Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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9.1. Definition of the notion `word order'

The term `word order' suggests that what is at stake is the position of individual words in a sentence. In reality, chapters on word order deal with constituents consisting of one word (e.g. the position of the adverb valde (`very')) as well as constituents consisting of more than one word (noun phrases, subordinate clauses.). I use `word order' in a general sense for `constituent order'. In most cases, the order of constituents is studied without their function in the sentence being taken into consideration, e.g. their relation with regard to the Predicate (whether they are argument or satellite) or their syntactic function. An exception is the Subject, which does receive special attention (see Sz. 401–2). In most cases, incidentally, the position of the Subject is merely understood as the position of the noun or noun phrase in the function Subject, rather than, for instance, embedded predications in the function Subject. Furthermore, the position of a constituent is often examined in isolation, without taking into consideration the structure of the whole sentence in which such a constituent occurs. Thus, much attention is devoted

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to the initial, middle and end positions of a sentence and to the distribution of the constituents over those positions. Clearly, however, such an approach can possibly be useful only in the case of sentences consisting of three constituents, and much less so in the case of sentences with fewer or more than three constituents. An important factor for the relative order of Subject and Predicate, for instance, can be the presence or absence – apart from a Subject constituent and a predicate – of a satellite which locates the state of affairs in time or space (see p. 29). In other words, the relative order of constituents is determined in part by the number of constituents that may occur in a certain position. In this respect little research has been done for Latin. [2]

It is all the more difficult to make statements on the order of constituents in Latin due to the phenomenon of discontinuity. Two types may be distinguished. First, there are words in Latin that are more or less automatically put in a certain position and, as it were, do not care whether or not they split up another constituent in doing so. An example is the connector enim (`for'), which as a rule occupies the second position in the sentence (sometimes the third position, especially if words of certain types precede, such as monosyllabic words; for details and exceptions see TLL s.v.). It need not, however, be moved towards the end of the sentence in order to preserve the continuity of a noun phrase; see instances such as (1):

(1) de civitatis enim iure … disceptamus (`For we are discussing civil law', Cic. Balb. 29)

A second type of discontinuity may be discerned in cases where a constituent is split up for pragmatic or other reasons. A well-known kind of example of discontinuity of a noun phrase is (2).

(2) hic optimus illis temporibus est patronus habitus (`In those days he was considered the best lawyer', Cic. Brut. 106)

In instances of this kind it is very difficult to say what the position of, for example, the Subject Complement is: is this merely the Head (patronus), or does the Attribute optimus play a role as well? (see also crosssection 9.5.).

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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