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Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

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Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby jamesbath » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:51 pm

Salvete Omnes,

I am reading an English translation (Blackwell Publishing, 1962) of Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time." Near the bottom of page 128, he uses the following Latin phrase:

"remanens capax mutationum"

Briefly, he is expressing the idea that the pure existence of an entity can only be known through the fact that the entity takes up a definite amount of 3-dimensional space. Its shape can be changed, molded, spread out, but it still takes of the same amount of space because it doesn't lose any of its real substance.

Heidegger used "remanens capax mutationum" to express this idea. I have a question about the grammar of this phrase.

Whitaker's Words lists "Mutationum" as "N 3 1 GEN P F" which I read to be "a noun of the 3rd declension, genitive case, plural, and feminine."

Whitaker also lists "remanens" as a present active participle -- nom, acc, and voc, singular. The accusative is neuter and the other two cases are "X" (I'm not sure what the X signifies).

"Capax" is a singular adjective in the same cases and genders as "remanens".

Now... I'm not sure how to translate this phrase. Capax and remanens can be matched in case and number, I think, as "remaining space" but that would make capax a noun instead of an adjective. And if I translate to a "spacious remaining" that would make remanens a gerund, wouldn't it?

And worse, mutationum is plural and genitive. How is it qualified or complemented by the particple remanens and the adjective capax?

As you can see... I am confused. Can anyone clear this up for me?

Gratias vobis ago,
James Bath
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Re: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby adrianus » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:07 pm

the remaining [entity] capable of change[s]
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: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby jamesbath » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:20 pm

adrianus wrote:the remaining [entity] capable of change[s]

Ah! So I see. The noun "entity" is implied and capax, in this instance, is defined as capable instead of spacious. Then it doesn't matter that mutationum is a different gender, case, and number from capax?
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Re: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby adrianus » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:29 pm

jamesbath wrote:Then it doesn't matter that mutationum is a different gender, case, and number from capax?

Certè, Jacobe Balnei, id non refert. Capacis adjectivum modò genetivo casui servit.
Yes, it doesn't matter. "Capax" takes the genitive, that's all ("capable" + genitive/"of").
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: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby jamesbath » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:46 pm

adrianus wrote:
jamesbath wrote:Then it doesn't matter that mutationum is a different gender, case, and number from capax?

Certè, Jacobe Balnei, id non refert. Capacis adjectivum modò genetivo casui servit.
Yes, it doesn't matter. "Capax" takes the genitive, that's all ("capable" + genitive/"of").


Id bene explicavit. Gratias ago, adriane.
You explained it well. Thank you, Adriane.
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Re: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby adrianus » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:28 pm

You might note the subtle difference between "the remaining thing being capable of changes" and "the thing remaining capable of changes". Possibly, it's the latter, depending on the original sentence.
Nota quoque discrimen tenue inter "ens remansum quod capax mutationum est" et "ens quod capax mutationum remanet". De contextu interpretatio praeferenda pendet.

Post Scriptum
I looked at the passage. I think "something capable of changes that continues".
Locum operis scrutatus sum. Dicam "ens quod semper remanet et capax mutationum remanet".
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: Grammar: "remanens capax mutationum"

Postby jamesbath » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:55 pm

adrianus wrote:"ens quod semper remanet et capax mutationum remanet".


Mea cogitatio quoque est.
My thinking also.
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