Saturday, July 10, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: TALIS

Today's word is TALIS, the demonstrative adjective that correlates with the interrogative QUALIS. It's hard to translate this word into English since we do not have a correlative pair that works as neatly in English as talis-qualis in Latin. From qualis we get the word "quality" which is what this pair of words expresses in Latin: the such-ness or so-ness or this-ness or that-ness of something, what sort of thing something is.

The words are often used together in the same sentence as here:

You can also find talis used to introduced an ut clause, where the ut clause expresses the result of the quality expressed with talis, as in this bit of artful modesty from Cicero: Tales nos esse putamus, ut iure laudemur.

The word talis can also be used together with a relative clause which provides the specifications of just what sort of person or thing is being discussed. Here is a lovely rhyming example from Thomas's De Imitatione Christi: Ubi invenietur talis, qui velit Deo servire gratis?

In addition, the word talis can express a sense of the measure or extent of a quality, being used emphatically, something like the word tantus, as in these examples from Vergil: Dii, talem avertite casum! and Dii, talem terris avertite pestem!

As with many adjectives, the word talis can also be made into an adverb: taliter, "suchly" (if we had such a word in English), "thusly, in this sort of way."

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Qualis pater, talis filius.

Qualis dux, talis miles.

Qualia dixeris, talia audies.

Qualis vis videri, talis esto.

Quales sumus, tales esse videamur.

Qualia verba viri, talis et ipse vir est.

Talia dicentur tibi, qualia dixeris ipse.

Non semper homo talis est, qualis dicitur.

Qualia quisque geret, talia quisque feret.

Tales simus, quales videri et haberi vellimus.

Qualis mater, talis et filia.

Vultu talis eris, qualia mente geris.

Qualis dominus, talis et servus.

Quales principes, tales populi.

Qualis homo, talis sermo.

Qualis sermo, talis vita.

Talis esto, qualis haberi cupis.

Verbum laudatur, si factum tale sequatur.

Facies qualis, mens talis.

Cum quo aliquis iungitur, talis erit.

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