Question About Indirect Statement

By Phil97, in 'Latin Beginners', May 17, 2018.

  1. Phil97 New Member

    Is there ever any leeway to translate an indirect statement as an objective infinitive or vice versa? Because grammar terms vary, what I mean by "objective infinitive" is the situation where the infinitive clause is treated like an object ("The man orders the horse to charge.").

    I saw this sentence in my Shelmerdine grammar:

    Post vīnum multum postulāvērunt poētam carmina tristia clārā cum vocē canere.

    The first thing I noticed here was the postulāre ("commanding") verb which would prime you for an objective infinitive.
    I ended up translating this sentence as: "After much wine, they demanded the poet to sing his sad songs with a loud voice."

    But, because the verb is also "saying" something, couldn't you also translate it as an indirect statement?
    "After much wine, they demanded that the poet sing his sad songs with a loud voice."

    Could anyone help?
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    While the first translation is more literal, I think the second one is more usual in English. In either case, it isn't an indirect statement (neither in English nor in Latin); rather, it's an indirect command.

    Should tristi be tristia?
  3. Phil97 New Member


    I didn't realize there existed a difference between an indirect statement and an indirect command. Although, is the distinction important if both those forms of indirect discourse are treated the same way?

    I hear you on preferring the second translation but I don't want to dispense with the first one, especially since I was just taught that "ordering/wishing" verbs take the objective infinitive construction. My brain can't handle the nuance and creating an indirect out of this sentence seems right but also less right.

    Sorry about the typo on tristia - went back and corrected it.
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    They aren't always treated the same way. For instance, while some verbs of commanding take the accusative and infinitive, which is also the construction used in indirect statements, others take subjunctive clauses (either with ut, ne, or the subjunctive alone). One example is impero. Some verbs allow both constructions with varying degrees of frequency.
    Last edited by Pacifica, May 17, 2018
  5. Phil97 New Member

    Wow, that's very interesting. Gonna take that point to the bank, thank you.

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