At 2:08 pm -0500 14/1/00, John Cowan wrote:
>Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>>         In France, when you take Latin courses, you must learn five
>>forms for each
>> verb [...]:
>> 1st person singular present, 2nd person singular present, infinitive, 1st
>> person singular preterite (what you call perfect), supine.
>Odd, I don't know what the 2sg present provides that the other four do not.

Nor do I.  It doesn't even add any extra help with irregulars either.

>BTW, for whatever reason, I learned the perf pass ppl masc where most others
>seem to have learned the supine:  amatus, not amatum.  I suppose the p p p
>is separately more useful than the supine?  (It's a trivial adaptation;
>if you know either, you know the other, but still I wonder about it.)

So do I.  The masc. of the ppp is possible only if the verb is transitive.
What happened with intransitives?

Actually, I'm not so sure that the 4th (5th in France, apparently)
principal part is really the supine, even tho people generally call it
thus.  I've a feeling that in the early grammars it was meant to be the
neuter sing. of the ppp.  Even intransitive verbs may have this in Latin,
since Latin has the impersonal passive, e.g.

cum ad castra peruentum esset.....
When we arrived at the camp.......
When they arrived at the camp......

And, of course, intransitive verbs may have future active participles, and
these are formed from the same base as the ppp and the supine.

Of course the supine was identical to the neuter of the ppp - a coincidence
since their derivation is not the same.  What is the supine, some may ask.
It was used in association with verbs of motion to express purpose, hence
it is normally translated like an English infinitive, e.g.

pacem nos flagitatum uenerunt - they have come to ask us for peace

iniurias questum uenerunt - they came to complain of their injuries

nos pabulatum misit - he sent us to forage

When used with 'ire' (to go) it often denoted a near future like the
English 'to be going to', e.g.
comissatum eo - I am going to make merry

This use was avoided by Classical writers, who preferred future participle
with 'to be' (comissaturus sum).  But it remained useful with the
impersonal passive of 'to go', e.g.

glatiores datum itur
They're going to put on a glatorial show
A gladiatorial show is going to be put on
[Note, however, in Latin 'gladiatores' is the direct obj. of 'datum']

This proved useful in supplying the 'missing' future passive infinitive in
indirect speech, e.g.

rumor uenit glatiores datum iri
Rumor came that a gladiatorial was going to be put on.

Thus it arose that generations of schoolkids had to learn the mis-named
'future infinitive passive' (there ain't one in Latin) as "datum iri", even
tho the more common mode of expressing the above sentence was:

rumor uenit fore ut gladiatores darentur.

>>         What do you mean? In my classes the main irregular verbs had
>> irregularities on the preterite, not on the present tense. We generally had
>> no problem learning present forms as they were nearly all regular, but
>> remembering the irregular perfectum radicals were a torture.
>I think Ray's point is that once you know the perfectum stem, the
>*endings* are universal.

Precisely - obviouslythere's some misunderstanding here - sorry. The
irregular imperfectum radicals are, indeed, a nuisance & simply have to be
learnt - hence: principal parts.

What I meant was that once the 1st pers. sing. of the perfect had been
learnt (from which the perfectum stem/ radical/ base can be abstracted by
removing the 1st pers. suffix -i), all verbs attached exactly the same
endings to this radical for all derived forms.   And they do, even 'fui' (I
have been) is perfectly behaved  :)


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]