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Re: Question about supines, gerunds, and the like

From:Richard Wordingham <richard.wordingham@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 23:05
--- In, Ray Brown <ray.brown@F...> wrote:
> On Sunday, May 16, 2004, at 10:41 AM, Jeff Jones wrote: > [snip] > > Here's my understanding: Originally there was simply the future
> > participle. > > What is your evidence? I know of no evidence whatever for this. As
far as
> I can tell, the description "future passive participle" is an
invention of
> latter-day western prescriptive grammarians, possibly originating
from its
> occasional use as such in _late_ Latin (see below). > > If the gerundive had, indeed, been such a participle we would
expect forms
> such as 'capiendus esse' to supply the needed 'future passive
> in the commonly used 'accusative and infinitive construction'. We
do not.
> Instead we find either 'captum iri' (supine + impersonal
infinitive of "to
> go") or, more commonly, 'fore ut' + subjunctive. > > It is surely not credible that the Romans would've used these > circumlocutions for the future passive infinitive, if a simpler,
> straightforward construction were available. > > As far as I'm aware, no satisfactory explanation has been given
for the
> origin of the Latin gerundive. It appears to be derived from a
form -(o)n-
> + the adjectival formative -do- (cf. timidus, frigidus etc. for
the latter)
> . The earliest examples do not show any future meaning; they
appear to be
> adjectives which vaguely mean "involved in the action of.....",
and to
> have had an active meaning with intransitive verbs, e.g. oriundus
> from, originating from"), secundus ("following, favorable [of
> following [the first], second"), and a passive meaning with
transitives, e.
> g. caedundus 'involved in being killed'.
Jens E. Rasmussen believes they derive from the PIE middle participle in *-mh1no-. Unfortunately, I don't know his explanation of the sound changes involved. His views appear to be recorded in "The origin of the Latin gerund and gerundive", Copenhagen Working Papers in Linguistics 4, 1996, 149-59. Richard.