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

In crosssection 7.4.2. we have seen that in dico te venire the constituent te has no semantic relation with dico, but that te venire forms a whole that with an active main predicate fulfils the syntactic function Object. This also becomes apparent in the passive: dico te venire can be transformed into:

(96) dicitur (a me) te venire (`It is said (by me) that you come')


(97) ei … dictum est clipeum esse salvum (`It has been said to him that his shield was safe', Cic. Fam. 5.12.5)

(98) dicitur eo tempore matrem Pausaniae vixisse (`It is said that the mother of P. lived in that period', Nep. Paus. 5.3) [51]

With admonet te venire, on the other hand, there is a semantic relation, te functioning as Addressee and fulfilling in the active voice the syntactic function Object. Consequently, passivization is possible:

(99) admoneor venire (`I am warned to come')


(100) vos … admonendos puto ne … putetis (`I think that you should be warned not to think', Cic. de Orat. 3.201)

Now, a problem is posed by instances such as:

(101) dicor venire (`I am said to come')

(102) eruptionem facturi fuisse dicebantur (`They were said to be going to break out', Cic. Att. 7.14.2)

This so-called personal construction is more common than the `impersonal' construction exemplified above. In spite of the fact that in (101) I is semantically speaking not an argument of dicere but of venire, I nevertheless becomes (syntactically speaking) Subject of the passive form of dicere. An argument of the embedded predication is, as it were, promoted to the main predication (see further crosssection 7.5. on p. 135 ff.). [52] On the other hand, (101) cannot be equated with (99). It turns out that the restrictions mentioned on p. 124 ff. are also applicable in the passive, e.g. the restriction on the tense of the embedded predication:

-- 131 --

(99a) ?admoneor venisse [53] (`I am warned to have come')

While the following expression is possible:

(101a) dicor venisse (`I am said to have come')

In explaining the occurrence of the personal passive constructions with dicere most grammars tacitly assume that the personal construction and the impersonal construction are synonymous. K.–St. I. 707–9, however, already point out that under certain circumstances the impersonal construction is preferred, e.g. when the point at issue is to whom, why or how a statement is made. The personal construction, on the other hand, turns out to be preferred if a constituent in the embedded predication is Focus and the embedded predication as a whole does not constitute a pragmatic unit (e.g. in the case of a question as to `who has been told to do something'). There are, therefore, pragmatic differences between the two constructions. See also crosssection 12.3.3. [54]

A completely different type is represented by the following, mainly poetic, constructions (see K.–St. I. 702).

(38f) quas hodie adulescens Diabolus ipsi daturus dixit

(103) sensit medios delapsus in hostes (`He noticed that he had ended up in the midst of the enemies', Verg. A. 2.377) [55]

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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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