The variants of the se vivo fecit expression in Latin language inscriptions

Název: The variants of the se vivo fecit expression in Latin language inscriptions
Zdrojový dokument: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2018, roč. 23, č. 1, s. 227-244
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence

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The se vivo fecit formula (or any variants of it) occurs almost 1400 times in the Latin epigraphic corpus. This fact attracts our attention, because, according to the rules of the classical grammar, the expression should be seen as incorrect, since the semantic subject of the ablative absolute construction corresponds to the subject of the main clause. This incorrect formula was nevertheless part of the Latin funerary epigraphic language for more than five hundred years. We can find it in inscriptions from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balkans, from Africa up to Gallia, and the form was considerably widespread in the area of Rome, in the west side of North-Africa, and in the Balkan provinces. It is remarkable that (especially in Rome) the phonetic and morpho-syntactic changes of the Latin language have induced further interior mutations of the formula. We have many examples in which the adjective of the expression (vivus) stands in the nominative or in the accusative instead of the morphologically correct ablative. Therefore, we can find variants as se vivus, se vivum, etc. The aim of this paper is to explore the spread of each variant of the se vivo fecit formula, and to give a possible explanation for the occurrence of trends that do not meet our expectations.
The present paper was prepared within the framework of the project NKFIH (National Research, Development and Innovation Office, former OTKA Hungarian Scientific Research Fund) No. K 108399 and K 124170 entitled "Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age" (see: and of the project entitled "Lendület ('Momentum') Research Group for Computational Latin Dialectology" (Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences).
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