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

Similar to the expressions dealt with in crosssection 4.1.4. are cases like if you ask me, he is not ill at all. The speaker puts himself, as it were, in the position of the hearer and asks permission to say something unexpected. Examples are:

(12) ac si quaeritis (`and if you ask (me)', Cic. de Orat. 1.119; 2.254)

(13) `si licet', inquit, `consules, de re publica dicere, errare ego populum in hac causa non patiar' ('If I may, consuls', he said, `speak about the state, I shall not permit the people to err in this matter', Liv. 3.71.3) [5]

As in the case of the pseudo-Purpose satellites discussed above, here, too, the subordinate clause cannot be said to specify semantically the main sentence (if he is not ill, he is not ill regardless of whether we ask the speaker to confirm it); rather, it provides information about the attitude of the speaker with regard to the content of the main sentence.

Scherer (1975: 240) calls attention to the existence of a kind of parenthetical expression, employed among other things to justify the use of a certain term, as in (14) and (15):

(14) cives, inquam, si eos hoc nomine appellari fas est (`Citizens, I say, if I may call them thus', Cic. Mur. 80)

(15) quodsi componere magnis parva mihi fas est, et me dilexit Anapis (`If I may compare something insignificant to something important, Anapis loved also me', Ov. Met. 5.416–7)

In (14) the subordinate clause refers to the word cives, in (15) to the whole content of the main sentence.

Another, again slightly different, type of pseudo-conditional clause is exemplified by (16):

(16) de Eumene rege longe diversa tradunt. Si Valerio Antiati credas, nec classe adiutum ab eo praetorem esse … tradit (`About King Eumenes the historians report widely different things. If you believe Valerius

-- 36 --

Antias, he reports that he neither helped his praetor with a fleet … ', Liv. 44.13.12)

Here the truthfulness of the content of the main sentence is put in a more relative perspective. A similar expression is nisi erro (`if I am not mistaken'). [5a]

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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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