Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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6.5. Absence of a Head constituent and so-called substantive use

If in a certain context it is sufficiently clear which entity is modified by an Attribute, this entity (the Head of the NP) need not be mentioned explicitly. This is an aspect of a general principle of natural languages, that what is already clear need not necessarily be formulated explicitly. This also applies in cases where it is not so much the context as the situation which makes clear who or what is referred to. An English example would be a situation in which a dinner guest is offered a choice between two types of wine (red or white); the answer could then simply be white, please. This very frequent phenomenon is often called `ellipsis' in the grammars. Examples are:

(69) concita perditos cives, secerne te a bonis (`Stir up the depraved citizens, but keep away from the good ones', Cic. Cat. 1.23)

(70) ut legi tuas (sc. litteras) de Varrone (`When I read your remarks about Varro', Cic. Att. 13.19.5)

(71a) non Homero soli locus est … aut Archilocho … sed horum vel secundis vel etiam infra secundos (`There is not only room for Homer and Archilochus, but also for second or even third–rate people', Cic. Orat. 4)

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(71b) nempe illum dicis cum armis aureis (`You surely mean that one there with the golden suit of armour', Pl. Mil. 16)

(71c) lucernam lucidam gerebat una, … gladium altera … Infit illa cum gladio … (`One was carrying a burning lamp, the other a sword … The one with the sword said … ', Apul. Met. 1. 12)

(72) postquam satis tuta circa sopitique videbantur (`When all around seemed sufficiently safe and all seemed to be asleep', Liv. 1. 58.2)

Instances such as (69) and (70) are the most common. But instances such as (71) – prepositional phrase – and (72) – adverb – are also not uncommon. Cf. also an expression like in Telluris (= `in the temple of T.', Cic. Att. 16.4.1), where we find a noun in the genitive without a Head, as a constituent of a prepositional phrase. [35]

Apart from the instances mentioned above, we find the so-called substantive use of, especially, adjectives and participles. Examples are (73) and (74), respectively:

(73a) servitus (est) postremum malorum omnium (`Slavery is the worst of all evils', Cic. Phil. 2.113)

(73b) quis (potest) vituperare improbos asperius, quis laudare bonos ornatius (`Who is able to censure the wicked more sharply, who to praise the good more lavishly', Cic. de Orat. 2.35)

(74) semperne … vulgi iudicium cum intellegentium iudicio congruit? (`Does the judgment of the people always correspond with that of those who are informed?', Cic. Brut. 183)

Contrary to what was stated in the first paragraph above, these instances do not concern entities known from context or situation to which the Attribute is applied; the adjectives/participle have an independently referring function; they refer generally to all things/persons to which the qualification `bonus' etc. may be applied (the so-called categorial use). We also find the neuter singular form of adjectives in a similar use, such as bonum (`(the) good') in (75):

(75) neque exquirat oratione, summum illud bonum in animone sit an in corpore (`And that in his speech he does not pose the question, whether `the highest good' resides in the mind or in the body', Cic. de Orat. 1.222)

A substantively used constituent may in its turn be modified by an Attribute, see (76) and (77):

(76) antiquissimum sollemne (`the oldest religious phenomenon', Liv. 9.34.18)

(77) haud voluisti istuc severum facere (`You did not want to commit that act of violence', Pl. Cist. 646)

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For examples see K.–St. II.225–9; Sz. 154.

Apart from the two productive types mentioned above, there are also all kinds of idiomatic expressions which can be explained diachronically on the basis of the omission of the Head noun in a sufficiently clear situation. Well-known cases are dextra (= dextra manus (`the right hand')), grammatica (= grammatica ars (`grammar')), adulescens (`adolescent'), etc. See Sz. 152–4 and K.–St. I.231.

6.5.1 `Independent' (Headless) relative clauses

In cases like example (78) the relative clause is commonly said to fulfil independently the function of Subject of the sentence virtutem amat.

(78) qui deum amat virtutem amat (`Who loves god, loves virtue') (see K.–St. II.280)

This is obvious, because a sentence like (79) is also possible:

(79) amator dei virtutem amat (`A lover of god loves virtue')

Relative clauses often occur in other syntactic functions besides that of Subject, as in (80) and rare cases such as (81)–(82).

(80) Xerxes … praemium proposuit qui invenisset novam voluptatem (`Xerxes offered a reward for him who had thought of a new form of pleasure', Cic. Tusc. 5.20)

(81) nunc redeo ad quae mihi mandas (`I now return to your orders', Cic. Att. 5.11.6)

(82) Scipio cum quos paulo ante nominavi interiit (`Scipio died together with those whom I have just mentioned', B. Afr. 96.2)

For examples see K.–St. II.281–2. [36]

This description of the function of independent relative clauses is the same as that of the substantive use of adjectives and other Attribute constituents treated so far. K.–St. (II.280) and others, however, explain sentences like (78) with the aid of examples like (83):

(78) qui deum amat virtutem amat

(83) qui deum amat is virtutem amat

I cannot see the advantage of this explanation: the description of correlative patterns such as in (83) is difficult enough in itself. [37]

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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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