Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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6.3. Obligatory and non-obligatory Attributes; complex Attributes 6.3.1 Polyvalent nouns

In the examples in the preceding sections we have already seen several NPs with a polyvalent noun functioning as Head (e.g. caritas in (1), translatio in (11), cupiditas in (28)). See furthermore (43)–(45):

(43) propter animi multarum rerum brevi tempore percursionem (`On account of the review of many things by the mind in a short time', Cic. Tusc. 4.31)

(44) est lex iustorum iniustorumque distinctio (`Law is the distinction between just and unjust', cf. Cic. Leg. 2.13)

(45) declinatio brevis a proposito (`A short digression from the subject', cf. Cic. de Orat. 3.205)

With polyvalent nouns, which are often morphologically related to a verb, we also find optional Attributes (ingenitae in (1), brevi tempore in (43), brevis in (45)), in addition to obligatory Attributes. As with predicates, it is often difficult to determine the exact valency of nouns. As we see in example (11), the distinction between the Agent of translatio (Sullae, Caesaris) and the Patient pecuniarum on the one hand and the `Source' Adjunct a iustis dominis and the Direction Adjunct ad alienos, on the other, is difficult to determine.

6.3.2 Non-omissibility of Attributes in certain types of context

Not every Attribute can be omitted if in the sentence it occupies an essential position in the information. This is the case, for example, if the Head noun refers to something so obvious that it would be trivial to mention it by itself, without modification. Examples are (46) and (47):

(46) eos infenso animo atque inimico venisse (`That they had come with menacing and hostile intentions', Cic. Ver. 2.149)

(47) erant illi compti capilli (`He had well-combed hair', Cic. Pis. 25)

In (46) we find an NP in the ablative functioning as Praedicativum (so-called ablativus qualitatis, see p. 146). Omission of infenso atque inimico would be impossible, [24] and this holds almost always for the so-called ablativus qualitatis. In (47) we are dealing with the so-called dativus possessivus construction. Here, too, omission of the Attribute would result in superfluous information: after all, most people have hair.

6.3.3 Complex Attributes

With Attributes, obligatory and non-obligatory constituents may occur in a way similar to that of arguments and satellites on the sentence level in combinations of copula + adjective (examples on p. 22). [25]

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(48) humano cultu digniora loca (`Places more suitable for human habitation', Liv. 21.37.5)

(49) homini illic nobilissimo (`To a man who was most distinguished there', see example (17) on p. 77)

(50) mihi vos nunc, inquit Crassus, tamquam alicui Graeculo otioso et loquaci et fortasse docto atque erudito, quaestiunculam … ponitis (`Do you put to me, said Crassus, as if I were some garrulous Greek with lots of spare time, and perhaps wise and learned, some little questions', Cic. de Orat. 1.102)

In (48) we find an obligatory addition to digniora. Illic in (49) and fortasse in (50), on the other hand, are not obligatory. They are comparable to Adjunct and Disjunct, respectively, on the sentence level. In (48)–(50), therefore, we cannot speak of `nesting' (see crosssection 6.4.), but of `expansion'. Example (48) can be represented graphically as in figure 6.2.

Figure 6.2

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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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