English word order when parsing Latin words

By Bitmap, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', May 29, 2019.

  1. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    I always get a bit confused when parsing Latin words ... is there any conventional order in English in which you mention the features of a word?

    German has KNG for nouns (Kasus, Numerus, Genus), so if you parsed a word like pectoris, you would say "Genitiv Singular Neutrum" in German. In English, it sometimes feel more natural to me to say "singular genitive" ... but I'm not sure if it still does if you want to add all three features. Does English have any order there?

    With verbs, I'm not even sure myself as far as German is concerned. Let's say ferebamus. I would probably say "1. Person Plural Imperfekt Indikativ Aktiv" ... so person, number, tense, mood, voice ... although only the first two items seem kind of conventional while it feels like you can juggle around with the remaining ones in any random order. How does English do it?
    Pacifica likes this.
  2. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    If I remember right, we had GNC (gender number case) for nouns and PNTMV (person number tense *mode voice)

    *Many people said 'mood', following such-and-such grammar book, but I far prefer 'mode', which I think we can all agree is the 'correct' term.
  3. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    Maybe it's stupid in the way Americans are called stupid for a M/D/Y arrangement (April 1st, 1983), but I think the most 'purely grammatical' information should come first. A dictionary search isn't a morphological search; I mean, generally speaking you want to know what the word means, but it helps also to know its grammatical gender.
    Then again, if you look up terminus in a dictionary, the first thing to come after the word itself will probably be the genitive sg. ending, whereby you can tell what class of noun the word belongs to. So I guess your arrangement makes good sense.
    :no-clue:
  4. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Why would we all agree with that? 'Subjunctive mood' gets over 12 times as many hits on Google. Both forms are acceptable, but according to the OED, 'mode' is mainly used where the distinction is not marked by inflected forms.

    For nouns, I'd probably use case, number, gender, but I don't have any dogmatic views on the subject, and can't be sure I don't vary it on occasion.
  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    So it's opposite to the German order for nouns... I had a feeling it was like that...

    Good thing it's the same order for verbs :p thank you!

    Modus ;P
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    that is extremely unnatural to me, with or without any additional information like the gender

    I would say "genitive singular neuter", like the German order. But actually, with nouns, there's no reason to ever say the gender when parsing; I'd only do that with adjectives.

    For verbs, I would do something like "1st person singular perfect active indicative", so like Hemo.
  7. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    Ok, so should I stick to the German stick?

    For verbs, I would do something like "1st person singular perfect active indicative", so like Hemo.[/quote]
    I think Hemo would's would be 1st pers sing perf ind active
  8. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Oh, yeah, I always put mood last, nvm then
  9. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    When I was considering the question, and thinking there was probably room for variation, 'singular genitive' sounded like something I definitely wouldn't say.

    With verbs, I'd probably say 'first person singular of the perfect indicativ active, and I might well write 'of the' as well, because it's easier on the eye. I might say 'active perfect indicative', but I wouldn't say 'perfect active indicative'. Actually, I might leave out 'active' in most contexts, because that would be the default to me.
  10. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    In Certamen questions the standard is "perfect active indicative", that order. But I and most good players would always buzz at the first syllable of the tense and assume "active subjunctive" as the end.
  11. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    :D 'shtick'

    Because I think most members here (myself included) are 'purists' (euphemism) when it comes to grammar, and translating modus as 'mood' is like translating the tetragrammaton as 'yeah, way!'.
  12. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    'Hey, venio, what's your favorite suffix?'
    'I don't know, depends on my mood.'
    :hat:
  13. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Location:
    Tennessee

    I learned it as GCN.="Neuter Genitive Singular."
  14. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I must be missing something here.
  15. Clemens New Member


    Mood is nevertheless the traditional translation and grammatical term, and is used in all three of the books I have in front of me.
  16. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    I suppose a man should remain happily in the wrong, so long as he abides by tradition.

    The fact that old fork-beard William Dwight Whitney (and others) used the correct/untraditional term is enough for me. One glance at his picture and you know he's on the level.
  17. Whitney used mode!?
  18. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    You know it, mein Dude.
  19. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    One of many triple interchangeables, a curious feature of American nomenclature. I think my favourite was the classicist Smith Palmer Bovie.
    Hemo Rusticus likes this.
  20. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    That, truly, sounds either like a law firm, or an ancient-language dictionary triumvirate (Brown-Driver-Briggs, Liddell-Scott-Jones).

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