De Natura Deorum Chapter 1: disputed passage

Pacifica

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Quod+ind in which Latin though? In the classical Latin you rather use subjunctive for that purpose (when ACI is not invoked from some reasons) because of the syntax (you're rather not allowed to use indicative in such cases). But those cases are rare anyway, since it's most usually ACI.
Quid est quod + indicative, with the meaning that I said ("What does it mean that...?") is an idiom. See OLD, quod, 7.
Also, just to let you know in passing, even in completely other constructions than the one we're discussing here, it isn't rare in classical latin to find quod with the indicative to mean "(the fact) that..." (you'll find confirmation of this in the dictionary too if you look). It just isn't used as "that" with verbs of saying, knowing etc. as in later or more vulgar Latin.
 

Pacifica

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Well, if the case is that it just modifies some non-stated "id" which has no other meaning than a place holder for the subject/object in a clause, then calling it a relative clause is not the full story - it's a redundant step, since we don't really care about a property of "id", we rather care about what the predicate is itself (and "id" is empty).

The same with ACI clauses: you can interpret them in two ways. 1) you can say the both the accusative and the infinitive are the objects of the finite verb 2) you can say that the finite verb has its own one object which is [id] which is further specified by the accusative/infinitive apositions.

The thing is that we usually ignore the [id] anytime we can in a syntactic analysis. It's usually a useless step and it doesn't probably express what is really meant in the speaker's mind (which is what linguistics tries to uncover by some clever tests and methods).
I've mentioned no id whatsoever, Godmy. In quid est quod + subjunctive, the quod clause modifies quid (in the same way as in, say, quis est qui hoc putet? the qui clause modifies quis).
 

Godmy

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Also, just to let you know in passing, even in completely other constructions than the one we're discussing here, it isn't rare in classical latin to find quod with the indicative to mean "(the fact) that..." (you'll find confirmation of this in the dictionary too if you look). It just isn't used as "that" with verbs of saying, knowing etc. as in later or more vulgar Latin.
In short: it just isn't used with most verbs/verbal expressions = in most cases. That makes it rare. But that we knew from the very start: what I wanted to establish that in the cases where ACI is not invoked, the subjunctive will be more frequent, having purely a syntactical meaning (the subjunctive true to its name).
 

Godmy

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I've mentioned no id whatsoever, Godmy.
But you need to invoke it, if you want to say "relative clause" at all. It's just a syntactical necessity (quod = neuter singular, modifying an implied id). You may have not said it, but you must have meant it and if you didn't, then the argument couldn't make any sense :) You would just make it more difficult for yourself...
 

Pacifica

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In short: it just isn't used with most verbs = in most cases. That makes it rare. But that we knew from the very start: what I wanted to establish that in the cases where ACI is not invoked, the subjunctive will be more frequent, having purely a syntactical meaning (the subjunctive true to its name).
No, Godmy, neither is it rare nor is the subjunctive more frequent. Look at the OLD, quod, 4.
 

Godmy

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No, Godmy, neither is it rare nor is the subjunctive more frequent. Look at the OLD, quod, 4.
A finite noun clause with quod and indicative is rare. The link you have given doesn't negate that in any way. Make a statistical analysis of the most used verbs and verbal expressions that can take a noun (pseudo)clause and see that ACI is used almost always.
 

Pacifica

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But you need to invoke it, if you want to say "relative clause" at all. It's just a syntactical necessity (quod = neuter singular, modifying an implied id). You may have not said it, but you must have meant it and if you didn't, then the argument couldn't make any sense :) You would just make it more difficult for yourself...
Since when is a demonstrative pronoun the only thing that can be the antecedent of a relative clause, Godmy? ;) Any noun or pronoun can be. Here (as said in this post), it's quid.
 

Godmy

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Since when is a demonstrative pronoun the only thing that can be the antecedent of a relative clause, Godmy? ;) Any noun or pronoun can be. Here (as said in this post), it's quid.
Ehhh... it is a custom in the syntactical analysis that if either the subject or object is not mentioned and we know that it is generally a neuter singular (which we know here) and if we know that none other noun previously mentioned can be meant but it is something new we have to supply, we usually say (it is an agreement we have made) it is some [id]. That's just a custom in the syntactical analysis. Maybe you're not aware of that.

"Quid" = no.

A structure:
X is Y

X has a different syntactic function than Y

(and you correctly said that X is a predicate there, I made a mistake; Y is a subject)

You can't have "X is Y"
where X and Y have the same syntactic function. That's not how it works.
 

Pacifica

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A finite noun clause with quod and indicative is rare. The link you have given doesn't negate that in any way.
It does; just look at the examples.
Make a statistical analysis of the most used verbs and verbal expressions that can take a noun (pseudo)clause and see that ACI is used almost always.
I agree that it it's rare (if not non-existent) in classical Latin as object of verbs of saying, feeling, etc., yes. But those are different things from the constructions we were initially talking about here...
 

Godmy

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It does; just look at the examples.
The examples 1) don't clearly state that for most verbs/verbal expressions in Latin 2) they cannot give you a proper picture of the statistics, only a grammar book can which has done the research (as I proposed and which you can repeat). And this is just a fact that we know about Latin (and Latin is in this aspect different from the most of the ancient IndoEuropean languages, Attic Greek included).

I agree that it it's rare (if not non-existent) in classical Latin as object of verbs of saying, feeling, etc., yes. But those are different things from the constructions we were initially talking about here...
But what I said in the commentary you responded to was "In short: it just isn't used with most verbs/verbal expressions = in most cases. That makes it rare." And now it turns out that we actually agree! Then how was I supposed to interpret that "No." of yours? It was pertinent to the discussion, but not exactly to the statement I made (which was general, as you can see).
 

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Ehhh... it is a custom in the syntactical analysis that if either the subject or object is not mentioned and we know that it is generally a neuter singular (which we know here) and if we know that none other noun previously mentioned can be meant but it is something new we have to supply, we usually say (it is an agreement we have made) it is some [id]. That's just a custom in the syntactical analysis. Maybe you're not aware of that.

"Quid" = no.

A structure:
X is Y

X has a different syntactic function than Y

(and you correctly said that X is a predicate there, I made a mistake; Y is a subject)

You can't have "X is Y"
where X and Y have the same syntactic function. That's not how it works.
When have I said anything like "X and Y" have the same syntactic function", Godmy? I'm afraid you're the one who's thorougly misunderstanding what I've been saying.

I'll try one last time to explain how I analyse the quid est quod + subjunctive construction:

Quid est quod hoc faciamus? = LITERALLY "What (quid = subject) is there/exists with regards to which (quod, having quid as an antecedent) we should/would do this?

That is in better English "What reason is there for us to do this?"
 

Pacifica

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When have I said anything like "X and Y" have the same syntactic function", Godmy? I'm afraid you're the one who's thorougly misunderstanding what I've been saying.

I'll try one last time to explain how I analyse the quid est quod + subjunctive construction:

Quid est quod hoc faciamus? = LITERALLY "What (quid = subject) is there/exists with regards to which (quod, having quid as an antecedent) we should/would do this?

That is in better English "What reason is there for us to do this?"
In other words, there is actually no Y here — no predicative noun/clause, because est only means existence of X, not that X is Y.
 

Godmy

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When have I said anything like "X and Y" have the same syntactic function", Godmy? I'm afraid you're the one who's thorougly misunderstanding what I've been saying.
You said it right here:
Since when is a demonstrative pronoun the only thing that can be the antecedent of a relative clause, Godmy? ;) Any noun or pronoun can be. Here (as said in this post), it's quid.
= the antecedent is not "quid" if you want to say that it is a relative clause. No, it's some [id] which can be interpreted as e.g. "the fact", as you or the dictionary proposes. (a secondary interpretation; [id] for syntactic purposes)

That's where you need the omitted subject! You need it if you want to say it's a relative clause (which is not the best explanation anyway). You can't have "quid est" + nothing + relative clause .... = Latin writes it like that but we understand in such case that the relative clause must go to the implied subject in the main clause. (even though this is not really a relative clause).

Ok?



Quid est quod hoc faciamus?
= LITERALLY "What (quid = subject) is there/exists with regards to which (quod, having quid as an antecedent) we should/would do this?
Now you missed there the subject in English (what I was talking about), because English requires you not omit it (let's see your other sentence).

That is in better English "What reason is there for us to do this?"
Exactly! You supplied "reason". "reason" or "the fact" which is a secondary interpretation of the rudimentary implied [id] = neuter singular which is the reason why "quod" is also a neuter singular. That's the syntactic antecedent of that quod, if understood as relative clause!

But the translation doesn't make the original a relative clause anyway: it's a redundant step. It's still much rather and simplier a noun clause with [id] (=that can be interpreted in various ways) being just a placeholder we don't really care about.
 

Godmy

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In other words, there is actually no Y here — no predicative noun/clause, because est only means existence of X, not that X is Y.
Sorry, but that's a BS, if you want to invoke a relative clause. You always have to have an antecedent in the same clause with the same function, even if just implied. That's what the formal studies of syntax tell us.
 

Godmy

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Meaning: if you have a subject clause, then you need to have a subject in the preceding main clause (even if implied). If you want to have an object clause, then you need to have an object in the preceding clause, even if implied.

"Quid" - as correctly mentioned by you, is a predicate. The sentence cannot miss the subject and here it's universally understood as some neuter singular (but not the quid itself! that's false). So we say [id] for technical purposes.
 

Pacifica

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You said it right here:


= the antecedent is not "quid" if you want to say that it is a relative clause. No, it's some [id] which can be interpreted as e.g. "the fact", as you or the dictionary proposes. (a secondary interpretation; [id] for syntactic purposes)

That's where you need the omitted subject! You need it if you want to say it's a relative clause (which is not the best explanation anyway). You can't have "quid est" + nothing + relative clause .... = Latin writes it like that but we understand in such case that the relative clause must go to the implied subject in the main clause. (even though this is not really a relative clause).

Ok.
No, not ok. Quid can very well be a subject, as well as "what" in English, and be modified by a relative clause like any other noun or pronoun can. But I won't spend my night trying to explain this to you...
Now you missed there the subject in English
No, I didn't: the subject is "what".
Exactly! You supplied "reason".
"What reason" (which is a noun (reason) modified by an interrogative adjective (what)) forms a "subject unit" with exactly the same function as "what" (interrogative pronoun) alone does in the other sentence.
 

Godmy

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1) Quid cannot be modified by a relative clause (Latin doesn't allow it)
2) the relative clause would supply subject and quid is a predicate = one more reason why it cannot modify it
3) if the relative clause supplies subject, it modifies a subject and the subject in the relative clause is an implied rudimentary neuter singular (id for all purposes), which you can interpret as "fact" or "reason"

That's how syntax works: in any language.

This is a summation of my thoughts of the main errors that you make in your analysis, Pacis puella. Maybe read that first before I start answering anything else.
 

Pacifica

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"Quid" - as correctly mentioned by you, is a predicate.
Not in the quid est quod + subjunctive construction. You keep confounding which construction we're talking about. Here it's subject, as I said in some time ago already. Please read this post again.
 

Godmy

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a) We established, that in X is Y the one thing cannot have the function of the other. Ok.

b) Some time before we established (actually I made a mistake) that syntactically "Quid" is the predicate and what follows is the subject in questions (I thought it was vice-versa, but semantically I now agree).

c) No matter what is "quid", the thing that follows CANNOT have the same function. It just cannot. (see X is Y). So no matter what the quod sentence is, it is the OTHER thing next to quid, it is what QUID is not.

d) in no universe can "quid" alone be modified by a relative clause nor it can ever be a reason for "quod" to be neuter singular.
 
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