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Interrogative Nam in Early Latin

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Abstract The article examines the use of nam in close association with a question word (e.g. quisnam, nam quis) in early Latin. As Kroon (1995, 165-5) observes, the use mirrors explicative nam, in that it is found when a speaker seeks supplementary information, while explicative nam is used to provide it. If interrogative nam arose from a sarcastic use of explicative nam to comment on a dialogue partner’s failure to supply information, this could account for several nuances that commentators have found in nam questions.

Affiliations: 1: Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Alfons-Goppel-Str. 11, 80539 München Germany


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1. Bodelot C. " Termes introducteurs et modes dans l’interrogation indirecte en Latin de Plaute à Juvenal " 1990 Avignon
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9. Schiwy P. " Die syntaktischen Funktionen der Partikel “nam” " 1932 diss., Breslau
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11. Shackleton Bailey D.R. " Num in Direct Questions: A Rule Restated " CQ 1953 Vol 3 120 125 [Crossref]
12. Sicking C.M.J. , van Ophuijsen J.M. " Two Studies in Attic Particle Usage " 1993 Leiden

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