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Implied copula and pragmatics

Since the third-person singular copula is often not required in Latin sentences, have you given any thought to allowing something like the following?

Marcus is an American young man. Marcus iuvenis Americanus.

There are some good opportunities to teach something about pragmatics in Latin based on constituent order, though I imagine that would have to be supplemental.

October 10, 2019



This is covered in this post addressed to those with previous Latin experience (which really should be stickied imo). In short, it's not going to happen, at least for the moment:

This course is not for experienced Latinists to learn the language, it's for beginners. New learners will omit verbs, nouns, and adjectives on accident all the time, and we have to ease them into the natural language later on.

(I think this is inconsistent with the courses for other copula-optional languages, though)


Thanks for the link (and response). I'm surprised that is considered an advanced concept. I don't teach Latin, but I teach Hellenistic Greek and that concept is covered in the first-year course--however, students are being taught how to read (Hellenistic) Greek rather than conversational Greek. Maybe someday in the future!


I've taught Latin for fourteen years. Our textbook doesn't cover copula deletion until the third book. Some textbooks do, some don't.

I tried it with my students and most didn't understand. It's not the easiest concept for middle-schoolers. The course it meant to be accessible to all learners and Duolingo definitely wants us to consider the education market when making the course.

Colin brought up the idea and I agree with him.

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