I was wondering if there is a syntactic/semantic generalization that can account for the so-called "double accusative" predicative frame in Latin (verbs with person & thing (docere pueros grammaticam) & complex verbs with the preverb trans- (transducere exercitum Rhenum)). Looking at the data1 & data2, it seems that the verb is necessarily (or only typically?) causative: i.e., 'someone1 causes someone2 {to have/acquire} something'; 'someone1 causes someone2 to go somewhere, etc.}'. One advantage of this causation-based proposal is that it can account for the fact that in the passive construction, which involves demotion of 'someone1', only the hierarchically superior object (i.e. 'someone2') can be the subject, the third nominal phrase (i.e. 'something') being too low in the structure to be promoted to the subject of a passive. This causation-based generalization would, for example, also prevent stative verbs from taking two accusative objects/nominal phrases.

So my question is the following one: Are there exceptions to this connection between double accusative (i.e. two objects/nominal phrases in accusative) and causation? I'd like to know if this connection is necessary or only (proto)typical. If the answer is the second one, could you please provide some examples that involve non-causative verbs?

One potential problem for the abovementioned generalization is that the causative meaning is not typically expressed, although some authors do have established a connection between -o- vocalism and causation (e.g., docere as the causative verb of discere; rogare as the causative verb of regere; monere as the causative verb of meminisse: e.g. see Rubio (1982: 127)). Although there appears to be no morphological reflex of that connection in most of verbs (see data1 & data2), this does not mean that the generalization cannot be established in a more abstract way (i.e. the verb can be decomposed into (sub)events: the causative one and the subordinate one).

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    I feel like you're using "causative" in too broad a way. Transducere absolutely isn't a causative in the way docere and monere are/were (they're not really meaningfully causatives in Latin but they descend from true PIE causatives), and I don't really see how it's any more "causative" than just ducere, which only takes a single accusative. Maybe I'm just missing your point. – Cairnarvon Feb 28 at 22:45
  • @Cairnarvon The theoretical claim here is that those verbs that take two accusatives are complex in the sense that they involve a causative verbal layer that can assign accusative case to the person object. In the passive, it is only this upper causative verb that lacks its accusative case assigning property. In technical terms, the person object has "structural" accusative case, while the thing object receives "inherent/lexical" accusative case. – Mitomino Mar 1 at 0:21
  • @Cairnarvon The passive construction absorbs the structural case assigned by the upper causative verbal layer, but crucially not the lexical one assigned by the inner predicate (e.g. the V discere in the case of docere or the P trans- in the case of transducere). – Mitomino Mar 1 at 0:22
  • @Cairnarvon As for your natural objection "you're using 'causative' in too broad a way", it's true that lexical causative verbs are typically defined as those ones that enter into the so-called "causative alternation" (e.g., the Latin verb lenire. Please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causative_alternation ). In the more general sense used here, causative verbs are all the ones affected by the so-called "Event Composition Rule": e = e1 → e2 : e consists of two subevents, e1, e2 such that e1 causally implicates e2 ( dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~hharley/courses/PDF/…). – Mitomino Mar 1 at 0:46
  • @Cairnarvon As for the difference between transducere and ducere, it is important to realize that only the former involves an additional resultative subevent (introduced by the "satellite" trans-”: cf. latin.stackexchange.com/questions/11083/… ). A similar parallelism is found in English: cf. bring vs. bring + across. The former involves a simple event structure (only the activity subeventuality is involved), whereas the latter involves a complex event structure, i.e., a causative one (activity (e1) + result (e2)). – Mitomino Mar 1 at 1:11

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