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When and why did the ablative form?

The Latin ablative case represents a merger of three earlier Proto-Indo European (PIE) cases: the ablative (sometimes referred to as the 'from' case, because it was used to express ideas of source, ...
cnread's user avatar
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20 votes
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How do we know that Italian words come from accusatives, not ablatives?

Professor Martin Maiden (Professor of the Romance Languages, Fellow of Trinity College) writes that "The overwhelming majority of modern nouns and adjectives [in Italian - Alex B.] appear to ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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17 votes
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Ave Verum Corpus: why ablative?

The subject is latus. Definition 6 in OLD is most relevant here: 6 (of solid objects, usu. w. abl.) To be bathed or soaked (in a fluid specified or implied), run, stream, overflow, etc.) For ...
cnread's user avatar
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15 votes

How do we know that Italian words come from accusatives, not ablatives?

Italian noun and adjective forms are not derived exclusively from Classical Latin accusative forms: Sometimes an Italian form comes from the Classical Latin nominative, as in the singular form of the ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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15 votes

When and why did the ablative form?

This is a very abbreviated answer, which I will intend to expand on in the future (unless others get in there before me). The short answer is that the ablative didn't replace any earlier case - it ...
varro's user avatar
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13 votes

"Miserando atque eligendo"

I read through Ron Conte's blog post and find it sloppy and unscholarly. He makes the (correct) point that Fr. Z's proposed translation sounds literal and stinted and, almost in the same words, asks ...
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Conquering darkness by science

The macron (the bar over the a) is a modern reading aid, not a compulsory orthographic convention. It's not usually written outside of dictionaries, grammar, and text editions prepared specifically ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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13 votes
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Should “cum” be included in this sentence or not?

In this case, celeritate should be used with cum. The general rule for the ablative of manner is that it should be used with cum if the ablative isn't modified by an adjective. Dale A. Grote explains ...
Expedito Bipes's user avatar
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Why is 'cum' followed by the dative in this sentence?

It's actually the ablative, not the dative. It's an i-stem, and Latin allows some i-stems to have an ablative singular in ī. I've copied the relevant section from Allen and Greenough below: The ...
cmw's user avatar
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11 votes

Does the "re" in emails have an ancient origin?

Yes, it does have an ancient origin. See RFC 5332 (3.6.5): When used in a reply, the field body MAY start with the string "Re: " (an abbreviation of the Latin "in re", meaning &...
technical_difficulty's user avatar
11 votes

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

tl;dr: as the risk of mistake is higher than for other suffixes, in contexts where analyzing the cases is difficult (like chanting psalms in a fast pace) people often distinguish the length less for -...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
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11 votes

Meaning of "virō" in description of Lavinia

As the Lewis & Short entry for maturus notes under meaning II.A, a common construction is maturus + dat., which means "ripe/ready for X." It gives examples such as: maturus bello = old ...
brianpck's user avatar
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10 votes
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Genitive vs Ablative of Price

Roundly, the ablative is used for price and the genitive for value. The ablative of price occurs with verbs of acquiring, buying, selling etc., as in mensam quadraginta sestertiis emit. As well as ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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10 votes
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Determining dative vs ablative for coelo

The original sentence comes from Vergilius: Carmina vel caelo possunt deducere lunam (Eclogae 8.69) 'Poems can lead even the moon down from the sky'. In this original sentence carmina is the plural ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the difference between "in umerīs" and "in umerōs"?

In + ablative means "in/on something" while doing the verb. In + accusative means "into/onto something", i.e. the verb involves moving/transferring something else into/onto the ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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10 votes
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Domino notus erat: Agent ablative without a preposition?

Domino is dative, not ablative. English has the same idiom: 'known to the master.'
cnread's user avatar
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9 votes
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In memoriam: why not "in memoria"?

As L&S put it, in their classic textwall style (entry for in, II.C.2): Of the object or end in view, regarded also as the motive of action or effect: “non te in me illiberalem, sed me in se ...
Draconis's user avatar
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9 votes
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Declension uncertainty regarding Ablative / Nominative

One can split up the process of finding the case to three steps: Find all possible cases a word could possibly be. Also bear in mind that there might be several options for the base word, like ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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Mirabile visu, horribile dictu ― is this the ablative?

Never forget about meaning, without which an expression turns into a collection of separate words. Your question presumes that the two words form a noun-modifier phrase mīrābilis vīsus "a strange,...
Unbrutal_Russian's user avatar
9 votes
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What's the role of the pronoun "iis" in this context?

This is often called the Dative of the Person Judging (aka Dativus iudicantis; cf. also the "Dative of Relation": e.g. see this link), which is sometimes considered as a specific case of the ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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8 votes

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

In contemporary spoken Latin in Finnish all vowel quantities are carefully articulated. There is nothing special about the first declension ablative. I have therefore learned to expect it, and it will ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes

Dative–ablative ambiguity

You are right that there will be the occasional ambiguity. But there are several ways in which the ambiguity is normally resolved. The ablative without a preposition is not normally used with a person....
Cerberus's user avatar
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8 votes

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

I don't know about the Vatican. But I've met very few people at conventicula, living-Latin events, etc., who make any distinction whatsoever. I don't generally have a problem, I think in part because ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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8 votes
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When to use the Greek accusative?

Among Bennett (§180), Allen & Greenough (§397b), and Gildersleeve & Lodge (§338), the last provides the most detail on this construction. Two varieties are identified: Definite: The ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
8 votes

Does the "re" in emails have an ancient origin?

Re was certainly used with the same meaning, as stendarr points out in another answer, but it was not used in the same manner. For example, Cicero did not start his letters with it, although there ...
coralvanda's user avatar
8 votes
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"Miserando atque eligendo"

Fortunately, there is a straightforward answer. In medieval Latin, the ablative gerund often communicates manner. The result is not so different from a participle or even an adverb or adverbial phrase....
Kingshorsey's user avatar
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8 votes

"Miserando atque eligendo"

FWIW, Pope Francis spoke about this recently (in an article translated into English by five independent experts): "I always felt my motto, Miserando atque Eligendo [By Having Mercy and by ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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8 votes

"Miserando atque eligendo"

(I am posting my previous comment here in part because I hope this will help, in some small way, to get this site past the beta stage. However, I do not think my comments deserve a bounty.) Fr. Z ...
jon's user avatar
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8 votes

Consecutive ablatives

It seems to me this was not very common. For instance, Pinkster 2015 postulates the following observation, based on his corpus research: "The arguments of three-place verbs are always distinctly ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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8 votes

Are the following "prep. + accusative"'s used for location?

The idea that accusative means motion toward, ablative means location or motion away from, can be a good rule of thumb. There are some prepositions, like in and sub, which can take either case; in ...
Draconis's user avatar
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