Latin (was Language universal?)
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 7, 2001, 12:47|
On Wed, 7 Feb 2001, Raymond Brown wrote:
> At 3:03 pm -0500 6/2/01, Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> >Interesting. :-) Actually, I've been wondering how, if the vocative is
> >only marked on singular 2nd-declension masculine nouns (and even then not
> >always as in "puer" and "ager" type nouns?) in Latin, how you can call
> >all the other vocatives a case when they look just like the nominative.
> Good question.
> >But maybe they *were* marked and dropped out. =^)
> No - it was because grammar jargon was first developed by the Greeks, where
> vocative singulars are much more marked. The Romans tended to take over
> and (mis)translate Greek terms fairly unquestioningly; the Greeks have a
> vocative - so must Latin.
Oh! Sort of like how English (as far as I can tell) inherited bunches of
Latin-y terminology (and eventually prescriptions like not splitting
infinitives) from the Romans?
> In fact I agree with Yoon Ha. It seems to me to make much more sense to
> talk about _five_ cases for Latin nouns, adjectives & pronouns: nom., acc.,
> gen., dat. & abl. [British order :) ]; and to treat the vocative like the
> locative, i.e. vestigial case forms retained for a small set of nouns.
Our prof calls it nominative/vocative. :-p
There's a locative? Gee, I'll look forward to finding out about it.
(British order? Oh dear. I remember how screwed up I was in German
because I self-studied from a book that had Nominative, accusative,
genitive, dative; and the textbook in the classes I ended up taking
switched dative and genitive.)
> >And then again, to be fair, I should probably also be quibbling over
> >things like neuters being the same in accusative, nominative *and*
> >vocative. :-p
> That goes right back to Proto-Indo-European - the Romans merely inherited it.
Ah. :-) Thanks for the info.
> >(Any Latin pedants out there, I've only been in 3 weeks
> >of class so my knowledge is definitely incomplete!)
> Don't worry - take it from someone who's being doing Latin for some 50
> years, you're doing just fine!
Wow--that's a lot of Latin! =^) I have a long way to go (I someday want
to read Vegetius' _De Re Militari_ and Caesar's Gallic Wars in something
resembling the originals).
Si vales, valeo,
(I have no idea how to mark macrons with ASCII)