Pronominal adjectives vs adjectival pronouns et multa alia

By Godmy, in 'General Latin Chat (English)', Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
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    Bohemia
    Sorry for instrusion, but both you and Lysandra mistake pronouns for adjectives. Yes, morphologically and syntactically lots of pronouns and numerals too (think ordinal numerals) behave like adjectives, but that doesn't mean they are adjectives. The semantics matter. Although I know OLD itself is not very strict here, but that doesn't change the fact.

    I would just wish people stopped calling these adjectives... we can do better than that, can't we.
  2. Godmy A Monkey

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    Bohemia
    sōlus - pronoun
    ūllus - pronoun
    nūllus - pronouns
    ūnus - numeral...
    suus - pronoun
    meus - pronoun

    etc. etc. etc.
  3. Godmy A Monkey

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    Bohemia
    I mean, if I did this mistake in my elementary school, I wouldn't have passed at all. The teachers there were quite strict when it came to parts of the speech, especially the kinds of pronouns.
  4. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    Allow me finish your list, good Monkey:
    tranquillus - pronoun
    viridis - pronoun
    luna - pronoun
    semel- pronoun
    proponere - pronoun

    A joke of course. No, these words are not pronouns merely because they can be used substantively, and saying 'numeral' is just a cop-out.
    se is a pronoun, suus is a (pronominal) adjective.

    Similarly, if I made the mistake of calling solus, which like any adjective modifies a given noun, a 'pronoun', I would have been called a настоящий дурак.

    :vomit:
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Belgium
    To my mind, ille etc. are pronouns when used alone (when used truly pro nomine = instead of a noun) and adjectives when they are used together with a noun with which they agree.

    I can see how they are different from "regular" adjectives; unlike, say, pulcher or invidus, they don't denote a specific quality. That may be why Godmy sets them apart from "adjectives".

    I think these matters of terminology may be taught differently in different countries or even different institutions. For example and for what it's worth, while I regard the possessives meus etc. as adjectives, I know some call them pronouns, and the English equivalent of meus, "my", is here called neither an adjective nor a pronoun but a determiner. At the end of the day, I don't think it matters all that much and we shouldn't start a fight about it.
  6. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    No doubt. Which is why I give the Bohemian wholesale pardon.
  7. Godmy A Monkey

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    Location:
    Bohemia
    I'm sorry, Hemo Rusticus & Pacifica, but there is nothing like a pronominal adjective. That's nonsense. You can study whatever old grammars you can find, even the Latin ones, you will always find that sōlus, e.g. is a pronoun, ille - no matter how used is a pronoun too and ūnus is always a numeral (and it's certainly not a cop-out, because, in this one case, there are different kind of numerals: ordinal, cardinal, distributive ...etc. etc.)

    The most basic semantic definition of a pronoun is a word that refers to [a] potential antecedent or lack thereof (this is just the very basic definition, not the full one). An adjective does not, I repeat, does NOT use the idea of an antecedent whatsoever. (I'm not even going here to the definition of a numeral.)

    I mean, I understand that the modern western schools don't teach very much of the general grammar and almost only focus on the orthography of a particular language, but you can't wave the centuries away by inventing fictitious terms like "pronominal adjective" or ... I don't know "numeral adjective".

    Your guys problem is that you either can't or just don't want (probably the latter) from some strange reason differentiate morphology, syntax and semantics at all. And trust me that in the whole linguistics, at the end, semantics is always the king. And the parts of speech has been traditionally absolutely categorized based on semantics, not syntax, not morphology. What you do is just following morphology (or syntax) but that's just painfully insufficient. You just look at the ending, look how it changes and think "Oh! Adjective!".

    Btw. "Sōlus" is not an irregular adjectival declension, but a quite regular pronominal one... why? :p

    Just go whatever traditional grammar book and see for yourself, it's not just Czech thing. We, Germans and once upon a time most of the Western Europe always followed the traditional Latin grammar terminology and distinctions. I don't know what happened in recent year mainly in the anglophone countries that children are not taught anymore these basic distinctions, but the reality is not changing.

    You can find countless of these, but just one example of a traditional grammar treatise which is certainly not Czech:

    https://books.google.cz/books?id=tMoksMOPmoEC&pg=PA124&dq=pronomina solus solius&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVk8zXhcXbAhVPJlAKHULaCrUQ6AEIKzAA#v=onepage&q=pronomina solus solius&f=false


    I'm seriously considering, Pacifica, making a thread in the "Grammar tips" called "What all is a pronoun or a numeral and is not an adjective", because often this just becomes ridiculous at times.

    I mean no offense to either of you, btw., I apologize for any perceived hostility, but I've been frustrated with this for years.
    Last edited by Godmy, Jun 9, 2018
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Location:
    Belgium
    Meus has a regular adjectival declension. Why?

    This adjective thing wasn't invented by either Hemo Rusticus or me. See the OLD, which you mentioned yourself (it classifies e.g. meus and solus as adjectives and ille as both pronoun and adjective).
    I'm the one who reviews posts in the Grammar Tips subforum and decides whether to let them be posted publicly or not. I would not accept such a post because I accept only those that, to the best of my knowledge, provide undisputably correct information. This is a controversial topic as a case can be made either way.
  9. Godmy A Monkey

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    Location:
    Bohemia
    Btw. "an adjectival pronoun, substantival pronoun, adjective numeral" makes at least some sense, but not the other way around :p You have no definition of what constitutes a part of speech if you ditch semantics like this. And mainly, I don't know from which school this is coming from, because I can't find anything like this anywhere :D One could even argue that OLD just goes about the morphosyntactic features out of economy and using some space (since it uses just short abbreviations), but OLD is not a grammar treatise either, right.

    But I'm sorry for hijacking the thread. I don't want to deter the posters who use this for training. I can let this go [in here].
    Last edited by Godmy, Jun 9, 2018
  10. Godmy A Monkey

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    Location:
    Bohemia
    Why not? It's irrelevant, it's morphology and not semantics. I commented on it only because Hemo Rusticus called it "an irregular adjective"... which is funny considering it's a pronoun with a typical pronominal genitive and dative.

    Well, that's why I tagged you Pacifica, isn't it? But aren't you then in a conflict of interest? How can you assess how something is good scholarly enough if you yourself probably missed this part of education? No offense.

    I really don't want to sound like a jerk here, but I was educating you[pl.] here. Neither of us is at the beginning stage of the Dunning-Kruger's curve right? Not me, certainly not you, certainly not even Hemo Rusticus. So try to accept that you are still missing some knowledge.

    Oh, and look up any grammar treatise. Have you checked the link I sent?

    Again, sorry for hijacking the thread, I don't mind if the thread gets split, but you obviously want me to react...
  11. Godmy A Monkey

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    Location:
    Bohemia
    (Oh, btw. meus is a possessive pronoun, sōlus a demonstrative one. Demonstrative pronouns do have -ius -i genitive & dative, but again, this is very irrelevant to the categorization of a part of speech, since we go by semantics; but no morphological irregularity with sōlus).

    & please split the thread if I'm irritating you too much ;)
  12. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    Oh, so pronominal adjective isn't a thing?

    Rather, an adjectival pronoun?
  13. Dantius Homo Sapiens

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    in orbe lacteo
    I'm very confused. How is solus, "alone" or "only", a pronoun? Nowhere in my schooling have I learned that "alone" is a pronoun in any language. It's just an adjective modifying some other noun. In Latin class all my teachers have taught the UNUS NAUTA words that I posted earlier as adjectives, and something like hic as either a demonstrative adjective or a demonstrative pronoun, depending on whether it is in agreement with something or used substantively.
    Also, Allen and Greenough calls them adjectives:
    [IMG]
    Bennett's New Latin Grammar calls them adjectives:
    [IMG]

    So this is not a universally agreed-upon matter and I don't think you can make statements like "you missed this part of education" when different sources and different teachers seem to teach it in different ways (I've never had any teacher of any language in any grade teach some of these words as pronouns).
  14. Godmy A Monkey

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    Location:
    Bohemia
    The English sources may be confusing (A&G is also using the term "syntax" rather loosely). The semantic and syntactic definitions are being heavily conflated here. We also don't conflate patient, agent with subject, object and suddenly we conflate the definitions of attribute with adjective? Subject and object with a noun? One must realize what the definition of a part of speech is and not conflate the different linguistic levels of abstraction/categories (syntax vs. semantics) or you're creating a chaos, inconsistent/ever-changing definitions. Unless you have a definition of what part of speech is and what a syntactic element is and how they differ from each other, you can't really operate with these terms correctly and comfortably.

    I will make a new thread (somewhere), where I provide an explanation of what is not a controversial categorization (in any better school focused on general grammar you would be laughed at if you thought this was controversial and you wouldn't probably pass the 7th grade in my country).

    I won't be hijacking this thread anymore, I'll just provide a link when I create the new one starting with the argument/explanation, where you can also post your answers/reactions. I realize this thread is about something else and for beginners (albeit I was afraid they might be mislead with terms used as they were).

    So, I'll try not to react in this thread anymore - you can help me there (until I make the new one).
    Last edited by Godmy, Jun 9, 2018
  15. Ser 鳥王

    • Civis Illustris
    I'm genuinely surprised that you were taught in school to call these words pronouns, on the basis of their semantics. I get it, these words are close to the prototype of what function words are, so calling them adjectives just like we call albus or laetus feels inappropriate from that point of view.

    However, the only people I've otherwise seen who refer to sōlus and ūllus as pronouns are people who study Indo-European languages at large, and they do so in reference to their particular way of declining (not their semantics), since they refer to this pattern with an -īus genitive and an -ī dative as "the pronominal declension". As far as I've seen, most resources from Latinists in English (or Spanish/French) refer to them as adjectives.

    I'm also a bit confused why you seem strongly attached to the definition of "pronoun" you were taught, when categorizing certain words in different word classes is perfectly common and normal when you compare grammars or dictionaries. There is a controversy surrounding how to best categorize the English word "worth", for example. Meus could possibly be considered neither an "adjective" nor a "pronoun" from the point of view of general linguistics, but rather a determiner...

    Also, on the topic of the term "pronominal adjective", Dirk Panhuis's modern grammar has the following in page 23:

    [IMG]

    (Although it's possible he's just following tradition here, and he'd prefer to call them something else.)
    Last edited by Ser, Jun 9, 2018
    Hemo Rusticus and Godmy like this.
  16. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    I will try to hold my reactions to the next thread I'd like to create.

    Thanks for that Panhuis quote, Ser, I know that Panhuis is still a bit modern in some of his own labels in the Latin academic circles, but I respect his approach.

    I'm attached to a definition where the categories are not conflated and I haven't seen any better definition which would achieve that without drastic changes and innovations. Whole countries subscribe to that definition in their teaching curricula and countless textbooks. Or what better definition would you suggest? (unless [perhaps] introducing a new part of speech to Latin, as you suggested, which I would rather not do [myself] - although there might be a problem with a determiner too)

    (shall we wait to the next thread? I'll invite you there.)
    Last edited by Godmy, Jun 9, 2018
    Hemo Rusticus likes this.
  17. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    I am such a one, but I nevertheless prefer to call them adjectives because of their morphology, which only deviates from the norm because of their semantic likeness to pronouns such as qui. Of course, the matter is made more difficult by the fact that other pronominal endings intrude upon the paradigm as it is (e.g. gen pl *-āzōm and analogous *-ōzōm).
    Also, aren't Indo-European scholars a minority among Classicists? I really don't know.

    I'm a bit confused as to why you should be confused by that.

    Exactly right. It's just that the way we Anglos see it, simply by comparing a paradigm of solus with, say, tranquillus, that on the whole it exhibits regular o-stem adjective morphology except for the gen and dat sg. It is this exception that makes them like pronouns, while not being them. But I dig what you're layin' down, brat moj.

    I'll come if you buy us a drink.
  18. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    Who's 'we'? Linguists specializing in semantics and morphosyntax? Those terms are often considered a little too abstract to be immediately useful to new learners in North American Latin grammar classes. They are dealt with briefly, if at all.

    This is, however, not the case with Sanscrit.
    :chicken:

    Edit: It is admittedly difficult to separate ourselves from our own disciplines when dealing with the grammar, but we must always think of what benefits the student most.

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