On the Sentence-Question in Plautus and Terence 9781463221591

Edward Parmalee Morris uses his intimate knowledge of the syntax of Plautus to address the conventions for understanding

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On the Sentence-Question in Plautus and Terence

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On the Sentence-Question in Plautus and Terence


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A n a l e c t a Gorgiana

299 Series Editor George Kiraz

Analecta Gorgiana is a collection of long essays and


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On the Sentence-Question in Plautus and Terence

Edward Morris

gorgia* press 2009

Gorgias Press LLC, 180 Centennial Ave., Piscataway, NJ, 08854, USA www.gorgiaspress.com Copyright © 2009 by Gorgias Press LLC Originally published in All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without the prior written permission of Gorgias Press LLC. 2009


ISBN 978-1-60724-561-2

ISSN 1935-6854

Extract from The American Journal of Philology, vols. 10 & 11 (1889;1890).

Printed in the LTnited States of America




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I . — O N T H E S E N T E N C E - Q U E S T I O N IN P L A U T U S AND TERENCE. First



T h e most complete discussions of the interrogative sentence in Latin are by Holtze, Synt. Prise. Script. Lat. II 236-285, and Kühner, Ausf. Gram. II 989-1024. T h e y begin with the distinction between direct and indirect questions; on this subject Becker has now said all that is needful. 1 Sentence-questions are divided by Holtze and Kühner according to the particle that introduces them, into sentences without a particle and sentences with ne, nojine, num, utrum, an. Under each head are classed the idiomatic uses, e. g. under ne, itane, ain tu, satin, sein quomodo, etc. These cover the special cases; for the commoner kinds of ne question Holtze makes no classification. Kühner employs the three-fold division into questions for information, questions expecting an affirmative answer, and questions expecting a negative answer. Questions without a particle are divided according to the presence or absence of emotion. This system of arrangement is open to serious criticism. The tests which it relies upon to distinguish emotional from unemotional questions are entirely inadequate; written language has few 1 Syntaxis Interrog. Obliq. in Studemunsl, Studien, I pp. 115-316. A s the semi-indirect questions are in form and meaning exactly like direct questions, and as I have wished to include everything which would throw light upon the nature of the interrogative sentence, I have given in my lists many questions which will also be found in Becker.






signs for emotion. A n d even the arrangement of questions according to the answer expected is too narrow and at times actually misleading. See below the synopsis of the classification of questions according to their function, proposed by T h . Imme. T h e study of phrases with a view to discovering their functions should be the last step, not the first, in the inductive process. Further, Holtze and K ü h n e r h a v e used at the same time two systems of classification which are really distinct. Holtze, for instance, divides questions without a particle into (a) questions for information, (6) questions expressing emotion, (V) questions equivalent to an imperative, ( d ) non questions, (