Originally Posted by Asurai
Originally Posted by Nike
Originally Posted by Asurai
Ah, culpa me.
oh, be friendly to good old Latin language.
culpa me can't be grammatically working.
culpa is a noun in nominativ and me is an akkussativ --> what you get is "fault me".
heh. now. maybe I haven't got your humor here or whatever. But it's still mea culpa.
It can be both.
"Culpo" is a verb: culpo, culpare, culpavi, culpatus.
The imperative of a first conjugation verb is "-a," as you no doubt know. "Me" is the accusative of "ego," "I," so
culpa me = blame me.
Perhaps it should have been "Culpate me," but I was addressing only TeapotScar rather than the entire thread, so "culpa me" is still gramatically correct.
Ok. I admit, that it wasn't my first thought to go for a verbal construction. Still, finally having realised that you were using one, culpa me seems very strange to me. Becasue of the single reason that I can't recall to have ever read "culpa me" or something like that, and I have read more Latin originals and am still reading that I actually want sometimes. But it seemed interesting to go for it, I like these little quest from time to time - exspecially if i actually had to spend my time on something completely different, er, well.
You've encouraged me. I tried to check that out actually.
For all those not interested in Latin - please skip that uninterseting theoretical dead language dump
I'm not specialized in Latin or ancient Greek. I'm just learning Latin for - oh, I'm getting old - 11 years, and I'm still studying because it's one of the foundations for my actual studies - classical archaeology, medievistic, and ancient history. I can't go without it, and still I know what phone numbers I have to dial if I want to know something that is going into detail.
So, first off, thanks to the members of the Latinistic instutute at Innsbruck university, first of all Florian Schaffenrath. They helped me with their a) unbelievable knowledge of sources and useful thesaura and other literature. Actually, I somehow managed us all to end up looking for culpa me today, cause actually noone has heard about that before.
Actually, you are right, there is a verb culpare and it follows the a-declination.
But, then things are getting a bit difficult. What did that verb mean, and how was it used, and in which contexts was it used.
I found several different interpretations (to blame, to scold, rail, complain, to conduct are just some of the more probable interpretations....) in several different thesaura and dictionaries. As usual, the smaller dictionaries for school and unversity student use seem more secure in their interpretation as the bigger ones. Always interesting. In doubt we forget about the doubt and act as if we'd know. Kind of that mentality.
So, my next step was, as I have learned, haha, to look up examples. That is actually, why I'm pretty late with my answer. Research is taking time, lol.
And to ask people who know more about it as I do.
Now, first of, culpare is not really a verb that was used very often. It was used rarely, and even more rarely in classical latin. And I don't think that you want to play with provincial or late medieval vulgata latin here.
But also for late antique and medieval period I didn't find this verb used that very often.
And we found it NEVER used as blame me, or something in that context.
A construction like that wasn't really used either in classical not in later and vulgata Latin. Actually, I haven't found a singualr imperative use of the verb culpare.
What I have found, are particiapial constructions, gerundia, NCI and ACI, and passive use. Few normal active forms, too, though most of them were imperfects. Most common was maybe the use as "blame that" and consequently in qn ACI construction.
Here the most common examples for the use of the verb culpare that you maybe/probably? know:
"num ergo culpandus est ille. " Plin. ep. 7, 14.4
"...arbore nunc aquas culpante nunc .. " Hor.
Now, in your case - besides the fact that "blame me" and "my fault" have a slightly different meaning, - if you want an alternative for mea culpa, a latin writer would have gone for a construction like "in culpa sum", maybe even culpandus sum (I am to blame), if you want to stick to culpare. He would have added a reason probable, because without the construction would get way too short for a latin writer. They weren't *that* pragmatic in most cases.
But "culpa me" did not exist as it seems.
If you find a quote (of classical Latin) that proves me wrong please let me know. Actually, we are not really finished with our research on culpare yet, lol. And always interested in finding out more about it.
Now, why am I asking for quotes. Latin is, after all, and despite the fact that it is beautiful and foundation of all european languages together with greek, a dead language. It is not spoken anymore, and the culture behind the language doesn't exist anymore. So actually, it is not all that easy as it might seem, to find out what these people of the past times were actually understanding when they were reading the same texts as we are. In many cases something completely different.
We are almost sure of the understanding of words, if they were often used and in different contexts - the more the better.
If words are used rarely, things are getting difficult.
So basically, today Latin is a language that is translated nowadays, and not spoken. We *cannot* write and hardly think of speaking classical Latin. Or even Latin that was actually used in the roman empire o medieval ages. We are past that age, and we have forgotten too much about it, to go there again. Even if it's only a matter of language. We are hardly aware of our own --> journalism, but that is a side comment that is leading to far away now.
We can be happy if we understand Latin correctly - and never forget - translation is interpretaion. Always. Just try to read differnt translations from medieval ages to nowadays of, well, let's say Vergil - because he was always popular. There are many translations and some are telling different stories.
I was trying to find a good translation of Tyrtaios of spart a year ago and ended up translating it myself, because i found many translations, but they all told something completely different. That's the moments I am sometimes feeling lost in my field, so lost, when I am spending weeks and more just to get closer to a quote. Note - get closer. More is not possible in many cases.
Or - another famour example - Shakespeare. It's English, of course, and a lot of words even seem to be the same words as nowadys, because the spellling is almost the same, but the meaning has changed to something completely different.
I am drifting away.
So back to Latin and its every day difficulties..
You know, I encountered a problem today - I was looking up a Plinius quote on the famous Laokoon ensemble - a very insecure part in archaeologic research, even if it is so famous. We don't know much about it, to be honest, and even less we know concrete things about it. Anyways - Plinius is describing the Laokoon ensemble in his NatHis and he is writing about the statuaria, referring to the ensemble. Now, on first impact, that seems wonderfully easy - as we are still using the word statue or Statue in german - but we have to ask ourselves, what the ancient roman person was thinking of when he was reading about statuaria - were it bronze statues? (interpretation of B. Andreae amongst others, because it comes from stare and bronze statues could stand "on their own feet" in contrary to marble statues), were it marble statues or did the Romanss not distinguish between marble and bronze statues at all? To be honest, we don't have a clue. Even though *a lot* of scientists have tried to solve this particular problem, because if we would know, we would actually get a bit closer to the question if the Laokoon ensemble was an original (and if it was not - was the original a bronze statue?) or not.
Just an example to illustrate how difficult that is.
Now - translating Latin with the help of a lot of commenting books written by scientists who have a huge knowledge of Latin and a huge background they can or could make comparisons (and that is what it is all about in that field, basically, the comparisons) is one thing.
To take piece and build new constructions on your own is something else. All you can get is a fictional language, maybe even a fictional Latin.
Going back in history, we find that phaenomenon not rarely. But it was fictional Latin after all, even though these people usually were experts.
And were closer to the matter than we are nowadays. Erasmus at least had an idea how vulgat Latin was alike.
But, unfortunatley, neither of us is Erasmus and never will be - and-
quod licet Iovi no licet bovi
Still, you can of course start communicating in that fictional Latin.
But personally, I'd be careful with that. Better stick to the quotes and think twice about them, when trying to understand them. Don't rely on you poor school or university vocabulary and grammar knowledge - there is a reason why most thesaura a consisting of more than ten 2000 pages book and that many people have worked on them and not only one and that for years.
Just try to keep these things in mind - Latin is an interseting field - just as ancient greek and -personally I'm into learning some basics of ancient oriental languages like assyrian language at the moment- it is great, but you need to study it with a slightly different approach as you can study a modern language.
Uh, what a dump of thoughts.
Er...back to the original topic - Terry Prattchett, wasn't it?
yes, I like discworld. And after all that ldead language reflecton - I personally like the Iliad/Odyssee/Goethe persiflage in Eric most