First of all, let me say that this construction is not exactly standard German, even at the time when the Brothers Grimm wrote down this story. It is more what one calls “dialektgefärbtes Hochdeutsch”. It is like “dem Karle sein Bruder” which you find in a lot of dialects for “Karls Bruder”, but which is not regarded as “correct” high German. In both cases, ...
This can be read as a dativus auctoris. It should then be translated thus:
lest he should be suspected by his mistress / be suspect to his mistress
Common in gerundive constructions (hostis nobis vincendus est), the dativus auctoris is also occasionally used with other passive verbs; it is then most common with past participles (mihi cognitum est: "it is ...
First, this is not specific to ecclesiastical Latin.
The same genitive is there in classical Latin as well.
The verb miserere is used impersonally.
It means roughly "to distress" or "to excite pity".
For example, me miseret means "I am distressed".
The reason of distress or the target of pity is indicated by genitive: me miseret Marci means "I pity Marcus".
What you're calling a "predicate noun" is, in fact, the subject. In the Latin construction, unlike the English translation, the thing possessed is the subject, so the verb has to agree with it. E.g. in Puellis est rosa, even though this can be translated as "The girls have a rose", a literal translation would be something like "A rose is to/for the girls". ...
Bennett gives gen. alterius, dat. aliī. Allen and Greenough list alius among the adjectives that "have the Genitive Singular in -īus and the Dative in -ī in all genders", implying alīus, aliī, but add in notes that "Instead of alīus, alterīus is commonly used" and that "The regular genitive and dative forms (as in bonus) are sometimes found in some of these ...
I'm not sure there is a "why", but it probably happened under the influence of contemporary vernacular languages and/or Vulgar Latin, since French, Italian, and Spanish also use more prepositions than Latin. This is probably also what steered Latin towards using quod instead of the accusative with infinitive.
Around the same time, I believe cases began to ...
In this instance, alas, though I'm sure in no other, you are mistaken.
Haruspex is a nominative singular noun meaning a kind of soothsayer. It takes a third-person singular verb, which cenaret is. Cum followed by a subjunctive can mean either "when" (temporal) or "since, because" (circumstantial). In this case, temporal seems more appropriate, so the ...
Singular genitive and dative forms of vis exist but are very rare, according to the Gaffiot, which provides some examples:
Or in Calonghi:
So it may be possible to use those forms when needed (vis and vi).
Writing a letter to someone does fit the description you mentioned. It has to travel physically to the recipient. Famous collections of letters usually use ad in their titles. We might understand this as implying "sent to" or "to be sent to."
Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, ad Atticum
Seneca, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium
On the other hand, within the ...
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.
A deo data = given by a god
In deo inventum = found in a god
Cum deo perire = to perish with a god
Deo data = given to a god (in all ...
The articular infinitive can be used as a dative of means, e.g. (from Smyth sec. 2033):
οὐδενὶ τῶν πάντων πλέον κεκράτηκε Φίλιππος ἢ τῷ πρότερος πρὸς τοῖς πράγμασι γίγνεσθαι Philip has conquered us by nothing so much as by being beforehand in his operations (Demosthenes 8.11)
That said, it would be simpler and more natural in your sentence to instead use ...
Gildersleeve and Lodge call this Dativus Iudicantis, Dative of the person judging. It's specifying from whose perspective the statement is perspicuum: 'clear to (from the perspective of) the person who pays even moderate attention'
So, in this example, the dative isn't the object of credo at all.
Update: As to the question of whether it's possible for a ...
Let me make some remarks on what you say above: "Imagine you want to say something like "from us to you [plural]" (where "from" indicates ablative and "to" dative). Since the order is usually uninformative in Latin, nobis vobis is not precise enough. Would something like a nobis vobis be enough?".
As pointed out by Joonas, context is important here. For ...
Let me start by fixing your initial sentence.
My take on translation:
I can speak Latin easily.
Latine facile loqui possum.
You speak "Latinly", Latine, not "in Latin".
I do not recall seeing the preposition in in this sense in Latin, but I could be mistaken.
Nevertheless, the adverb (Latine, Anglice, Germanice…) is the ...
The thing being possessed is the subject in this construction.
The verb agrees with the subject, but the subject in your example is not the girl.
Do not confuse the plural nominative and singular dative, although they both end in -ae.
Consider these examples (cases indicated in parentheses):
Girl has a rose. Puellae (dat) est rosa (nom).
Girls have a rose. ...
Gildersleeve and Lodge, §76.r1: The Gen. alīus is very rare, and as a possessive its place is usually taken by alienus.
§76.r2: …usually make the Dat. Sing. in -ī … Alī is found in early Latin for aliī.
I assume that by agreement between a verb and a noun you mean that the noun is the subject of the verb.
The subject of the verb cenaret is indeed haruspex.
The noun is singular and the verb is third person singular, so there is no problem with agreement.
Tempus (imperfect) and modus (conjunctive) do not effect the possibility of haruspex being the subject.
It appears that concrescere, meaning "thicken" or "condense", is an intransitive verb, meaning that it will not take an accusative direct object. Most intransitive verbs take dative indirect objects, which represent the object that a certain action is directed at. Thus, rigido rostro would be in the dative.
The only verbs that I can think of which take ...
Lateinische Grammatik (Leumann, Hofman and Szantyr 1977) argues that
"Im Genetiv ist -īus die Standardform der Endung, sie gilt für Plautus und für die klassische Prosa verbindlich. In metrischen Texten bestehen zwei Nebenformen" (Para 376B2a, p. 479) [emphasis mine - Alex B.]
They also add that "Einigermassen häufig sind nur gen. -i und dat. fem. -ae" (...
I agree with the other answers: though ambiguity sometimes is inevitable, the ablative wouldn't be used alone in this context. Here is an example from Plautus that almost exactly parallels your case (with some previous lines added for context):
Gel. [...] Quid igitur me volt?
Croc. Tritici modios decem rogare, opinor [te volt].
Gel. Mene, ut ab sese ...
There is a ready-made phrase, "ut opinor," which, in my opinion, avoids a lot of ambiguities and other problems.
Suggero 'ut opinor,' quamvis non examussim, ut opinor, tibi respondeo,
I suggest ut opinor, although I am not, in my opinion, answering you
Yes, that sounds correct. It could be argued that the dativus commodi is the most common use of the dative, and it can be translated in various ways. In this sentence, in honour of their brother is good.
To find the singular forms of vis is, I believe, fairly rare though perfectly valid. The more prevalent way of 'working round' is to use the plural, usually interpreted as 'strength', etc., though in either a physical or moral sense. The plural is found in all cases — except, of course, the vocative — and any good dictionary will give examples.
You might ...
The two constructions are not really interchangeable, though confusing them is hardly much of a crime. Your example litteras ad virginem scribit might offend a pedant, who would prefer the dative (reserving the ad + acc for use with a verb such as misit) but would more readily accept ad virginem scripsit when the action was in the past.
The main difference ...
Despite its name, the Latin “ablative” is not normally used on its own for motion from a place or person. (Often, as in nobis and vobis, the “ablative” is historically not an ablative at all, but an old instrumental). I would stick with “a nobis vobis”.
Ambiguity like this is commonplace in Latin.
For example, "we have to help you" can be nobis vobis auxiliandum est, where the two datives happily mix the two roles.
(In this specific case one of the datives can be replaced by an agent a nobis, but sometimes ambiguity is inevitable.)
Even though Latin word order is flexible, it does contain information.
It is indeed possible: in such cases, one uses a/ab/abs with the person who is to act, to avoid ambiguity.
Weimer (above) provides a reference, Gildersleeve & Lodge 355:
To avoid ambiguity, especially when the verb itself takes the Dat., the Abl. with ab (a) is employed for the sake of clearness...When there is no ambiguity, there is no need of ab. [...
In a context like this both ad virginem and virgini are possible.
I don't know whether there is a difference in nuance, but certainly nothing severe for such a simple use.
Perhaps someone else can provide more details.
I will also see if I can find anything more on this later, but now I have a plane to board.