>But even before that, a great loss in French was the Latin preterite the 'past historic'. Yes, it's a great loss. >It would be good to have a good example of oratio obliqua I'll try -- but don't hold your breath! Judy Evans, Cardiff, UK ----- Original Message ----- From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 7:14 PM Subject: [lit-ideas] Wittgenstein's "Queer" (Seltsam) "Man müsse ihn zuerst denken, und dann bringt man die Wörter in jene seltsame Ordnung." In Anscombe's translation: "One first has to think it, and then one arranges the words in that queer order." Judy Evans gives us a delightful recollection of her getting 'trained' in (written) Language by 'painting by numbers', and adds: >It isn't only word order, it's oratio obliqua. >I did read that spoken Latin was different. Right. I not only read that, but _heard_ it. Jorge-Luis Borges used to say, when criticised as not being 'pro-American' enough. "Well, we are all Europeans in exile. After all, none of us speak in a Native American Language, and my own destiny is to write in that dialect derived from an august imperial language". So in general, the Romantics (or Romaniques, or "Romanesque" as I prefer, using the art-historical term) think their syntax is just the natural development -- as it is -- from Classical Latin. A good point could be made that Classical Latin (as per Ovid, or Cicero) and "Vulgar" Latin (from which French and 'Anglo-Norman', as per "Honi soit qui mal y pense", for that matter) derive -- are _different_ languages. Rebecca Posner (a rather hateful scholar) claims that in her "Introduction to the Romance Languages", but I'm hardly convinced. There _are_ constructions in modern Romance that would possibly sound _queer_ to a Roman. Progressive tenses, for examples, "Elle est en train de faire l'excercise" -- "she is about to start thinking -- of doing the excercise" would not be used by the Romans (no '-ing' progressive forms). Present perfect was also somewhat late. "J'ai chante la chanson" -- would be a derivation from an hypothetical Latin, "I have the song sung" -- meaning, I possess the song, as sung -- which makes sense to me. Hypothetical and future endings were new too, 'cantabo' does not really give "chanterai". As for oratio obliqua, yes, that would be a trick. But even before that, a great loss in French was the Latin preterite. Brigitte Bardot was still speaking of "Et Dieu creat la femme", but it has an archaic echo to it today. Oratio obliqua was pretty strict in Latin, but the main idea of the subjunctive is pretty much retained in all Romance languages (note the 'fuisse' in French). Some constructions in oratio obliqua were pretty 'illogical' in the original Latin, too, as with 'verbs of fear'. "I fear it will not rain tomorrow" would strictly be, "I fear it _will_ rain tomorrow". But this was due to the fact that 'fear' already contains an element of negation about it. One good change though was the dropping of nominal endings for things like "in domo", and cases like the ablative and the locative -- which were really redundant once we perceive the force of the preposition. It would be good to have a good example of oratio obliqua and see why Wittgenstein thought it was 'queer' (seltsame) J. L. Speranza, Esq. Town: Calle Arenales 2021, Piso 5, St. 8, La Recoleta C1124AAE, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel. 54 11 4824 4253 Fax 54 221 425 9205 Country: St. Michael Hall, Calle 58, No. 611, La Plata B1900 BPY Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel. 54 221 425 7817 Fax 54 221 425 9205 http://www.stmichaels.com.ar jls@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx jlsperanza@xxxxxxx http://www.netverk/~jls.htm ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ See what's new at AOL.com and Make AOL Your Homepage.