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12:39 PM
@Cerberus: In Q: latin.stackexchange.com/q/15055/1982, Caeser could easily have used the alternative that you suggest, "odsides imperatos..."; that he didn't indicates that this grammatical violation was deliberate? This, done, perhaps to create some rhetorical force; the way teachers mockingly repeat the grammatical howlers of their students? The purpose--to draw attention to what he had done; ensure that the audience, in Rome, got the point--whatever that was?
 
 
6 hours later…
6:53 PM
@tony Since, as pointed out by Joonas, the comment chain is getting long, I follow his kind invitation to address the final question you raised in your comment in https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/15055/grammatical-structure-of-obsidibus-imperatis-centum-hos-haeduis-custodiendos-tr , i.e. “ Whether the gerundive is optional or not, do you agree that "hos custodiendos" can be treated as a single, discrete unit--the accusative-plural direct-object?”.
As a preliminary remark, let me point out that it is not the case that what is accusative is always part of the direct object. For examp
 
 
1 hour later…
8:04 PM
@Mitomino I would add that there is often room for alternative readings. Or at least the readings are different from the point of view of English and many other languages; I would be hesitant to draw the conclusion that they were somehow categorically different to native Romans.
It's a good rule of thumb that a clause has a predicate, subject, and object and then possible attributes of different sorts, but that does not quite capture everything adequately. And when something more elaborate is needed, there is often room for different readings.
I think some aspects of Finnish syntax that I've grown up with affect my sense of semantics and structuring sentences. With everyone bringing in their own inclinations, we have quite a selection of ways to see these things, and I'm happy to see variety in thought on the site.
 
8:20 PM
@SebastianKoppehel I actually doubt whether that plural of mine was correct, nullos errores. Why not simply nullum errorem?
@tony Perhaps! Or it is just lazy writing...
 
8:51 PM
@Cerberus That leads to a broader question: When ought one use the plural nulli at all? Or is there a difference between singular and plural?
I smell a nice question here...
 
 
3 hours later…
11:31 PM
@Cerberus Before concluding that it was “lazy writing”, one could entertain the possibility that the alleged “violation” of the AA rule is due to information structure reasons. As pointed out in my answer, AAs do have an unavoidable strong topic nature, compared to the coniunctum participle option, which would be more neutral.
@Cerberus The use of an AA here guarantees the topic nature of "imperatis" in a very clear way, in strong contrast with the focus nature of “custodiendos”. This difference could be less clear if both “imperatos” and “custodiendos” co-appear.
@JoonasIlmavirta When dealing with the alleged ambiguity claimed by myself (not without hesitation”) of “hos custodiendos Haeduis tradit”, you say: “the choice of reading does not seem to change the factual event being described, and I actually wonder if there is an example where dominance of a participle or gerundive deeply changes meaning”. Well, consider Nepos’s example: Epaminondam pecunia corrumpendum suscepit (Nep. 15,4,1).
@JoonasIlmavirta In my view, the reading of dominant gerundive (the favorite one here: ‘He undertook the bribing of Epaminondas with money’) would be quite different from that of non-dominant gerundive (‘He caught Epaminondas to be bribed with money’).
 
@Mitomino Hah, it was just a possibility.
I understand your point about topicality.
In other texts, though, authors do not feel this aspect is essential, do they?
 
@JoonasIlmavirta Note also that the reading of dominant gerundive is also compulsory in “Virtus constat ex hominibus tuendis” (Cic. Off. 1.157): ‘Virtue centres in protecting people’. Any other reading of the gerundive is excluded here.
 
I agree about your distinction between dominant and non-dominant adjectivals.
I feel it is a range: some are clearly dominant; others are clearly not dominant; yet others are somewhere in between.
I do understand Joonas's point to the extent that I think the distinction was perhaps not usually perceived consciously by our dear Roman writers.
Even in modern languages, the distinction is often not something that we think about too much.
 
@Cerberus Yes, I agree with you: there seems to be a range, but the point is that, as you say, perhaps this was not percerived the same way by Romans.
 
I'm not sure how Romans talked about this.
Could be fuel for a Quaestio!
I do think it is important how, in clearly dominant cases, the adjectival word cannot be left out without rendering the sentence nonsense.
As you mentioned.
I would say the distinction is semantic, not so much morpho-syntactic.
And I would say terms like "head" and "subject" are morpho-syntactic, not semantic.
 
11:46 PM
As for the perception of Romans about dominant participles, it seems clear that their use was variable across different authors and periods. For example, it is cool to imagine Cicero wondering how natural this sentence from Tacitus could be to him: "Occisus dictator pulcherrimum facinus videretur" (Tac. Ann. 1, 8, 6).
 
@Mitomino By that you mean, Cicero might not find this natural?
 
It seems clear that the distinction has semantic but not morphosyntactic correlates. The difficult thing is to work out how this distinction can be understood/accounted for in syntactic terms (if any). By the way, I think that in Ancient Greek there was morphosyntactic evidence for distinguishing dominant participles.
 
Hmm how would this be done?
The use of articles?
 
The range of dominant participles found in Tacitus' works is quite different from the one found in Cicero. Yes, it's probable that Cicero would not accept all dominant participle constructions used by Tacitus. Same for Ablative Absolutes, which also involve dominant participles.
 
Hmm.
There is a difference between not accepting it, and simply choosing a different style!
@Mitomino You also made a point about whether or not adjectivals in dominant constructions could be considered heads. I opened the article you linked to, but I haven't read it yet.
 
11:56 PM
For example, the use of future active participles in AA could sound a bit odd to Cicero.
 
I suppose I could understand it if you called the gerundive a head in the full sentence Bibendum est.
@Mitomino And to me! Does Tacitus does that often?
 

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