NH Composition 24.5 (Syncopation)

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NH Composition 24.5 (Syncopation)

Post by Yvonne » Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:53 pm

I'm working through N&H's composition book and I have a question about exercise 24, #5.
The soldiers having been captured gave up their arms.
N&H give the solution:
Capti milites arma tradidere.
Is this a typo or an alternate form for "tradiderunt"?

-Yvonne R.

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Post by phil » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:20 pm

Yes, it's an alternative form. Wheelock says that the alternative ending is fairly common in poetry.

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Post by benissimus » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:55 am

Watch out for syncopated and contracted forms. They occur a lot in meter and very often in genuine prose too. These are the most likely examples:

-erunt (perfect tense third person plural) can be shortened to -ere.
e.g. dederunt often becomes dedere
cupiverunt -> cupivere
ierunt -> iere
note: this is not really syncopation but a coexisting form.

-eris and -aris (passive voice second person singular, all tenses and moods!) can be shortened to -ere and -are, respectively.
e.g. amaris can become amare (easily confused with infinitive)
audieris -> audiere
arbitrareris -> arbitrarere
putabaris -> putabare
monearis -> moneare
note: also (probably) just a coexisting form.

-vi- and -ve- (in the perfect tenses) is often dropped.
e.g. laudavisse often becomes laudasse
amaverim -> amarim
paravissent -> parassent
note: this usually only happens when the contracted vowel is short: thus it never occurs in 1st pers sing perf indic and rarely in 3rd pers plur indic. The contracted syllable obviously cannot be the last one.

verbs with perfect in -ivi (most 4th conjugation verbs) often drop the v, leaving a perfect stem in -i- (instead of -iv-), like the verb eo, ire, ii, itum
e.g. audivi very often appears as audii
muniverunt -> munierunt
cupiverit -> cupierit
rare form ivi (of eo) -> typical form ii
note: before -st- and -ss- the two i's (one of the stem and one of the ending) contract into a long i: perisset for peri-isset for periv-isset (pereo, -ire, -i(v)i, -itum). Again, this is the regular formation for eo, ire.

There are a couple other rare contractions like ausim for ausus sim, dixti for dixisti, but the above are the only ones really worthy of mention (unless I have overlooked something). You may want to take a closer look at this in a grammar such as Allen & Greenough's. You definitely need a resource like that since you are at an advanced enough level for prose composition. You can always use Textkit's free edition.
Last edited by benissimus on Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:53 am, edited 8 times in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Post by Yvonne » Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:18 am

I hadn't seen the alternative for the "-erunt" ending. :evil: Boy, those pesky Romans are always throwing something new at you, aren't they? No wonder they held their orators in such high esteem.

I'm off to download A&G to go with all the other texts I have now. Thanks for the tip.


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Post by Episcopus » Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:24 pm

My favourite is amavisse - amasse.

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Post by Pete » Wed May 26, 2004 5:40 pm

My favourite is amavisse - amasse.

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