Ovid, Amores

Katarina

Member
1.2

Esse quid hoc dicam, quod tam mihi dura videntur
strata, neque in lecto pallia nostra sedent,
et vacuus somno noctem, quam longa, peregi,
lassaque versati corporis ossa dolent?


How comes this together grammatically?
and I endure sleapless the night ... ?
I would find it logical should it be quam longam or quae (est) longa but I don't understand quam longa.
 

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Civis Illustris
I think you should take it as a parenthesis that has nothing to do with the rest of the sentence:

et vacuus somno noctem – quam longa (est)! – peregi.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
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It also appears twice in the Aeneid. Especially in the 8.86 passage, I would not interpret it as an exclamation. I think the sense there is something along the lines of "on that night, for its entire duration".
 

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Civis Illustris
It also appears twice in the Aeneid. Especially in the 8.86 passage, I would not interpret it as an exclamation. I think the sense there is something along the lines of "on that night, for its entire duration".

What do you think is the syntactic function of that clause if it is not a parenthesis?

Or did I misunderstand you by equating "exclamation" to "parenthesis"?
 

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Civis Illustris
Doesn't that still treat the phrase as a parenthesis?
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
I wouldn't call a clause like Servius' in quantum thing a parenthesis.
Would you call constructions like this:
declamatio, in quantum maxime potest, imitetur eas actiones
or this:
et quam maximis potest itineribus in Galliam ulteriorem contendit
parenthetical/exclamatory?
 

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Civis Illustris
I wouldn't ... but those are cases of a peculiar Latin construction: quam + superlative. quam longa isn't.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If quam longa means what Dantius thinks it means, and it seems plausible to me, then I wouldn't call it a parenthesis, either, and in any case certainly not an exclamation.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Broadly speaking, an adverbial relative clause. I don't know if there's a special sub-category term for it.
 

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Civis Illustris
I mean what would you call it syntactically?

But if you call it a relative clause, what is the relative pronoun and which word does it refer to?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, quam, though originally a relative pronoun, can be called a relative adverb here.

The clause works as some sort of adverbial of manner or time, maybe.
 

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Civis Illustris
Calling that nominative an adverbial doesn't sound convincing to me.
Calling it a relative clause doesn't sound convincing, either, because I don't see which word that relative clause should relate to.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Calling that nominative an adverbial doesn't sound convincing to me.
I'm not calling the nominative longa an adverbial. I'm calling the whole clause quam longa an adverbial relative clause.
Calling it a relative clause doesn't sound convincing, either, because I don't see which word that relative clause should relate to.
What do you mean by relate to? If you mean an antecedent, not all relative clauses really have one, I don't think... What would be the antecedent of quantum in quantum potui, te adiuvi, for instance? This quantum potui and the quam longa are the same kind of relative clause. Hell, maybe you can call that a relative clause of extent or so, but I'm making that term up.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Come to think of it, I suppose you could say that the antecedent is an implied tam.
 

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Civis Illustris
What do you mean by relate to? If you mean an antecedent, not all relative clauses really have one, I don't think... What would be the antecedent of quantum in quantum potui, te adiuvi, for instance? This quantum potui and the quam longa are the same kind of relative clause. Hell, maybe you can call that a relative clause of extent or so, but I'm making that term up.

in quantum potui, it refers to an implied tantum and the adverbial nature of that clause is clear.
I fail to extend the logic of that sentence to quam longa in this one in analogy.

It's probably just me, but I don't get it.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's basically "(for) as long as it was".

Noctem, quam longa fuit, exegi sic et sic faciendo = I spent the night, for as long as it was, doing thus and thus = I spent the whole night doing thus and thus.

That's for the meaning.

As for the name, "adverbial relative clause of extent" is the most logical and descriptive one I can come up with, so I'll leave it at that and stop racking my brain as to what to call it. Maybe it has a slightly different official name but I think it must be something along those lines at least.
 

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Civis Illustris
It's basically "(for) as long as it was".

Noctem, quam longa fuit, exegi sic et sic faciendo = I spent the night, for as long as it was, doing thus and thus = I spent the whole night doing thus and thus.

That's for the meaning.

Oh, ok ... so something like "tam diu" is implied?
 
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