The use of ipse in the vulgate

Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo THE USE OF IPSE IN THE VULGATE

1. Introduction / the Data
My investigations are based on data extracted from the PROIEL corpus of Old Indo-European
Bible Translations.
There are 548 instances of ipse in the Vulgate, distributed among the various syntactic
relations in the following way:
• Oblique: Verbal arguments which are neither subjects nor accusative objects, as well
as arguments of adjectives and prepositions. • Narg: Arguments of (verbal) nouns, typically objective genitives.
Ipse generally rendersin the Greek original, but, vice versa, does not always
correspond to ipse.

2. Classical Uses of Ipse

34,5 % (189 examples) of the total number of examples.
Out of these we find:
27,5 % (52 examples) in the Gospels
72,5 % (137 examples) in the rest of the NT

2.1. Apposition (152 examples)
To a pronoun. Ipse is a demonstrative employed for emphasis, “himself”. 152 examples:
(1) Qui suam uxorem diligit, se ipsum diligit (Eph. 5:28) ”He who loves his wife loves himself.” Approximately 40 % of these examples show the (originally intensifying) particle met: Numquid interficiet semet ipsum quia dicit … ? (John 8:22) “Will he kill himself since he says: …?” Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo Such a construction – more precisely, (personal pronoun) + weakened met+ ipse/ipsimus
underlies the modern Romance forms même (French), mismo (Spanish) etc., “the same;
2.2. Free Predicative (37 examples)

To a noun or pronoun (either overtly expressed or pro-drop). Ipse is a demonstrative with a
contrastive or emphatic value, “himself as opposed to others”, “himself in person” etc.:
Ipse enim David dicit in Spiritu Sancto: (Mk. 12:36)
”For David says himself in the Holy Spirit:”
Ipse autem secedebat in deserto et orabat (Lk.
“But the news about Jesus spread even more, and many crowds began gathering to
hear him and to be healed of their diseases.But he withdrew himself to the desert and

3. New Uses of Ipse
61,7 % (338 examples) of the total number of examples
Out of these we find:
49,4 % (167 examples) in the Gospels
50,6 % (171 examples) in the rest of the NT

3.1. Personal Pronoun
3.1.1. Subject (186 examples)
Typical examples:
… (Mt. 12:9-11) “Moving on from there, he came to their synagogue. Suddenly a man with a paralyzed hand appeared. The people asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on Sabbath days, intending to accuse him of doing something wrong. But he said:” ” But she will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." In Classical Latin, at least in narrative texts and direct speech, ipse rarely, if ever, occurs as a personal pronoun in subject function. It should be noted that in examples like (7) ipse is not the subject, but rather a free predicative to a null subject: Caesar … in hiberna in Sequanos exercitum deduxit; hibernis Labienum praeposuit;
ipse in citeriorem Galliam … profectus est.
(Caes. Gal. 1.54.2)
Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo “Caesar conducted his army into winter quarters among the Sequani. He appointed Labienus over the winter-quarters, and went himself to Hither Gaul.” In oratio obliqua, however, the situation is different. Ipse may be used with reference to the speaker where other pronouns – overt pronouns or null pronouns – would be ambiguous. It is possible to analyze ipse either as a demonstrative functioning as a free predicative or as a personal pronoun in subject function. Some examples from Caesar: [Vercingetorix] docet […] omnibus modis huic rei studendum, ut pabulatione et
commeatu Romani prohibeantur. Id esse facile, quod equitatu ipsi abundent […]

(Caes. Gal. 7,14)
“Vercingetorix impresses on them that they should by all means aim at this object,
that the Romans should be prevented from foraging and procuring provisions. This
was easy, because they were (themselves?) well supplied with cavalry.”
[Caesar dixit] … quod ad indutias pertineret, sic belli rationem esse divisam, ut illi
classe naves auxiliaque sua impedirent, ipse ut aqua terraque eos prohiberet.
Civ. 3.17)
“[Caesar said that] as for the truce, the balance of war was so arranged that they
interfered with his ships and support with their fleet, and he (himself?) prevented
them from obtaining water and coming into land.”

Thus, the origins of the use of ipse as a third person subject pronoun are most likely to be
found in passages of oratio obliqua in Classical Latin.
In the Romance languages:
There seems to be a connection between definite articles and third person subject pronouns.
The Romance varieties that have definite articles derived from ipse have third person subject
pronouns derived from ipse as well, and correspondingly, the Romance varieties that have
articles derived from ille, have reflexes of ille as third person subject pronouns (cf. Lyons
1999: 134 and Harris 1980).
3.1.2. Direct Object (10 examples)
Ipse seems is used as a third person personal pronoun not only in subject function, but in
direct object function as well:
(10) Et ipsos benedixit et iussit adponi (Mk. 8:7)
”And they had a few small fish. He blessed them too and said that they should be distributed.” Ipsum (Lk. 9:33-
“Peter said to Jesus: … But while he was saying this, a cloud appeared and surrounded them, and they became terrified as they were overshadowed by the cloud. 1 i.e. Sardinian, as well as Balearic Catalan and, according to Vincent (1988: 53), a few dialects of southern Italy. 2 i.e. all the other Romance varieties. Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo Then a voice came out of the cloud and said, ‘This is my son, the chosen one. Listen to him!’ And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.” Apparently, also this use of ipse is rare in Classical Latin. Ipse does indeed frequently appear in NPs in object function, but only, it seems, as apposition to a noun or pronoun (either overt or pro drop), not as the object itself. But here again, the situation is different in oratio obliqua. In oratio obliqua ipse is frequently used as an ambiguity reducer not only in subject function, but in direct object function as well: (12) [Divico] ita cum Caesare egit: […] ne ob eam rem aut suae magnopere virtuti tribueret aut ipsos despiceret. (Caes. Gal. 1,13)
“Divico thus treats with Caesar: that he ought not on that account to ascribe very
much to his own valour or despise them.”

Consequently, also the origins of the use of ipse as third person object pronoun are probably
to be found in oratio obliqua in Classical Latin.
The use of ipse as a personal pronoun in object function is admittedly rare in the Vulgate too,
not only in Classical Latin. The examples, however, are interesting, given some claims set
forth by Christopher Lyons (1999) and Nigel Vincent (1997, 1998).
In the Romance languages, object clitics derived from ipse are non-existent, even in those
varieties that show definite articles derived from ipse.
Lyons (1999: 335): “[T]here is no evidence at any period of pronominal clitics derived from
Nigel Vincent tries to account for the absence of ipse as object clitic in Romance saying that
“[t]he implicit value of focus and contrast make [ipse] inappropriate for use as a
(proto-)clitic” (1997: 162), and, similarly, that “[l]a strada evolutiva [di ipse] porta […]
dall’originaria funzione contrastiva […] senza mai deviare nella direzione di ripresa atonica
richiesta da un proto-clitico […]” (1998: 418).
However, the data from the Vulgate suggest that ipse could in fact be used as a clitic, or at
least as an unstressed object pronoun.

3.1.3. Oblique (80 examples)
In practically all of the oblique examples ipse is the argument of a preposition:
(13) In ipsa [sc. lingua] benedicimus Dominum et Patrem. (Jas. 3:9)
“With it we bless the Lord and Father.” (14) uidam autem ex ipsis volebant
“So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to seize him.” Note especially the parallel use of is in (15): 3 The only exceptions are two examples in which ipse assumes the function of what is traditionally labelled an “indirect object” (John 18:21 and Rev. 1:6). Ipse seems to be best taken as a personal pronoun in these examples as well, but they are too few for us to make any generalizations or draw any conclusions as to how ipse is used in this function. Thus, I do not discuss them further. Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo (15) Videntes autem hii qui circa ipsum erant quod futurum erat, dixerunt ei:[…] (Lk.
“When those who were around him saw what was about to take place, they said to him:” In the Romance languages, the distribution of ille and ipse matches the distribution of ille-derived and ipse-derived articles. 3.1.4. Attribute (62 examples)
In 15 of the attribute examples ipse functions as an adjective meaning “the very”, mostly in the adverbial formulas in ipsa hora, in ipso tempore etc. (“in that very hour”, “at that very time” etc.). This use does not seem very common in the Classical authors, although similar expressions may be found (eo ipso tempore, hoc ipso tempore etc.). In the rest of the examples ipse is in the genitive case, and it seems to function simply as the genitive of the “personal pronoun ipse”. The following examples illustrate this use: (16) Ecce merces operariorum … clamat. Et clamor ipsorum in aures Domini Sabaoth
introiit (Jas. 5:4) “And behold, the hire of labourers cries out. And their exclamations reached the ears of the lord of Sabaoth.” (17) Nolite turbari. Anima enim ipsius in eo est. (Acts 17:28)
“Don’t be troubled. For his life is in him.” What about the Romance languages? In “ille-Romance” the third person plural possessive is derived from illorum (> Fr. leur, It. loro), and in “ipse-Romance” the third person plural form of the possessive may be traced back to ipsorum (> Sardinian issoro). 3.2. Definite Article?
There are two examples in which ipse renders the definite article in the Greek text:
“and the city (itself?) was made of pure gold, like clear glass.” (19) quae sunt omnia in interitu ipso usu secundum praecepta et doctrinas hominum
“All of these things will be destroyed with the use (itself?), after the commands and teachings of men” but ipse does not have to be analyzed as a definite article in these examples. 4 Spanish and Portuguese stand out as having neither ipsorum nor illorum. Rather, we find reflexes of the reflexive suus both in the third person singular and in the third person plural. Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo Evaluation of some possible explanations for the absence of clear examples of ipse as definite article: Marking of definiteness by means of a definite article not yet incorporated into the Latin grammar?
4. Some Conclusions

There is in the Vulgate a frequent use of ipse as personal pronoun. This use is no longer restricted to oratio obliqua, contrary to what seems to be the case in Classical Latin. Abel (1971 :142) is thus wrong in stating that “[i]l semble […] que IPSE ait perdu du terrain dans les texts bibliques par rapport aux texts classiques”. The assumption that ipse could never be used as a clitic form seems to be wrong, and we need a new explanation of the non-existence of object-clitics derived from ipse in the Romance languages. There is a connection in Romance not only between definite articles and third person subject pronouns (as noted by Harris 1980), but apparently also between definite articles and the forms of the pronoun used after prepositions on the one hand, and between definite articles and the third person plural forms of the possessive pronoun on the other. The language of the Vulgate is at the same time both more vulgar than the classical language (in the use of ipse as a personal pronoun) and more classical than other coeval texts (in the use of ipse as a definite article). The fact that the new uses of ipse are almost equally distributed among the Gospels and the other books of the NT indicates that the language of the Gospels is not more vulgar than the language of the other books in all aspects. Workshop on IE Syntax and Pragmatics, Athens, May 14, 2009 Mari Johanne Hertzenberg, University of Oslo 5. References

Abel, F. (1971) L'adjectif démonstratif dans la langue de la Bible latine: étude sur la
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Aebischer, P. (1948) “Contribution à la protohistoire des articles ille et ipse dans les langues
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Harris, M. & N. Vincent (eds.) (1988) The Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University
Lyons, Ch. (1999) Definiteness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Metzger, B.M. (1977) The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission,
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Napoli, M. (forthcoming) “Aspects of Definiteness in Greek”. To appear in Studies of
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dell’articolo romanzo.” In: Atti del Convegno Internazionale sulla Peregrinatio Egeriae, 137-
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Plater, W.E. & H.J. White (1926) A Grammar of the Vulgate: An Introduction to the Study of
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Vincent, N. (1988) “Latin”. In Harris & Vincent (1988), 26-78.
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