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At 10:10 am -0400 12/6/00, John Cowan wrote:
>Raymond Brown wrote:
>
>> ABSQVE - without [pre-Classical, surving in Classical Latin only in a few
>> set phrases of a legal nature]
>
>So that's why it's "damnum absque injuria" (harm done without legal wrong)
>vs. "injuria sine damno" (the converse; not as common a concept).
>I always wondered about that.

And neither phrase is Classical, so it's interesting to find 'absque'
preserved in post-classical legal parlance.

In the Classical language, with the sole exception of 'erga', phrases
beginning with prepositions must be used adverbially - they cannot be used
adjectively.

This incidentally has had an interesting effect on western culture.  The
Greek opening of the Lord's Prayer is merely: "Our father in the heavens" -
no relative clause.

Classical Latin could not have *'pater noster in caelis' since 'in caelis'
must be adverbial; therefore the Vulgate has, correctly for Latin: 'pater
noster _qui es_ in caelis'.

This was probably the earliest prayer to be put into vernacular languages
and western & central Europe were far more familiar with the Vulgate -
indeed, often didn't know the Greek - so practically all traditional
translations kept the Latin relative clause (and this seems to be common
among conlangs as well :)

But the return to 'absque' - in early Latin there was supposed to be a
difference between it and 'sine' in that 'absque' denoted a conceptual
deficiency while 'sine' denoted an actual deficiency.

[...]
>
>> CORAM - in the presence of
>
>What is the etymology of this one, anyone know?

- could also stand alone as an adverb.  Looks like a fossilized feminine
sing. accusative, used adverbially (accusatives often were).  But what
*/ko:ra/ was, I know not.

Ray.



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