Debere in complement clauses

Author: Mikulová, Jana
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2012, vol. 17, iss. 2, pp. [131]-147
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
License: Not specified license
This paper examines the use of the verb debere in imperative complement clauses found in Late Latin texts from the 4th to the 8th centuries, with the aim to offer an account of violation of the restrictions that apply in the instances that are not classical. It is argued that the type of the clauses (ut clauses or accusative + infinitive clauses), is of lesser importance in Late Latin, and that the boundary between imperative and declarative clauses is not always clear in the texts under examination. It is further argued that context plays an important role in the interpretation of the verb debere and the complement clauses. The verb debere can indeed take on various meanings; it can express intention, polite request, appeal to take an action, exhortation, and appropriateness. Therefore, it cannot be conceived of as a meaningless element used only to reinforce subjunctive. Apart from the arguments raised in relation to the texts under discussion, a case in Cicero's work, where a modal verb is used in an imperative clause, is analysed.
Summary language
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