plānctus - does the participle exist?

Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
One of the most fun things about learning the language for me is getting those native-level insights despite the fact that I've never met a native speaker of it. So I was having one of those phonetics-pondering moments, right? specifically about vowel lengthening before -nct-, and I thought about this word, and it came up in my head as plănctus. I'm like, wait, it's sānctus, pānctus, right? Why do I think plănctus with a short vowel then? Is it really the past participle of plangere? Naturally I check the dictionaries and wiktionary, and fair enough, everything on Logeion and OLD do seem to cite such a form instead of saying "no participle" as in some cases they do.

But it looks off, that is to say I've never seen it in use and it doesn't make sense that it should ever be used other than as a frequent noun meaning "noisy beating; bewailing", despite the fact that obviously there are many parallel cases where both the noun and the participle exist. Any way, after an overview of obique forms on PHI I've found no such forms in existence. OLD has no headword, no participle forms in the entry for plangō, and therefore no citations. I've skimmed through the TLL entry and found no occurrences there either. Now they might just be giving the generic "third principle part" which in this case only exsists as a supine - and even that theoretically! - but not as a participle.

So, is this a ghost form? Can you offer something approaching a first attestation, say, in Medieval Latin? One would at least expect to find some impersonal forms (*plānctum est), or mediopassives/reflexives (*plāncta est)...

By the way, the technical explanation for why I came up with a short vowel is that the vowel lengthening only operates on participles of transitive verbs within the verbal paradigm, but not e.g. on nouns (lassus, tussis), and not even on intransitives (gressus, sessus). The funny thing is I read it elsewhere independently as an explanation for the absence of the expected lengthening in the above 4 forms via the so-called Lachmann's law (this subject has generated miles of scholarly text). Now Lachmann's law is specifically not about forms in -nct- which must have a different (and also contested) explanation, but maybe they were onto something xD
 
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Iáson

Cívis Illústris
participium futūrī invenītur apud Germanicum, Aratea 199: sīc tendit palmās, ceu sit plānctūra relictam...
 

Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
Benignē monēs, at dē futūrō nihil dubitō - nisi quod tibi vīs lexica quae fōrmās -nctum praebent tantum modo themam hanc significāre velle, unde cēterās fōrmās ut plānctūrum dērīvāre possīmus. Nam hoc vel ego dīxī illō "third principle part", unde mē nōn dubitāre aijō. Hoccipsum participium perfectum quaerō utrum umquam extiterit necne.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
In Satyricon libro habetur:

Tamen bene elatus est, vitali lecto, stragulis bonis. Planctus est optime
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
Pauca situs "Pedecerto" praebet exempla, plērumque apud tardīvōs auctōrēs Dracontium et pseudo-Victōrīnum (Dē Iēsū Christō).

Vt quondam Iliades fleuerunt Hectora matres,
Nympharum ceu turba suum tunc planxit Achillem,
Vt Brutum planxit maesta cum plebe senatus
(Non aetas, non sexus erat qui funus acerbum
Non gemeret reputando suum), Torquata propago
Sic est plancta diu scelere prostrata parentis.

—circā annum 500, Dracontius, Dē Laudibus Deī 3.391-396
 
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Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
hmm the last e of scelere there scans as long? :think:
 

Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
In Satyricon libro habetur:

Tamen bene elatus est, vitali lecto, stragulis bonis. Planctus est optime
Eija vērō, lēgeram istuc, etenim meminī mē haesitāre dum locum legō: 'planctus optumus' prīmō lēgī, nīmīrum dubitans quis homo plānxisset; nec puto mē prō certō dēcrēvisse quae lēctiō esset aptior, quippe quod praeter eum locum participium nōn vīderam.
Pauca situs "Pedecerto" praebet exempla, plērumque apud tardīvōs auctōrēs Dracontium et pseudo-Victōrīnum (Dē Iēsū Christō).
Grātēs ago, pedis equidem oblītus eram. Ut superius scrībō, istī modī ūsus medius mihi magis vidētur quam is passīvus.
hmm the last e of scelere there scans as long? :think:
That's an artificial, Late Latin trick via extension of the muta-cum-liquida rule inside the word: tene(.br/b.r)a > sce.le.rep.ros. As the initial rule itself, it's probably imported from Greek. Similar scansions are earlier found with initial sC, but that's because in Latin initial s- in sC was really extrasyllabic, unlike the p- in pR. Because Latin disagreed with Greek in this, the poets avoided sC after short vowels altogether.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Grātēs ago, pedis equidem oblītus eram. Ut superius scrībō, istī modī ūsus medius mihi magis vidētur quam is passīvus.
Illud "est plancta" plane passivum est. Non semet ipsa planxit illa propago, sed mortuam alii eam planxerunt, "nympharum ceu turba suum tunc planxit Achillem", etc.
 

Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
Illud "est plancta" plane passivum est. Non semet ipsa planxit illa propago, sed mortuam alii eam planxerunt, "nympharum ceu turba suum tunc planxit Achillem", etc.
Aham, nempe ille Torquātus fīlium (propāginem) suum occīderat, quī ā populō diū plānctus est. Alibī in eōdem carmine etiam "Qui planctos mortesque facit" lego.
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
hmm the last e of scelere there scans as long? :think:
Well, that's a circa 500 Late Latin poet for ya.

I actually looked at a bunch of other instances of ablative -e in the same poem, and Dracontius seems to use it with a short vowel just fine. Who knows what was up with this one line. Maybe he did it as poetic license. (Plus, vowel length was pretty much certainly dead already in his natural speech...)
 
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