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Passive Participles of Deponent Verbs

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Condessa, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Condessa

    Condessa Junior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Español
    Yo diría algo como:

    Mihi latine loquere.

    Aunque no estoy muy segura. Pero con ocasión de esto aprovecho para hacer una pregunta: ¿todas las formas de los verbos deponentes latinos tienen significado de voz activa? Quiero decir, ¿cuáles de las formas de los verbos deponentes pueden tener significado de pasiva? Lo digo porque, hasta donde sé, todos los verbos latinos tienen participios presentes activos, de modo que -supongo- sus participios pasivos habrán de tener significado de voz pasiva. Por ejemplo, en este caso, ¿cuál sería el significado de loqutus? ¿Alguien podría sacarme de esta duda?
     
  2. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Si, in todas formas.
    locutus tiene un significado activa: haber dicho ....
    locutus sum: yo he dicho .... / yo dije

    yo siento que no puedo explicarlo mejor en español.
     
  3. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Cagey,
    Pero por qué el participio "loquens, loquentis" tiene forma de participio presente activa, - en vez de "loquendus" (participio pasiva) - siendo el verbo deponente?

    Virgilio
     
  4. Condessa

    Condessa Junior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Español
    Cagey, thanks for your reply (and your correction). I'm sure I cannot explain myself in English, but I'll do my best.

    I was not asking about locutus sum, but about locutus. I think that's what Virgilio meant as well: deponent verbs do have active participles, like loquens, -entis. So, does locutus mean something like "said"? That's why I wrote I wasn't sure all forms of a deponent verb have an active meaning. What do you think?
     
  5. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Comitessa, locutus is the perfect participle of loquor in masculine nominative. And yes, the meaning is active. You can translate it as "spoken." In order to say, "Someone has spoken," one needs to use sum or its conjugations.

    Example:
    Roma locuta est.
    Rome has spoken.
     
  6. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Well your English is obviously better than my Spanish.

    Yes, locutus has an active meaning. In English, I would translate it as an active past participle "having spoken; having said."

    Locutus haec, domum iit. Having said these things, he went home.

    [For comparison: we would translate a passive as "having been ...."
    Laudatus, domum iit. Having been praised, he went home.]

    I am also interested in Virgilio's question, and will try to answer it later.

    Note: I see that Flaminius has answered you while I was writing this.
     
  7. Condessa

    Condessa Junior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Español
    Wow! Thanks for your prompt replies, Cagey and Flaminius! You were very helpful, and your answers very enlightening.

    Just one more question :eek: : how would you translate a deponent verb's gerundive? Loquendus = The one who's going to speak? Or do deponent verbs also have an active future participle, and the "passive" one has got to be translated otherwise?

    Thank you once again!
     
  8. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    You will translate those just as you do the other gerundives. Our text books translate gerundives something like: Loquendum "[something] about to be said." You should use whatever translation you use with an active verb in the gerundive. There will be no difference.

    And you will translate the future active participle Locuturus as active "one who is about to speak", just as you would any active verb with that ending.

    If any questions remain, please ask.

    Moderator Note:
    This thread has been split from here. The current topic is use of participles of deponent verbs. Happy linguistic quest!
     
  9. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    In my recent reading I came across depopulatus from depopulor "lay waste" with a passive sense "laid waste." This was new to me, but my grammar does say that "generally" the passive participle has an active sense, but is "often" passive. Does anybody know exactly how often this often is?

    Virgilio, if I understood your question correctly, I would say that I've seen the gerundive labeled as a "future" passive participle, and perhaps that's why the present active participle was brought in.
     
  10. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I think (hope) that what you want to know is whether it is an accepted use. My Lewis and Short says that in classical Latin, depopular sometimes appears as a passive only in the perfect participle, as you say. Perhaps you used the same source.

    L & S also cites examples from Livy, Caesar and Pliny, so it appears to be a conventional usage.

    I don't know whether this answers your question.
     
  11. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    modus.irrealis,
    Thank you for your reply. The evidence for the so-called 'gerundive' participle being a present passive participle seems to me overwhelming and is in any case reflected in our English use of both active and passive present participles (or rather their English paraphrases) in gerundive expressions:
    e.g.
    I am tired of him complaining about the food.
    I hope this can be achieved without them being offended.

    (I know some folks will complain that I'm using colloquial language here but I'm just enough of a democrat to believe that language is language, whatever the style.)

    The peculiarity about the Latin present passive participle is that - by the classical period at least - it seems always to have been used 'gerundively'.

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     
  12. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    modus.irrealis,
    Re:"In my recent reading I came across depopulatus from depopulor "lay waste" with a passive sense "laid waste." This was new to me, but my grammar does say that "generally" the passive participle has an active sense, but is "often" passive. Does anybody know exactly how often this often is?"

    Might there not be a very simple explanation for this phenomenon? Might not the fault lie in our own expectation that Latin (as it was actually used) should in every respect conform to the rules we learn from textbooks?

    Pity the poor grammarians. The have a tricky job. They have to try to systematize a wide-ranging and unruly set of phenomena and produce 'rules'. But rules are - in this case at least - what happens as a rule and there will always be exceptions.

    Plainly in the case of "depopulari" the verb was not always used 'deponently'.

    G K Chesterton tells an amusing tale about an astronaut who goes to the moon and has the misfortune to die there. Out come the moon men and find the body, which they take to their pathology experts, who discover that earthlings - to their astonishment seem to be bi-laterally symmetrical.
    "Look!", says one moon pathologist, "he has an arm on the left and an arm on the right, a leg on the left and a leg on the right, an eye on the left and an eye on the right, an ear.......and so on."
    (It is well-known of course that moon men themselves have a quite different physiology)
    "Ah yes", replies his colleague," that's all very well. but are they bi-laterally symmetrical also on the inside?"
    "Well, there's one way to find out" comes the reply, and the pathologists set about opening up the specimen; (they are, after all, pathologists)
    "Yes, just as I suspected. Look, a lung and the left and a lung on the right" and just when after several more finds they are becoming absolutely certain of their theory, "and, look, a heart on the left and a........!?!
    Well, how do you like that! The only earthling specimen we're ever likely to get and he's deformed, if you please!"

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     
  13. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    It's no so much whether it's accepted or not that I'd like to know but how common it is and whether I should always consider the possibility of it. I looked it up in Allen & Greenough's grammar which is where it writes that it is "often" passive -- I didn't think to look it up in the dictionary, but it does mention the passage I read:

    ... certiorem faciunt sese depopulatis agris non facile ab oppidis vim hostium prohibere

    and here I managed to give some meaning to the sentence taking depopulatis as having an active sense, and I wouldn't have even thought of giving it a passive sense unless the notes had mentioned it -- and now I'm wondering how common it is.

    But in those construction where you might say it has a present sense, it's not clear to me that it's passive, and in any case, deponent and "normal" verbs share this use of the gerundive. But with the other use, where I would say it's being used as a participle, it does have a definite non-present sense -- usually one of necessity or obligation, and that's why I think the Latins would not extend this use to being a simple present participle of deponent verbs. Or to put it another way, it doesn't seem to me that conservandum virum is just the passive version of conservantem virum.

    Thanks for the anecdote :D -- but my grammar does mention this use of the passive participle as actually being participle, but I was hoping to know just how common this is.
     
  14. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    modus.irrealis,
    Just two points about the so-called 'gerundive' (I'd better not refer to it as "present passive participle" because you seem to hold that in some doubt).
    (1) Can you cite any example from any Latin author where the 'obligational' connotation exists, while the gerundive phrase is not in a 'subject' case (i.e. nominative with a verb or accusative with an infinitive - in the case of the 'accusative and infinitive' construction)?

    Re:"it doesn't seem to me that conservandum virum is just the passive version of conservantem virum."
    Without participating in a sentence, of course neither phrase can mean anything, so how could one know? But in any case the adjective which I call the present passive participle is in classical Latin always used 'gerundively'; in other words, it represents together with the substantive it describes a gerund-type idea - in the oblique cases with no additional idea of any obligation.
    Since present participles are undeniably developed from gerunds (in English as palpably as in Latin) and since Latin already has a present active participle, the chances of the so-called 'gerundive' not being a present passive participle seem to me very remote.
    Apart from which, treating them as such makes translation so natural and easy:
    e.g.
    cives ejus urbis legatos ad Caesarem ad pacem petendam miserunt.
    The citizens of that city sent envoys to Caesar towards-peace-being-sought.

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     
  15. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    Could you explain the reason for that restriction? But anyway, how about:

    ...pieutinam P. Clodius non modo viveret, sed etiam praetor, consul, dictator esset, potius quam hoc spectaculum viderem! O di immortales! fortem et a vobis, iudices, conservandum virum!

    It seems more natural to me (and it's also how I came to feel comfortable with the gerundive being used in these constructions) to say "towards-peace-to-be-sought" which better captures for me that this is the purpose of their sending the envoys. But that's just me.

    And my own question -- how, in something like ars bene disserendi, is the gerundive "passive"?
     
  16. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    modus.irrealis,
    Re:"O di immortales! fortem et a vobis, iudices, conservandum virum!"
    You have cited a case in which the accusative is outside the scope of rational syntax. The exclamatory accusative is, like all exclamations (including the vocative case), metasyntactic for it - and they - are in a sense mere emotional outbursts and not susceptible of rational analysis. The exclamation you cite is not a sentence for it has no verb - not even one that can reasonably be imagined. .
    Can you cite a sentence in which a 'gerundive' phrase other than in a subject case (please see my last post re this) is 'obligational'?

    Re:" And my own question -- how, in something like ars bene disserendi, is the gerundive "passive"? The three words you quote do not contain a 'gerundive' but a gerund. I never said that gerunds were passive.

    Perplexed.

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     
  17. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    I don't know what "rational syntax" means but could you explain why you're excluding this use -- here's a gerundive being used as an adjective (which is what a participle is) to modify a noun and means "to be saved." And you didn't answer why you exclude the cases where it's used as a subject.

    Alright -- I would agree with analysis (although I wonder if there's any historical relationship between gerund and gerundive). But before you made the claim that the English present participle was formed on the gerund (I assume because the identity of form), but historically this isn't true, so now I'm unclear about what you meant about the relationship between the English present participle and the gerund and what that has to do with Latin.

    Anyway, you were wondering why Latin didn't use the gerundive as a present participle for deponents, and I offered a possible explanation that you did not find convincing. But I still don't see how the gerundive acts as a present passive participle -- are there examples of the gerundive being used as a present passive participle in the nominative case, say, in the way laudans is used in hoc laudans, Pompeius idem iuravit? Such a use (which I don't think I've come across, but that says very little -- see depopulatus above) would probably convince me that it was a present passive participle.
     
  18. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    modus.irrealis,
    Re your:"And you didn't answer why you exclude the cases where it's used as a subject."
    But far from excluding the cases where what I call the present passive participle qualifies a subject, the whole point that I was trying to make was exactly the contrary: namely that only when these gerundive participial phrases are verb-subjects do they take on this 'obligational' connotation.
    When they are oblique, I maintain, no such obligational force applies.
    We are both, I'm sure, trying to elaborate consistent systems into which the available phenomena will fit. If, however, you admit exclamations into your system, you may be able to explain them away, but they will eventually destroy the system because they are by nature on a different plane and of a different kind from the rest.
    Take the vocative case as an example:
    "Cur non mitto meos tibi, Pontiliane, libellos?
    Ne mihi tu mittas, Pontiliane, tuos!" (Martialis)

    We can omit both these vocatives from the couplet without jeopardising in the slightest way the integrity of the syntax (though, of course, the elegiac metre would be ruined).
    And we can do so because sentences and vocatives do not inhabit the same logical system. Indeed, I would argue that vocatives do not inhabit any logical system. The same is true, I believe, of all exclamations, including, naturally, the one you cited.
    My comments about what I call present passive participles apply only to syntax, a system of consistently fitting words into sentences.
    I make no comment about exclamations for how could one attempt to fit emotional outbursts into a logical system?
    I agree that in the exclamation you quote the adjective "conservandum" plainly has an obligational force but the citation was of a metasyntactic kind.

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     

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