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12:23 AM
@Cerberus I'm unsure
> Long before he was accounted a grown man did he slay orcs.
Long before I married did I eat cheese.
The do-support just for inversion feelsfunny, maybe. ,
Only in Doriath did he slay orcs.
Only does that.
I think do support is not the issue here, but inversion.
12:28 AM
Long ere he first cut his beard chased he many a young bunny.
I'm dehydrated. Trust not my judgement.
Also, keep in mind that any version of the text that mentions Tinwelint will surely have been written in the archaic mode.
Lemme get some grocy things put up so I can find a real computer. Or texts.
@tchrist Try it with a verb that does not need do, such as be or any auxiliary.
@tchrist That much is obvious.
> Long ere Morgoth found the path to Gondolin could the virid tendrils of corruption be observed, penetrating the mountains thitherto obscure and undisturbed.
Although it seems decidedly un-Tolkienesque to describe corruption as virid and its absence as obscurity.
He'd want corruption always to be dark, perhaps.
Although there is Saruman.
12:56 AM
@Cerberus That one isn't so bad.
@tchrist Because it needn't do support?
@Cerberus Nobody should have to do support.
Not even supporters?
I'm afraid that needn’t followed by a bare infinitive path-gardens you to a rather different parse than may have been intended.
needn't do = doesn't need to do
For it need no do support.
> From the path to Gondolin could the tendrils be observed.
But that one is perfectly normally, licensed by the leading locative prepositional phrase.
Or so adjudge I.
A: Why use "need not" instead of "do not need to"?

CerberusThere are two verbs need, which mean the same thing but use different constructions: 1. He need not be concerned. Need I be concerned? This need is sometimes called a modal verb (although others find this term inconsistent): it always requires an infinitive without to; it doesn't ...

@tchrist OK, and so a subordinate clause could license the same construction to follow?
1:11 AM
I don't think contracted needn’t X can mean needs no X to me.
@Cerberus Perhaps once on a time.
I don't trust my "ear" just right now.
Something about the stress; perhaps that's what the problem it's.
@tchrist It was a joke.
Since we were talking about do support.
examines the sand at close range
Ostrich or scorpion?
1:54 AM
Trying to avert your gaze from danger?
3 hours later…
4:38 AM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Bad pattern in url body, potentially bad ns for domain in body, repeated url at end of long post (194): How to Naturally Lower Type 2 Diabetes Blood Sugar? by Shanu Sweet on english.SE
2 hours later…
6:40 AM
@userr2684291 Quick Google searches don't necessarily tell you what people usually call things.
@Mitch Thanks!
ODO only registers head.
4 hours later…
10:25 AM
@Færd I call them Googles.
10:55 AM
@tchrist Never mind then.
@Færd ...yes, it wasn't a sure thing, at any rate, which is why I qualified it with quick in the first place.
11:30 AM
@Færd Oh. I didn't see the 'lintel' suggestion. That sounds better. It's more of a larger scale item, like for big doors or windows in stone buildings, a large flat piece of stone that supports all above the opening. 'head' or 'header' seemed really bland to me. But for more nuance, I sorta confuse lintel with sill (but not the other way around, you put things like knickknacks on the windowsill because it's often the only flat place that is available.
'threshold' seems more common metaphorically, so it seems strange to apply it literally to the pieces of wood that helps close off the bottom of the doorway with the door. Comparison at nbooks
3 hours later…
2:32 PM
@userr2684291 Aha.
@Mitch Yeah, I glanced over some COCA hits, and they attest to that. I guess I'll use head(er) for commonplace bland door frames, and lentil for the other ones.
2:55 PM
@Færd lintel for the cross beam at the to of a door, lentil for soup.
I can hardly pronounce them differently or hear the difference.
@Cerberus As the resident classicist, I have a question for you. How arbitrary is word order in Latin? That's a bit broad. Of course in entry level Latin, they tell you that the word order is arbitrary and you can get all the meaning from case and agreement. But really? I feel like the fancy writers of were just taking great advantage of that to move words around to sound poetic and fancy, and the normal people had a pretty strict word order. Of course regular people weren't the ones writing.
@Mitch Even in ordinary prose, word order is much freer than in English.
But there are still some absolute rules, and many rules from which you would only deviate under certain circumstances.
For example, finite verbs tend to come at the end of a clause, but they can be moved around for emphasis.
The object of a praeposition can never come before it.
Subject and object can often be placed anywhere in the clause, which will only change the emphasis (topic/focus) to some degree.
A word can almost never be moved across a clause boundary.
Etc. etc.
In poetry, however, the order becomes much, much freer.
Even the objects of praepositions can be placed before them, but that is then considered a special figure of speech (hyperbaton).
We once did an exercise where all the case endings and verb endings had been removed from a passage from De Bello Gallico (all words were rendered in their 'dictionary' form).
It was still readable, though some extra reading-time was required; and we were able to restore the correct endings almost 100%, after some puzzling.
But that would probably not be possible in poetry.
In fact, you even need to consider the length of some vowels in order to read the text correctly, which you can only get from the metre.
Otherwise, you wouldn't know whether the goddess crushed the angry rocks or the angry goddess crushes the rocks.
1 hour later…
4:43 PM
@Cerberus nice...thanks for the long response. I guess I should have thought of De Bello Gallico (and others of Caesar's war commentaries) to be more non-fancy. But the main issue is 'can' and 'tend to', because all the 'vulgar' versions of Latin have pretty strict syntax (but also very little inflection). I mean English has barely any syntax at all in poetry.
I feel like my question and your answer has been repeated thousands of times.
By the way, I really liked Loeb DBG, because 1) side by side translation into English and 2) in the chapter on crossing the Rhine, there was a foldout of how the wooden bridge was designed.
Kind of like the maps and calendars and language descriptions in The Lord of the Rings.
A lot like that.
The Lord of the Rings is a literal history.
Of actual events.
4 hours later…
8:31 PM
@Cerberus Same thing in Persian.
Latin sounds fun
@Mitch omgomg dose aragown die in teh ende
@Mitch Tell that to their verbs.
9:01 PM
@Cerberus: Does this Latin mean anything at all? Uva uvam vivendo varia fit.
"Grapes become bunches by living"? I have no idea what that would signify.
9:35 PM
> They [=black people] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.
part of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857 (shortly before the Civil War)
Isn't that "before" ungrammatical?
9:48 PM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Offensive answer detected, toxic answer detected (160): 'the USA' vs. 'the US' by oscar on english.SE
@Færd No. Before there refers to a time before a specified date or time, which is not given in that fragment you quote but surely must exist, or at least be implied.
@M.A.R.ಠ_ಠ What? No! Don't you listen to the news? He becomes King. That's what it's all about. The whole trilogy is propaganda by one of his speech writers to deflect attention to Frodo made up to be a hero. It's all to cover up Aragorn's quietly executed genocide of the orcs.
Oh, but Bilbo dies.
@tchrist Verbs? I don't to its verbs any more. What a waste of my time. The less verbs the better. A rose by any other name... Sweet!
10:33 PM
@Robusto I would say for more than a century before is not correct.
Either for or before should be removed.
@Robusto A grape becomes varied by living a grape?
At a glance, that doesn't make much sense to me.
@Mitch You mean the Romance languages? I don't believe Vulgar Latin had such a strict syntax.
@Mitch Probably!
@Mitch Yes, it is quite practical.
@Cerberus He's probably thinking French, which is worst at this by having such a strict syntax. Spanish especially, but also Portuguese and Italian give you more latitude here.
@tchrist Yes, indeed.
10:52 PM
@Robusto Thanks. Maybe it means "before this case was started", because apparently it made some news during the years before it reached the Supreme Court.
@Færd I think Rob must have missed the for.
@Cerberus I think not. He's saying that before doesn't mark the beginning of an interval the way since does, but refers to something else that is implied or stated elsewhere in the text.
I don't see it.
If you remove either for or before, the grammar is correct, although I think before is semantically incorrect in 1857.
11:13 PM
Apparently "before" there means "before the Constitution came into force" (link):
> The first was that Scott had no right to sue in federal court because neither slaves nor free blacks were citizens of the United States. At the time the Constitution was adopted, the Chief Justice wrote, blacks had been "regarded as beings of an inferior order" with "no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
@Færd Yes, and that is what for does.
I don't think you can have an adjunct with both for and before in any case.
You could say that before is redundant in most sentences that uses for to mark the time interval: "I've been a teacher for a decade before now.".
Before is just redundant there, not ungrammatical.
At least before is a praeposition there, not an adverb. But I'd say it's still bad.
But in the original quote, it does take on a semantic role, and therefore is neither ungrammatical nor redundant.
Redundant can be ungrammatical, which I think it is as an adverb with for.
I see no way in which I can agree with you.
11:18 PM
Okay. I'm not insisting that I'm right.
A century before means a century earlier = a century before now.
I just sympathize more with Rob's argument. In fact, I'd thought about the possibility before asking.
So it indicates a point in time, not a period.
@Cerberus Why now?
But for a century indicates a period of a hundred years.
@Færd Well, it doesn't have to be now: before the time of reference.
11:20 PM
@Cerberus If you go backwards, that period can start from the point indicated by before.
Or if you just look back.
I don't think that is possible with adverbial before.
I think it's just an error.
But I look forward to seeing a legitimate example.
It may be. I think it's not tho.
I'd been awake for 20 hours straight before I asked this question here. Now it's been, what, almost 22 hours? I need to go to bed now.
Talk to y'all later.
Sleep well!
22 hours is a bit too long.
@tchrist Yes. I was referring to the modern vulgar versions ( the latitude in Spanish and Italian I don't know about), not Vulgar Latin, and thinking mostly of French.
But, also not knowing anything, I am contending that Vulgar Latin wasn't so free. (as vague as that sounds).
Also "They [=black people] had for more than a century before been regarded..." sounds fine to me. It might be mixing grammatical patterns but it sounds fine.
"Un perro lo muerde" and "Lo muerde un perro" mean the same thing. The dog is still the subject in both cases. The difference is whether you want to emphasize one part or the other.
Plus accusatives are marked with personal "a" so we know it wasn't the dog getting bitten.
El perro mordió al hombre.
There the dog bit the man. You know who does what because of the "a" not because of the ordering.
11:31 PM
wait...what's the 'personal a''?
It's a syntactic marker for an animate direct object.
Think of it as a case marker.
but... I don't see it.
the 'a' in 'al hombre'?
That's a contraction.
a + el
@Cerberus "For more than a century before we came to America there were plums in the orchards."
Isn't that just... the preposition with 'to bite'?
11:32 PM
Oh no.
Not at all.
@Cerberus Genau.
@Robusto It is a conjunction there.
Not an adverb.
Mordió el pan mi amigo.
My friend bit the bread. You know the bread didn't bite my friend because there's no "a".
@Robusto Where did you read that?
@Cerberus In a novel. It's supposedly a Latin motto someone lifted to put on a sign, without him knowing what it meant. I thought perhaps there was a joke in there at the expense of the person pretending to erudition, but you never know.
11:34 PM
@tchrist why isn't it 'mordió al pan mi amigo.'?
Mi amigo mordió el pan, pero el pan también mordió *a mi amigo.
@Mitch Because you cannot impute animacy to bread.
@tchrist A dog died at the Temple of Jupiter. At the temple of Jupiter a dog died.
@Robusto Ah. If there is a joke there, I don't see it.
@tchrist Sure, but that would work (only poetically) in English too.
@Cerberus I was kinda hoping there was, but ... well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
@Cerberus But to be fair, that is not done very often in English. Is it done often (or often enough) in non-French Romances?
11:37 PM
@Cerberus Se murió un perro al templo de Jove. Al templo de Jove se murió un perro. Un perro se murió al templo de Jove.
The first of those is the normal word order. The others are perfectly legal but marked.
But seriously, "for ... before" is perfectly grammatical when used correctly.
@tchrist That sounds somewhat similar to English...
@Robusto At least not when before is an adverb, I should think.
Speaking of dogs in the temple of Jupiter ...
@Cerberus Died a dog at Jupiter's temple?
@tchrist but how common are those other possibilities. You can totally do the same (as Cerb notes) in English. Foppishly of course but still it is possible.
11:39 PM
@Mitch Completely common.
It was foppish in the context I provided.
@tchrist Not exactly but 'There died a dog...'
But you cannot in English say "Died a dog at Jupiter's temple".
In the right context, however, I would say it's OK in English.
@tchrist If you add there?
@tchrist OK then. That's what I'm looking for. I didn't expect that.
11:41 PM
@tchrist A poet could.
> !Díos mío, se me ha caído tu precioso vaso, y se me rompío!

Que no, fue a mí que se me rompió el vaso.
well then all these years they -have- been speaking poetry
Oy my, your precious glass fell off the table and got broken on me.

Nope, it was me it got broken on.
@Mitch Poetry intrudes where you least expect it.
That's hard to translate.
The "me" is a dative of interest.
11:42 PM
@tchrist But your local fishmonger, are they speaking like that?
@Robusto Like a hernia
@Mitch I thought hernias extrude.
@Mitch Cuando le dé la gana, sí. Se seule variar el ordén.
@Robusto depends on which side you're looking from.
Remember that this is a language that uses word order not stress for abnormal cases. Mi bonita esposa VS mi esposa bonita.
@tchrist "Se suele ..."?
11:44 PM
Try translating that into English. You're stuck with my pretty wife VS my pretty wife.
@Robusto "One usually"
"It's common to"
Soler is to be accustomed to. I just made it impersonal/half-passive.
@tchrist I meant it's not seule but suele.
Oh typo.
I can't even see those any longer. My brain knows what it has to be.
11:46 PM
seule is French for sola.
I think.
It's not poetic. It's merely freedom.
Speaking of cars, Latin America seems to prefer carro to coche. I used coche with some Mexicans the other day and they grinned at that.
@Robusto They'll do that.
Especially cuando cojas un bus.
Coger is rude in Mexico, customary in Spain.
En España se conducen coches, pero en Méjico los carros se manejan.
It's like trucks and lorries and rubbers and such.
And boots and bonnets and the like.
11:53 PM
'coger' sounds like 'y tu mama tambien' talk
or is it 'amores perros'
@Mitch Gay movie.
@Mitch además
lots of pendejos and cabrones
Y quesos cabrales?
Notice how I moved the subject in my "En España" sentence's second clause. It simply sounds better to have the contrast jump at you.
@tchrist In Mexico they spell it México, no? Not Méjico. Or did you lapse into Portuguese?
It Spain cars are driven but in Mexico CARS are driven.
11:56 PM
@Robusto I was speaking Spanish.
That's the version in Spain?
Méjico is the Spanish spelling, not the Mexican one.
@tchrist It Spain?
11:56 PM
Ah, how rude of them.
@Tonepoet He's entering a typo fugue state.
It's like how when everybody had to change their -burgh cities' names to -burg cities by imperial federal fiat, but Pittsburgh told them to take a hike because they didn't want to change all their signs etc.
@Robusto Oh, I thought it was a typo for in.
Has anyone seen El Reino?
@Tonepoet Was't.
Saw it tonight.
Quite good.
But the Spanish is quite unintelligible.
11:59 PM
@Cerberus Será el esposo de La Reína, ¿verdad? :)
So fast and slangy do they speak.
@tchrist I still can't decided whether the town I lived next to was Boxborough or Boxboro (traditional vs. USPS spellings).
@tchrist No!
@Cerberus That's weird. It would be El Rey, no?
At least, my Brazilian friend said it meant the reign or the realm.

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