A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Relative Pronouns

303. A Relative Pronoun agrees with some word expressed or implied either in its own clause, or (often) in the antecedent (demonstrative) clause. In the fullest construction the antecedent is expressed in both clauses, with more commonly a corresponding demonstrative to which the relative refers: as, iter in ea loca facere coepit, quibus in locīs esse Germānōs audiēbat (B. G. 4.7), he began to march into those PLACES in which PLACES he heard the Germans were. But one of these nouns is commonly omitted.

The antecedent is in Latin very frequently (rarely in English) found in the relative clause, but more commonly in the antecedent clause.

Thus relatives serve two uses at the same time:—

  1. As Nouns (or Adjectives) in their own clause: as, —eī quī Alesiae obsīdēbantur (B. G. 7.77), those who were besieged at Alesia.
  2. As Connectives: as,— T. Balventius, quī superiōre annō prīmum pīlum dūxerat (id. 5.35), Titus Balventius, who the year before had been a centurion of the first rank.

When the antecedent is in a different sentence, the relative is often equivalent to a demonstrative with a conjunction: as, quae cum ita sint (= et cum ea ita sint), [and] since this is so.

The subordinating force did not belong to the relative originally, but was developed from an interrogative or indefinite meaning specialized by use. But the subordinating and the later connective force were acquired by quī at such an early period that the steps of the process cannot now be traced.

XML File