Quid vs cur

By Cinefactus, in 'Plautus', Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Quid illic secum solus loquitur

    Plautus & Terence often seem to use quid, where I might have expected cur. Is this an early usage? Is it something which should be imitated?
  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I don't think it's that uncommon in classical Latin either (at least with certain verbs) as some sort of adverbial accusative.
    Here, it could be interpreted as "what" as well, I suppose ("what is he saying...")
    Cinefactus likes this.
  3. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    It wasn't the best example was it ;)

    Do you know what the rules are for using it in this fashion?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I don't know of any specific rules. Personally, I would avoid using it when it would be too ambiguous, but I'm not a Roman author.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well, I know of one idiom where "why" will always be quid and never cur, as far as I know (you never know that an exception won't be found somewhere, but it would only be an exception): Quid plura? meaning "Why more words?", "Let's make it short." I've never seen cur or quare plura?
    Terry S. and Cinefactus like this.
  6. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Here is a better example:
    Quid nunc igitur stamus
  7. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    On Aen. 1.407-8 (quid natum totiens, crudelis tu quoque, falsis / ludis imaginibus?), Austin's note:

    "originally a usage of familiar speech (e.g. Ter. Eun. 304 'quid tu es tristis? quidve es alacris?'); it is frequent in both direct and indirect questions."
    Cinefactus likes this.
  8. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    This brings to mind quid taces? Convincam si negas from ... well, you guys know :D

    On a side note, qui is also often used in Cicero to mean "how", e.g. qui scis? for quomodo.
  9. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    It comes from an old ablative form of qui. I remember that really confusing me the first time I saw it (in Livy book 2). But sometimes it's used in a proper relative clause, like in tanta paupertate decessit, ut, qui efferretur, vix reliquerit. There's a bunch of uses of it in Plautus as just an ablative form of qui, quae, quod.
    Matthaeus likes this.
  10. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    Cool, interesting, didn't know that. But how is that an ablative form? Wouldn't the ablative be quo?
  11. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I don't know. I guess it's an old third decl. form, just like quem and quibus and ques (another archaism). But I'm not sure.
  12. rothbard Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    London
    Quid tends to be used more often in rhetorical questions. See here, or OLD p. 1560.

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