9.479 book located; Latin adjectives

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 22 Jan 1996 18:53:40 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 479.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: "Robert J. Fehrenbach" (15)
Subject: Re: 9.475 nouns & adjectives? book?

[2] From: Fritz Heberlein (34)
Subject: Re: Latin adjectives

[3] From: Ed Finegan <finegan@mizar.usc.edu> (14)
Subject: Latin

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 06:43:11 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robert J. Fehrenbach" <rjfehr@aardvark.cc.wm.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.475 nouns & adjectives? book?

Copies of the book/edition sought by Shlomo Sela (Re: 9.324) can be found
in the following British libraries:

The Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London)
The British Library
Cambridge University Library
The Wren Library (Trinity College, Cambridge)

The National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland (USA) also has a

This list is not presented as comprehensive.

R.J. Fehrenbach . Department of English . College of William and Mary
Williamsburg VA 23187-8795
rjfehr@aardvark.cc.wm.edu OR rjfehr@mail.wm.edu
804 221-3920

From: Fritz Heberlein
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 17:24:03 MET
Subject: Re: Latin adjectives

I think the second reading (the father [the] ignorant) is the correct
one. The Latin adjective has a high degree of independence vs its nucleus
(head). It has, of course, to agree in case, number and gender with the
nucleus, but
1. it can be dissociated from the nucleus ("Wackernagel's law" and
"hyperbaton"): pater ergo ignarus ...
2. since there is no article in Latin, an adjective can constitute
the nucleus itself, provided the latter cannot be reconstructed from
situation or context (mulier vetula totam noctem bibit -> vetula totam
noctem bibit).
3. if the adjective is non-restrictive it can have a "predicative"
reading without any morphological marking beeing involved, cf. the following
(slightly modified) line of Horace, st. 2,7,69: Homo ... laudat Arelli
sollicitas ignarus opes. (a) "attributive" reading: An ignorant man praises
the ... wealth of Arellius; (b) "predicative" reading: The/A man, unaware [of
the troubles it brings], praises the wealth of A.
Contrast the situation in e.g. German: (a) der *unwissendE / ein
unwissendER* Mann lobt den Reichtum des A. vs. (b) Der / ein Mann
lobt, *unwissend*, den Reichtum des A.: 1. the predicative adjective
has lost its ending, 2. the predicative adj. has to be dissociated
from its nucleus, 3. the attributive adj. cannot be dissociated from
its nucleus.

Suggested reading:
Chr. Lehmann, The Latin Nominal Group in Typological Perspective, in:
R. Coleman (ed.): New Studies on Latin Linguistics, amsterdam 1991,
H. Kurzova, From Indo-European to Latin, Amsterdam 1993, sect. 1.3 and

Fritz Heberlein

Dr. Friedrich Heberlein
Dept. of Classics, KU Eichstaett
D-80571 Eichstaett / Bavaria
Tel. +49 8421 931544
Fax +49 89912
Email sla019@ku-eichstaett.de

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 18:25:01 -0500
From: Ed Finegan <finegan@mizar.usc.edu>
Subject: Latin

Not having studied Latin much since high school, I pretend to no expertise.
It seems to me, nevertheless, in answer to your query, that the difference
is that the gender--and therefore the inflections--of an adjective is
not independent of a governing noun but agrees with the gender of the
(explicit or implicit) noun governing it. A noun's inflections vary for
case and number, an adjective's for case, number, and gender, the last matching
the gender of the governing noun. This I take as evidence for regarding
adjectives as governed by and not of the same status as nouns, whose
independent gender governs the adjective's, determining its inflections. It
is the adjective that agrees with the noun, not the other way round.

It'll be interesting to see what evidence others cite one way or the other
in answer to your query.

Ed Finegan
University of Southern California