On the use of the ablative of the gerund and the nominative of the present participle in Latin technical literature - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2019

On the use of the ablative of the gerund and the nominative of the present participle in Latin technical literature

Abstract

In Latin, the gerund and the present participle often function as the predicate of an adjunct clause. In Late Latin, the frequency of such clauses is hypothesized to increase with the ablative of the gerund and to decrease with the nominative of the present participle. This evolution leads to the "gradual replacement of the present participle by the gerund" (Pinkster 2015: 549), whereby the former is ousted from its verbal function and confined to a purely adjectival role. This process is triggered by the "semantic bleaching" of the gerund, whose original manner/instrumental value gradually "weakens" into the default value of the present participle, viz. a temporal one. This paper aims to investigate the functional competition between the two clause types in a corpus of technical texts between the 2 nd c. BC and the 6 th c. AD. We show that the semantic bleaching of the gerund is not significant in our corpus and hence does not confirm its functional competition with the present participle. We argue that the two clause types have different semantic and pragmatic properties and that these differences remain stable over time.

Domains

Linguistics
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Dates and versions

hal-02455274 , version 1 (25-01-2020)

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  • HAL Id : hal-02455274 , version 1

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Giovanbattista Galdi, Jasper Vangaever. On the use of the ablative of the gerund and the nominative of the present participle in Latin technical literature. Mouton De Gruyter. Lemmata Linguistica Latina. Volume 2: Clause and discourse, pp.96-115, 2019. ⟨hal-02455274⟩
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