Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does Latin use synecdoche? Ablative of Agent Q

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Does Latin use synecdoche? Ablative of Agent Q

    So, my students in SFL want to know if Latin uses synecdoche and whether this would make a nonliving thing into a living thing in regards to the ablative of agent. The examples they gave were along these lines:

    The enemy was killed by my hand.

    The problem was solved by the company's heads.

    The advancing army was spotted by sharp eyes.

    I doubt they would see any translations like this in their workbook, but I'm happy they're curious and would love to be able to point them in the right direction.
    Mama of 2, teacher of 3
    Summer: First Start French I
    SY 22/23
    6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim in group, and Koine Greek
    MP2 w/ R&S Arithmetic 3


    Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
    SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

    #2
    Yes, synecdoche permits all of the given examples to serve as stand-ins for the living agents in question. A distinction is not being made between the person and the part, so there's no sense of the person doing something by means of the part.

    For the record, the ablative of agent can apply to things not literally alive (or in the case of hands, heads, and eyes, not independently alive!) if they are conceived as performing the action under their own power. Allen and Greenough cites Cicero: ne virtus ab audacia vinceretur, lest valor be conquered by audacity. Audacity is not literally alive, but it is personified here as doing the conquering. We could think of this as a synecdoche of sorts itself, since audacity itself doesn't literally conquer anything; it is really just the audacious nature of man conquering his valorous nature.

    - Jon

    Comment


      #3
      I love learning grammar. I had never heard the term synecdoche before, although from the examples I understand the concept. I love that learning Latin (or really, in this case, any foreign language) encourages these questions. I think my favorite posts on this forum are the ones asking these kinds of questions and I love hearing Jon and Bonnie explain quite in depth the nuances of Latin.
      Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
      DD, 27, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
      DS, 25, BS '18 mechanical engineering
      DS, 23, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
      (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
      DS, 21, Physics and math major
      DD, 18, dyslexic, 12th grade dual enrolled
      DS, 14, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 9th MPOA diploma student
      DD, 8 , 2nd Future astronaut, robot building space artist

      Comment


        #4
        My students ask the best questions, and because I am not an expert yet, I get to learn along with them. They didn't know the term synecdoche, but I liked how they wondered if a part of a human qualifies as a LIVING AGENT. Having taught synecdoche in the best English literature and poetry, I figured the poetry greats of yore had to have something like this in Latin.

        Thanks!
        Mama of 2, teacher of 3
        Summer: First Start French I
        SY 22/23
        6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim in group, and Koine Greek
        MP2 w/ R&S Arithmetic 3


        Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
        SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

        Comment


          #5
          enbateau
          I think the next ten years of your life are going to be quite fun.
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
          DS Hillsdale College freshman
          DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
          DD 8th • HLN & Home
          DS 5th • HLN & Home
          Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

          Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
            enbateau
            I think the next ten years of your life are going to be quite fun.
            That is what I was thinking as well. enbateau is going to have a grand time in the upcoming years.
            Tentative Plan '22/'23 - 5th Year MP
            Homeschool Dad & Tutorial Magister
            8S, Rising 3nd MP @ HLN & Home
            6D, Rising 1st MP @ HLN & Home
            4S, Rising K MP @ HLN & Home

            Comment


              #7
              I’ll just add one example of personification, in which Caesar personifies the tide as a living ablative of agent, as acting upon ships: ab aestu relictae, abandoned by the tide.

              Trying to think along the lines of the examples with synecdoche, I remembered: the hand by which Troy fell, manum qua concidit Ilia —where Virgil uses qua, ablative of means, to refer to manum, hand, and not ā qua. But that is poetry, where rules are bent to fit the meter, so it is not conclusive. I suspect that, with synecdoche, prose writers also would have had the discretion to use either the ablative of agent or the ablative of means. What do you think, Jon?

              Bonnie


              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Bonnie View Post
                I’ll just add one example of personification, in which Caesar personifies the tide as a living ablative of agent, as acting upon ships: ab aestu relictae, abandoned by the tide.

                Trying to think along the lines of the examples with synecdoche, I remembered: the hand by which Troy fell, manum qua concidit Ilia —where Virgil uses qua, ablative of means, to refer to manum, hand, and not ā qua. But that is poetry, where rules are bent to fit the meter, so it is not conclusive. I suspect that, with synecdoche, prose writers also would have had the discretion to use either the ablative of agent or the ablative of means. What do you think, Jon?

                Bonnie

                Yes, but I daresay not arbitrarily so. There's a difference in sense between something being done by hand as in with the use of one's hand versus by hand as in by a person, and that difference should govern one's discretion.

                For example, if something is written by hand, the clear sense of written by hand as opposed to by typing suggests less about the agent than about his means of writing and seems to demand an ablative of means. Whereas, if something is made by hand, the clear sense of made by a person instead of by a machine suggests more about the agent than about his means of making and seems to demand an ablative of agent.

                Thus the by hand phrase can indeed be either an ablative of agent or means, but the context of the phrase can so significantly alter its sense that one or the other seems more mete.

                - Jon

                Comment


                  #9
                  Jon, I think you hit the nail on the head as usual. I hope to sometime come across some examples. So many instances of personification, so many of synecdoche, but synecdoche with personification in an ablative phrase -- apparently not as common.

                  Enbateau, thanks for posing such an interesting question. These rhetorical devices are really thought-provoking.

                  Bonnie

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X