6 Comments

  1. Salvē, Livia

    In the Reflexive vs Non-Reflexive section of your recent post on possessive pronouns and adjectives, you chose to use the verb vēnēre, rather than vēnērunt. Will you point me to where that choice is explained?

    Regards,
    Tacitus
    Livermore, Calif

    1. Salvē, Tacite! This is an excellent question. Basically, -ēre was the first form of the 3rd person plural perfect ending in Latin, but it had started to disappear in favor of -ērunt by the classical period. BUT it never quite vanished, partially because some authors would use the form to achieve an archaizing effect, and mostly because it was very useful in poetic meter (long short instead of the long long of -ērunt).

      Depending on what texts you are reading, -ēre may appear much more frequently than -ērunt. For instance, Vergil uses -ēre 231 times and -ērunt only 29 times. Caesar and Cicero, on the other hand, use -ērunt almost exclusively.

      If you want to read more about this, there is an article from the 1930s by Charles Bauer called “The Latin Perfect Endings: -Ere and -Erunt.” This is the source of the data I gave above.

      I chose to use -ēre here because students often forget that it exists, and I want to remind them.

  2. very nice but maybe you’re muddling attributive and predicative adjectives with pronouns. mine is the best would be mine as a pronoun – the book is mine would be predicative adjective

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by! My initial thought was also that “mine” would be a predicate adjective in “the book is mine,” but when I did more research, I discovered that grammarians tend to treat it as a pronoun. (Sources are Cambridge Dictionary, Grammarly, Collins Dictionary, etc.)

      I doesn’t really matter for the meaning, especially in Latin, where even regular adjectives can stand on their own. But I went with this interpretation of possessive pronoun vs. adjective because it was what seems most accepted.

  3. So – if you’re saying ‘Do you have my tailor’s golden ribbon?’ – the pronomial adjective modifying ‘tailor’s’ would match it in gender number and case and thus be in the genetive yes?
    Estne tibi auream sartoris mei taeniam?
    Sorry for the bizarre sentence – comes from a Victorian grammar 🙂

    1. Hi Anne, what a wonderfully unique sentence! Yes, the pronominal adjective would be genitive masculine singular to match “tailor’s,” so “sartōris meī” is correct.

      Note, though, that it should be “aurea taenia” (nominative), because this is a dative of possession construction and so “aurea taenia” (the thing possessed) is the subject of the verb “est.”

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