A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


539. Causal Clauses take either the Indicative or the Subjunctive, according to their construction; the idea of cause being contained, not in the mood itself, but in the form of the argument (by implication), in an antecedent of causal meaning (like proptereā), or in the connecting particles.

Quod is in origin the relative pronoun (stem quo-) used adverbially in the accusative neuter (cf. § 214. d) and gradually sinking to the position of a colorless relative conjunction (cf. English that and see § 222). Its use as a causal particle is an early special development. Quia is perhaps an accusative plural neuter of the relative stem qui-, and seems to have developed its causal sense more distinctly than quod, and at an earlier period. It is used (very rarely) as an interrogative, why? (so in classical Latin with nam only), and may, like quandō, have developed from an interrogative to a relative particle.

Quoniam (for quom iam) is also of relative origin (quom being a case-form of the pronominal stem quo-). It occurs in old Latin in the sense of when (cf. quom, cum), from which the causal meaning is derived (cf. cum causal). The Subjunctive with quod and quia depends on the principle of Informal Indirect Discourse (§ 592).

Quandō is probably the interrogative quam (how?) compounded with a form of the pronominal stem do- (cf. dum , dō-nec). It originally denoted time (first interrogatively, then as a relative), and thus came to signify cause. Unlike quod and quia, it is not used to state a reason in informal indirect discourse and therefore is never followed by the Subjunctive.

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