|Publication Date||July 13, 2012|
Vol. XXVIII, i. Wholk No. 109. I. THE UNREAL CONDITIONAL SENTENCE IN CICERO. FIRST PAPBR. I. I ntroductory. In this age of the so-called in Latin syntax, even so universal a category as the unreal conditional sentence has been questioned from time to time, and lately by Methner, who tries to show that there is no such thing as the present unreal. The weakness of this thesis has already been pointed out by Blase, whose argument might have been rendered even more cogent by carrying the question back to Plautus, taking such an example as the following: St. 592-93 EP. Edepol te vocem lubenter, si superfiat locus. GE. Quin tum stans obstrusero aliquid strenue. In this passage the reply shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the conditional sentence was understood not as a future (if there should prove to be a place to spare ), but as a present unreal (if there were a place to spare ). The former interpretation would hold out hope of a dinner, the other cuts it off definitely and calls forth Gelasimus eager suggestion. Such a passage shows conclusively that the present unreal was an established category in the Roman mind at least as early as Plautus. For the fact that the present subjunctive is here used to express the thought precludes the convenient subterfuge potential of Der sogenannte I rrealis der Gegenwart im Lateinischen, Neue Jahrb. f. das Klass. A lt. 1905, II. p. 75 ff. Studien and Kritiken zur lat. Syntax, II Theil, Mainz, 1905, p. 52 ff.
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