is your uncle on your mother's side?
Quis est avunculus tuus?

Who is your uncle on your father's side?
Quis est patruus tuus?

Is he your uncle on your mother's side or your father's side?
Avunculus vel patruus tuus est?

As pointed out before, "frater matris" would only be used for people who do not know the terms "avunculus" and "patruus".
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby adrianus » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:13 pm

You miss the point, joels341. Reread the above posts.
Sententiâ deciperis, joels341. Relege epistulas superas.
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: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby joels341 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:09 pm

Not sure, I still think it's redundant, although proper and grammatical. You are thinking in English, where the word "uncle" is vague. However, the explanation of relationship is possible when explaining to children. Both 'is' or 'id' could be used, if that's your point.
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Re: Familia Romana, Cap. XII - are they using the right pron

Postby adrianus » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:47 pm

joels341 wrote:You are thinking in English, where the word "uncle" is vague.

Hardly. I've said nothing vague with "uncle" in English. The opposite. I've said "uncle on your mother's side".
Non sic censeo. Clarissimè enuntiavi in "uncle on your mother's side" anglicè dicendo.
joels341 wrote:However, the explanation of relationship is possible when explaining to children. Both 'is' or 'id' could be used, if that's your point.

Of course it is, when explaining to anyone, not just to children. What's ambiguous about the following?
Id certum est, cuicunque in explicando, non solùm liberis. Quid ambigui est hoc?.
adrianus wrote:I think it's grammatical and proper to pose the question "Who is your uncle on your mother's side?" and to follow with "Aemilius is your uncle on your mother's side. He is your mother's brother."

"Aemilius is your uncle on your mother's side, that is, your mother's brother." answers the question "How exactly is Aemilius related to you?"

Non sequitur, D.Q. (Gratus obiter tuus adventus.) Ut opinor, rectè grammaticéque rogatur modo rhetorico "Quis est avunculus?", cum declamatione sequenti (quo "Is" vim habet), "Aemilius avunculus est. Is est frater matris."

"Aemilius avunculus est, id est, frater matris" quaestioni sequenti respondat: "Quo affinitatis gradu tibi est Aemilius?
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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