grammar question

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grammar question

Post by spqr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:35 am

Nomen ejus igitur erat Pandora, significans "dona omnia". In this and the preceding sentences it is obvious only one woman is the subject so why wouldn't the sentence read nomen sua? Thanks, Paul.

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Re: grammar question

Post by bedwere » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:34 am

Because the subject is nomen, not Pandora, which is the predicate. Besides, suus-a-um would have to agree in gender, number, and case with nomen, which is neuter....

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Re: grammar question

Post by Altair » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:07 am

I don't disagree with bedwere's explanation, but would like to add a more semantic clarification.

Despite appearances, the sentence contains three referents, not two. There is a generic word, a specific woman, and a specific name. Using a form of "suus" would mean that there must be only two referents, since "suus" would have to have the same referent as the subject, whether "nomen" or "Pandora."

With more modern and pickier use of quotation marks, the sentence should be: Nomen ejus erat "Pandora." "Pandora" was a name, not a person. Pandora was a person, not a name. "Ejus" and "Pandora" do not refer to the same entity.

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Re: grammar question

Post by Ronolio » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:50 pm

Nomen ejus igitur erat Pandora
Isn't the common usage with nomen a dative? So it should be 'Nomen ei igitur erat Pandora'

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Re: grammar question

Post by mwh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:41 pm

To enlarge on bedwere’s answer, to show the difference between eius (genitive pronoun) and suus -a -um (reflexive adjective):

Her name is Pandora = Nomen eius Pandora est.
I say her name is Pandora = Dico nomen eius Pandoram esse.
She (Pandora) says her name is Pandora = Dicit suum nomen Pandoram esse.

(Ronolio’s possessive dative ei would also be correct for eius.)

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