pronoums positioning

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cb
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Post by cb » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:25 am

hi Adrian, thanks again for looking at this. the two things I will adopt from your post are:

(a) i will call the rules "Rules for personal pronouns and reflexives in Golden prose"; this is all I have been referring to in this discussion: see the sihler part I scanned and linked above, the majority of the e.g.s given in the pronouns section of D&S, the e.g.s from Cicero I have referred to, etc., and I don't want to suggest that the same rules cover relatives, demonstratives &c. (each of which i think requires separate treatment, even if others think that conceptually they should be considered together); and

(b) i agree with you that later it would be good to look at poetry, however the word order there could be partially affected by the metre and so requires separate treatment.

on the other points:

(a) "strong" pronouns are not as a whole unexplainable exceptions to my rules; the D&S section covers strong as well as weak pronouns (see e.g. pg 279 on contrastive pronouns which are labelled strong, i.e. out of Wackernagel position, and are covered by my Rule 1). apologies for being unclear: i didn't mean that "weak" pronouns are what my rules only cover, and "strong" pronouns are the exceptions; what i meant was that each of the rules (whether covering pronouns carrying the label "strong" or "weak") has exceptions. having exceptions does not make a rule useless: in practice it actually makes you focus more on each exception and read more about it, to try to find out why it doesn't fall within the same pattern, and even if you can't explain it, you have at least identified that it looks different somehow from the instances which satisfy the rule, and so you concentrate a little bit more on it. i am not aiming at a perfect science of pronouns but something which is useful for me when reading. if I put aside concepts like "strong" and "weak" and "verb last" and "topic" and "focus" and "emphasis", and just apply the objective criteria to Golden prose, they work OK, even if according to these concepts they "shouldn't" work: see e.g. the INTERROGAS ME quote from Cicero in my previous post which breaches the "verb last" concept but follows the rules. if the rules are fundamentally flawed on a conceptual level, that doesn't bother me if they get the word order roughly right anyway: e.g. see in Rule 5 how I talk about inserting "false" punctuation, simply to try to reflect the word order we see in those cases; it would be easy to argue that this process of inserting "false" puncuation is wrong on a conceptual level.

(b) what i would like to see are more exceptions to my rules in Golden prose. if you have some, please let me know the refs and i will modify the rules accordingly. the process of talking about these things with others like you, looking at exceptions, and realising the rules i have found so far can be improved, is v helpful; in particular, when there are frequent expressions which break the rules, e.g. MIHI CREDE where MIHI is at the start of the clause, I want to make a list of these.

cheers :)

adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:29 pm

Contrastive pronouns are certainly strong, but not all strong pronouns are necessarily contrastive. Here is what D&S say (as you know):
D&S. p.279 wrote:Most instances of sentence initial pronouns in Latin seem to be strong. Some are demonstrably contrastive.
That statement makes great sense to me. But you want to rule for demonstrable contrastives and not for strong pronouns, so you leave the larger class minus the minority class as exceptional cases and the minority class as the norm. That won't do, surely, especially when you recommend casting "me monent" (Direct Object - Verb) over "monent me" (Verb - Direct Object) on the principle that "me" is a personal pronoun and according to your Rule 4, without reference to (general) neutral word order.

Anyway, I consider your work heroic, cb. Thanks for the stimulus to look more closely at D&S, which has sat on the shelf for the last two years.

Forte quidem est pronomen quod praeter alium stat, sed non continuò praeter alium est omne pronomem quod forte sit. Quod suprà dicunt D&S prudens est, id mihi videtur. Pro iis quae praeter aliis stant, tu autem reget, nec pro iis quae fortia sunt, atquin hi sunt numerosii. Profectò non licet, praesertim cum "monent me" plus quàm "me monent" cites, eâ ratione "me" pronomen personale esse et apud tuam regulam quartam, neutro verborum ordine neglicto.

Licet, cb, tuam operam valdè probo. Gratias tibi ago, qui opus D&S scrutinare me fecisti. Qui liber hos duos proximos annos in pluteo stabat.

cb
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Post by cb » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:16 pm

Hi adrian, i don't understand what concrete changes you are suggesting i should make but if you have some quotes of e.g. clauses in Golden prose which are just pron plus verb in that order (equivalent to your ME MONENT) and don't follow the rules (in particular Rule 1), I would be grateful if you could let me know the refs and I will modify the rules if they are in the majority (compared to the reverse order which Cicero used for INTERROGAS ME) as i think you suggest in your post above. I think you are suggesting that my rules do not cover the "majority" of pronoun positions; if so i want to fix that, but so far the rules generally reflect the order i see in Golden prose rather than the minority of cases.

it is the concrete latin examples themselves and the patterns based on objective criteria, rather than alll this "strong" and "weak" terminology, which i want to look at, because patterns based on that new terminology seem to me to say "this type of word generally goes here, except when it doesn't", without giving any objective criterion for choosing between the options. thanks again for your help, cheers, chad :)

adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:12 pm


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.

cb
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Post by cb » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:32 am

cool thanks v much adrian, this looks great. i will read through the list and see what improvements i can make to the rules to make them more accurate. i have no stats on latin word order. cheers, chad :)

adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:18 pm

You're welcome, cb. Gratus sis, cb!
cb wrote:i have no stats on latin word order
But without statistical testing, you have quesses, not rules. You are already aware of exceptions but not sure how many there are. I suspect you have based your rules on a very small, selective sample of sentences. So I can reframe your rules as in the following way, to expose them more objectively:
Sine documento autem statisticis utente, non regulas sed conjecturas habes. Exceptiones iam cognoscis at quantam ignoras. Cum regulas tuas construxisti, minimum sententiarum benè selectivarum numerum dependisse te suspicor. Ergo regulas tuas ut praepositiones ità construere possum, ut plus ad sensum cadant:
2. In an infinitive phrase, a pronoun goes first, except when it doesn't,—which MIGHT be most of the time!
3. A pronoun governed by a preposition follows the preposition, except when it doesn't in particular cases.
4. Otherwise, pronouns go immediately after first position, except when they don't,—which MIGHT be most of the time!
Clearly, you need better statistical sampling, if these statements are to be refined.
Videlicet, eis praedicationibus vis statisticarum quaerenda est ut emendentur.
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.

cb
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Post by cb » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:39 pm

hi adrian, i got the rules from devine and stephens 2006. this is the best authority i have found so far. if you have a ref to another good source on latin word order, or some stats, please let me know: i find it useful when others share their sources with me: e.g. will has done this for me more than once: and so i try to do the same by scanning on a particular issue parts of authorities i have which some others may not have. others can check the scanned chapter of devine and stephens on pronouns which i linked to in my first post in this thread and take away the points (if any) they find useful: i took away what i found useful.

when i have time i will try to prepare my own stats on latin word order: the exercise of compiling these will be at least as helpful as the actual results; in the meantime thanks again for the list above, cheers :)

adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:26 pm

But your rules are not exactly what Devine and Stephens say, cb. They say there is statistical evidence for a neutral word order; you don't. They explicitly say that the pronoun cases they concentrate on are weak pronouns; you don't want to talk about weak and strong pronouns.
Apud Devine et Stephens autem, regulae adeò sicut describis non sunt. Ei auctores argumenta statistica pro neutro sermonum ordine accipiunt; tu negas. Dicunt ei se expressim tenera pronomina defigere; tu de "tener" vel "fortis" vocabulis fari non vis.
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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