10

The two readings would be distinct in Latin, because the ablative used by itself (without a preposition) generally cannot indicate accompaniment -- you need cum for that -- but does indicate means or instrument. So something like Pulsa agnum cum flore can only mean "Hit the lamb which has the flower", while Pulsa agnum flore can only mean "Hit the lamb using ...


9

Yes, this is attested in Classical Latin, particularly in the case of the non-human serving as an agent (taking the preposition). Allen and Greenough, §405: The ablative of the agent is commonest with nouns denoting persons, but it occurs also with names of things or qualities when these are conceived as performing an action and so are partly or wholly ...


7

The following is my summary of Silvia Luraghi 2010 paper, in the tabular format (obviously, here I summarized those parts that are relevant to your question only). All the examples are hers, including the translation. Luraghi 1986 writes that in Latin “human agents are usually marked by a prepositional phrase introduced by the preposition ab, which takes ...


6

.1. If 'with' is translated by a participle instead of instrumental ablative, Incŭte agnum florem tenens (You with the flower hit the lamb) 'tenens' in the vocative to agree with the subject, "Incŭte agnum, o mi amice florem tenens." Incŭte agnem florem tenentem (Hit the lamb-with-the-flower) 'tenentem' agreeing with agnum,' accusative. .2. with ...


5

Ovid's Remédia Amórés 422 suggests that your grammar is mistaken and that non-humans with agency can be considered agents: Á cane nón mágnó sæpe tenétur aper. Cicero's Dé Officiís 1.68 suggests that, at least metaphorically, emotions can be considered agents: Nón est autem cónsentáneum, quí metú non frangátur, eum frangí cupiditáte, nec quí invictum ...


5

I think there is a semantic difference between "a Gnaeo" for the agent and "sica" for the instrument. The agent will be expressed in this way only in a passive sentence, but the ablative of instrument can be used also in an active sentence (Marcum sica occidit). The agent is normally animate. Note that there is a difference between "animate" (=humans, gods, ...


4

The instrumental -φι suffix in Homeric Greek seems to be derived from the PIE plural instrumental case, which apparently still existed in Mycenaean Greek. From Smyth's grammar (280): -φι(ν) is often added to noun stems in Hom. to express the relations of the lost instrumental, locative, and ablative, both singular and (more commonly) plural; rarely to ...


2

Not only can animals and non-humans personified act as agent, but humans can act as instruments, as we see in Livy III.37: Et decemvirí, quí prímó tribuniciós hominés, quia id populáre habebátur, circum sé ostentáverant plebí, patriciís iuvenibus sæpserant latera.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible