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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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19 votes

Why is an accusative mode needed?

Languages are full of redundancy. So I think the premise of this question—that the accusative case is "needed"—is problematic. For example, there isn't a need for English speakers to use the plural in ...
Asteroides'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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13 votes

Is "servos" accusative plural in Plautus's "is est servos ipse" and, if that's the case, why does "esse" takes accusative case there?

To expand a little on Joonas's answer, the nominative singular ending in Latin was originally /os/ for all masculine nouns of the second declension, which developed to /us/ as part of a more general ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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Why is *dōna* the plural acc. Instead of *donos* like the rest of the 2nd declensions?

Dōnum is neuter; amīcus, fīlius, and ager are masculine. Neuter nouns are always the same in both the nominative and accusative case, in both singular and plural. See this question for more about how ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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13 votes

Why is "O felicem virum, beatum Ioseph" in the accusative case here?

The vocative is used when addressing someone. The fact that it isn't used in the first part of this prayer makes me think that that portion is not meant to be addressed to Joseph (unlike the "Ora ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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12 votes

Is "servos" accusative plural in Plautus's "is est servos ipse" and, if that's the case, why does "esse" takes accusative case there?

It is servŏs in both instances, not servōs. The old form of the nominative has the ending -os instead of the later -us. What you see is indeed the singular nominative, but not in the form ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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Confusion regarding 'esse' + accusative

It's not that esse takes the accusative—it's that cupiō takes the accusative, and esse links two things in the same case. In other words, regem is accusative because mē is accusative, and mē is ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why is the accusative not used in Judges 5:23?

Since the word comes from male dico, it traditionally took the dative for the same reason that dico takes it. The dative expresses to whom something is spoken or for whom the speech is beneficial (or, ...
Expedito Bipes's user avatar
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Why does "Hominem unius libri timeo" use comparativus unius instead of positivus unum?

It looks like a comparative (cf. facilius, melius, and many others) but it is in fact a genitive. Thus unius libri is "of one book". The word unus has an unusual declension: nom: unus, una, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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Unsure why the accusative relative pronoun is used? [Tacitus Annals 2.24]

I think corpora equorum must be the subject of the clause, with quos its object, and the verb tolerare being used with the following sense per Lewis and Short: Transf., to support a person or thing, ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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Why is accusative pronoun "te" used in this construction?

These two sentences involve different analyses, which can be shown by using the following test: replacement of the infinitive (clause) by the neuter pronoun hoc. In the first example the infinitival ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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10 votes
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Audire, with accusative or dative?

Actually, your quote from the Vulgate isn't an example of audire + dative! Though auditis is spelled the same as the present 2nd person plural ("You [pl.] hear"), it is actually an ablative perfect ...
brianpck's user avatar
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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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Should these "vellus" be "vellerum"?

Vellus is a neuter noun, and neuter nouns have the same form in both the nominative and accusative cases. The proper accusative singular of vellus is vellus. Vellerum, meanwhile, is the genitive ...
cmw's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why nominative instead of accusative with verb "sum"?

In all Indo-European languages that I know, copulae are intransitive and normally take the nominative. So everything below will apply to other Indo-European languages, too. It is important to ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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Difference between Vocative and Accusative usage

The vocative is the case used for addressing someone. If you said to your friend Mike, "Hey, Mike, I think your sister is swell," "Mike" would be in the vocative case. Or if you found someone in your ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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8 votes

Accusative equals nominative for neuter words – how universal is this and why?

For the sake of completeness, it seems worth noting that there's one odd exception. The gerund is a noun derived from a verb, representing an action (for example, volāndum "flying"). For the most ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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
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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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Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

It is a second-person singular verb form lūdis, “you play” (lūdō, lūdere).
Asteroides's user avatar
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8 votes
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Verb + esse + predicate nominative

This is called a nominativus cum infinitivo, which is possible with intellegitur because the finite verb is passive. Debeo normally has a mere infinitive with it, so there is no indirect statement ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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Why is *dōna* the plural acc. Instead of *donos* like the rest of the 2nd declensions?

This is because of the gender of the noun. Donum is neuter, wheras filius, amicus, etc, are masculine. The plural accusative for 2nd declension neuter nouns is -a.
Adam's user avatar
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8 votes

Unsure why the accusative relative pronoun is used? [Tacitus Annals 2.24]

It's accusative as the object of tolerāverant. Corpora is nominative: "except for those whom the washed-ashore-there bodies of horses sustained". This isn't the most common meaning of ...
Draconis'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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7 votes

What is an Adverbial Accusative?

First of all I have to point out that the word “quod” in book II, line 141 of Vergil's Aeneid is not an adverbial accusative, but simply a causal conjunction introducing the causal clause with the ...
Maria's user avatar
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7 votes

Why is an accusative mode needed?

Sumelic has already done a great job explaining the "necessity" of certain grammatical constructions. What I would like to address is the changes you have made to those sentences. Although the subject ...
Sam K's user avatar
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Is there such a thing as the accusativus cum participio (a.c.p)? If not, what is this? (Greek)

Ephesians 1:16: οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν (ὑμῶν) ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου. (The second ὑμῶν is missing in the best Mss.) The Vulgata has: non cesso gratias agens pro vobis, ...
fdb's user avatar
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Why would the prae­po­si­tion "per" ever take an ab­la­tive in­stead of an ac­cu­sa­tive com­ple­ment?

The L&S entry is pretty clear, in my opinion. Per takes the accusative, but it has mistakenly been used with the ablative. It cites two examples from later inscriptions: Inscr. Miseni Repert. ex ...
brianpck's user avatar
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7 votes
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Accusative in genitive relative clause with verb finiebat

There aren't any special uses involved here; your incorrect assumption is that embolum (navis) aeneum is accusative -- in fact it's the nominative subject of finiebat. Literally, "one part of which a ...
TKR's user avatar
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