From Fabulae Syrae (LLPSI series), Ch. XXVIII

By Iustinus, in 'Latin to English Translation', Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Canada
    Can you elaborate? It feels strange... I would have expected something like quam captam manibus extentibus deinde ipsa ad ancillas versus iaciebat.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Belgium
    You mean manibus extensis?

    What I mean is that when you have both a perfect participle and a present participle in a same sentence, the action of the perfect participle didn't necessarily happen before that of the present participle.

    Let me make up another, clearer example, maybe, since the sequence of events in the sentence with the ball isn't certain:

    Mihi repente occurrens latro violenter percussum pugno sacculo rapto semimortuum reliquit.

    Literally: "A bandit, suddenly running up to me, left me half-dead, having been violently hit with the fist, the bag having been snatched away" — "A bandit suddenly ran up to me, hit me violently with his fist, snatched my bag away, and left me half-dead". Nothing forbids the present participle occurens from "happening" before the past participles percussum and rapto.
  3. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Oops, yes.

    I suppose I'll have to take your word for it. It seems so head-scratchingly illogical.
  4. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    I mean, I just don't see how one can possibly tell the order of events, if the tenses of the participles are essentially irrelevant.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    In this kind of case, when a present participle is used to describe an action that isn't really contemporaneous to the main verb as it should in theory be, but rather happened before — like occurrens happened before reliquit; the thief didn't leave me dead as he was running up to me, but after he ran up to me — the use of the present participle in this imprecise way is forced by the fact that Latin has no past active participle. If you were using a deponent verb, you'd rather use the past participle; like here you could say, for example, me repente adortus latro...

    But there are cases where this small illogicalness isn't even there, and yet the present participle doesn't necessarily happen after the past one. E.g. Saltans illa me arreptum basiabat = "Dancing, she was kissing me having been clasped to herself" = "As she was dancing, she had clasped me to herself and was kissing me". She's still dancing while she kisses me, so the action of the present participle is contemporaneous to the main verb, but she can have been dancing already before she clasped me. There's nothing illogical here, yet arreptum doesn't necessarily need to have happened before saltans.
  6. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    I guess. It feels imprecise, but I suppose I've seen similar things before (I think it bothers me less in the original than when trying to render it into English, which forces the events into a particular order that isn't specified in the Latin.)
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    I also hesitated as to the order when I translated the sentence with the ball. I eventually decided that it was more logical for her to stretch out her hand first to catch the ball, but as I said I'm not sure, as the version you suggested isn't theoretically impossible either.
  8. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    LOL, not to beat a dead horse but even now the original still feels weird... :confused:

    Ceteris puellis "Celeriter currite" clamabat "huc, huc pilam iacite!" Imperabat Nausicaa ut ad se pilam mitterent ancillae, quam deinde ipsa, manus extendens, captam ad ancillas versus iaciebat.

    Manus extendens modifies ipsa, so can it really be referring to things in a different time than ipsa is? I don't think it's so much, really, captam happening after manus extendens that bugs me; it's manus extendens happening before ipsa [ad ancillas versus iaciebat].
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    I guess the word order also somewhat suggests that interpretation (i.e. the way I translated it — first she stretches out her hands, then the ball is caught, and finally she throws it back to the maids).
  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Sorry, I don't get it. What do you mean "a different time than ipsa is"? :confused:
  11. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    LOL, ok, I didn't phrase that well; ipsa doesn't have a time. :D I meant that if iaciebat is the main verb of this clause, with ipsa as its subject, how can ipsa have something agreeing with it (extendens) that is occurring in a different time than the main verb?

    I think this is why I didn't so much mind the second example you gave (Saltans illa me arreptum basiabat); sure, the participles are a bit out of sequence, but the subject of the sentence isn't being put to use at once in two different time frames (which is frankly just disconcerting.)
  12. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Or to really get to the core of what's bugging me: participles are (essentially) adjectives, and generally one understands an adjective as describing the noun it agrees with at the time of the main verb, not in some other time frame.
  13. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    So, what bothers you in fact is the present participle representing an action that isn't truly contemporaneous to the main verb? I've talked about that in the first part of this post.
    How out of sequence?
  14. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Like the past participle (potentially) happening after the present participle; it's a bit annoying, but I can live with it (since they're modifying two different nouns.) Having a present participle not be contemporaneous to the main verb, though, seems beyond bizarre.
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    You'll have to live with it too, I'm afraid. ;) It's just one of those little imprecisions of the kind that you're likely to find in any human speech. You've been living with it in English for over thirty years (how many times have you heard or read things like "Coming home, he said..." when he really "said" only after coming?), so you should survive the shock in Latin too. :p
  16. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    You're just so sympathetic :p :p :p

    (I don't know why this bugs me when so many other things don't...it's not just that it's illogical, but it really messes up whatever mental structures I use for processing Latin sentences, LOL. I suppose that when I read in Latin (and maybe other languages), I automatically assign each noun in the sentence a different "timeline"; so Saltans illa me arreptum basiabat doesn't bug me, because it's perfectly fine for me to have been arreptum after she began saltans -- we're not the same person and don't share a timeline. :D But for the subject to be simultaneously in two time frames at once... :brickwall: )
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    I suppose Greek, with its wealth of both active and passive participles in all tenses, would have fewer situations of the sort. I might tell you to seek refuge in Greek, then, but there you will freak out over oti clauses. :D
  18. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    What a choice...illogic versus inelegance... :brickwall2:
  19. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

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    There's nothing that forbids the time-frame of a participle from depending on that of another participle as opposed to the main verb. That sort of thing is especially common with ablatives absolute, as these are often subordinate to other participial clauses, but it can be the case with any kind of participle. Word order and the context will generally dictate the time-frame involved.

    Here extendens is within the time-frame of captam rather than of iaciebat. Both the word order (it being sandwiched between quam and captam) and the logic demanded by the context makes this clear. I think what's throwing you off is that captam is a passive participle without an explicit agent, whereas iaciebat does have an explicit agent in the subject and, moreover, extendens is in grammatical agreement with it. Here, however, you have to understand ipsa as the virtual subject (agent) of captam as well.
    Last edited by Imber Ranae, Dec 27, 2015
  20. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Yes, exactly; I couldn't see anything explicitly linking ipsa or extendens to captam (as agents) so the whole thing felt awkward and strange to me. I'd have been far happier if the participle had been in the ablative (e.g. manibus extensis.)

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