Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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5.2.4 Problems with regard to the postulated case system on the sentence level

In the preceding sections I have attempted to determine the main characteristics of the Latin case system, leaving out of account statistically negligible exceptions. In this section I address a number of questions which are left unanswered by this approach. In answering some of these questions I attempt to show that the problems are not serious enough to lead us to question the correctness of the main characteristics outlined above; with respect to other questions it will appear that the regularities indicated above are supplemented by other regularities. The problems to be treated are:

(a) How can we explain the apparent opposition between two different cases, e.g. metuere aliquem/alicui?

(b) What is the difference between the two constructions with three-place verbs such as donare?

(c) Is there a regularity in the use of the same case to mark the Complement of two- and three-place verbs which seem to be semantically related (e.g. the ablative in the case of cedere/movere)?

(d) Is there a semantic explanation for the occurrence of a specific (non-accusative) case in the nuclear predication, e.g. the ablative with uti?

(e) Is there a relation between the use of a case in the nuclear predication and in the periphery?

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(f) The so-called ablative of price and value (ablativus pretii) almost exclusively marks words which mean `price' in some way or other; as Complement of `Price' of a (three-place) verb like `to buy', however, we may find lexemes with widely diverging meanings. Is there a relation between lexical meaning, semantic function and case form?

(g) How does the Accusative and Infinitive construction (AcI) fit into the system?

(a) The `opposition' dative/accusative with metuere, cupere, etc.

As to the occurrence of specific cases to mark the second (non-Subject) constituent, two-place verbs can be divided into three groups: (a) There are verbs which allow only one case; this is the largest group. With, for example, laudare we find only the accusative, with favere only the dative. Borrowing a term from phonology, we may speak of `complementary distribution'. (b) Then there is a case like potiri + genitive or ablative: `free variation', without a difference in meaning. (c) A third group is formed by those verbs which have both a construction with the dative and a construction with the accusative (or a prepositional phrase), described in K.–St. I. 336–41. Here it is commonly assumed that there is a semantic difference that correlates with the difference in construction. We might call this an example of `opposition'. Examples of the last type are:

(26a) quem metuunt oderunt (`Whom they fear, they hate', Enn. Sc. 402)

(26b) etiamsi nos nobis non timeremus, tu tibi metuere debueres (`Even if we did not worry about ourselves, you ought to worry about yourself', Sen. Contr. 1.2.3)

(26c) nullam maiorem pupillo metuunt calamitatem (`They do not fear a greater disaster for their pupil', Cic. Ver. 1.141)

(27a) se … cupere pacem (`That he longs for peace', Cic. Att. 14.20.4)

(27b) te … ipsum cupio (`I long to see you', Cic. Fam. 1.9.9)

(27c) quod ipsi cupio Glycerio (`That I want the best for G.', Ter. And. 905)

Instances such as (26a–b) and (27b–c) are sometimes adduced to prove that the difference in content of the sentences is caused by the difference in case form. I have added (26c) and (27a) in order to show that there may be more at stake. In the case of metuere, the dative constituent need not necessarily be considered obligatory: (26c) shows that metuere may occur with both an accusative and a dative constituent. Here the dative constituent may be seen as a satellite with the semantic function Beneficiary (so-called dativus (in) commodi). Thus we could see (26b) in relation with (26c) rather than in opposition with (26a). In (26c), then, the object of the fear is specified, whereas in (26b) it is more general, or rather, unspecified. Cupere, however, presents a

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slightly different picture. From the data given in the TLL it appears that its occurrence in the meaning favere is restricted to animate Complements. It might be attractive, therefore, to assume that cupere may have two different meanings, each with its own construction. This seems even more attractive with regard to other verbs belonging to this group, such as consulere alicui (`to take care of'), consulere aliquem (de aliqua re) (`to consult') and consulere aliquid (`to deliberate about'). [13] Since in the case of metuere and cupere the difference in meaning corresponds to restrictions on the types of lexeme that may be used, we may conclude that the difference in meaning is not caused by the difference in case form, and that, therefore, there is no need to assume an `opposition' of the cases. Yet, the difference in case form is always linked to a difference in meaning, and is thus `positively motivated'. The question remains why in one instance one case is chosen and in the other instance another case. In (d) below I will argue that for the time being this question cannot yet be answered in a satisfactory way. [14]

(b) Three-place verbs with two constructions: donare

In active sentences the dative occurs within the nuclear predication to mark the obligatory third constituent with three-place verbs involving `transfer' or `communication'. In those cases, the dative constituent always has the semantic function Recipient (verbs of transfer) or Addressee (verbs of communication). [15] Some of the verbs which govern acc. + dat. also have an abl. + acc. construction. An example is donare:

(28) anulus aureus quo tu istum in contione donavisti (`The gold ring with which you endowed him during the meeting', Cic. Ver. 3.185)

(29) Gabinii, cui regna omnia Syrorum … donaras (`G., to whom you had given all the kingdoms of the Syrians', Cic. Dom. 124)

Both constructions are possible in many circumstances. Yet, this need not mean that they are interchangeable. K.–St. (I.334) claim that the ablative is necessary when `von solchen Gaben die Rede ist, bei welchen die subjektive Tätigkeit (die Annahme) der Person wesentlich ist' (`when such gifts are concerned that require the active participation of the recipient involved'). For many verbs, however, there is little evidence to substantiate this claim. For the verb donare at least one subtle difference seems to exist between the two constructions: the acc. + abl. construction is not used when e.g. a god or king is concerned; then the dat. + acc. construction is obligatory. Apparently, gods and kings cannot easily occur as Patient (in the acc. + abl. construction), but more easily as Recipient (in the dat. + acc. construction). There seems to be a semantic difference given the existence of selection restrictions. In the case of other verbs, however, only the construction of the immediately preceding sentence seems to be relevant. This means that a pragmatic difference is involved. [16]

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(c) Correspondence between constructions of two-and three-place verbs

A number of regularities may be mentioned with regard to the use of cases in the nuclear predication which modify the hypothesis that the cases in the nuclear predication are primarily negatively motivated. In brief, I mention the fact that for antonyms often the same case is used (dare (`to give'): adimere (`to take away') + acc. + dat.) and that many compound verbs govern the dative. In the latter case it is not clear whether the verbs are related semantically. On p. 46 it was suggested that the occurrence of the so-called double accusative with verbs such as docere might be explained on the basis of the fact that there is a corresponding two-place construction, in which the constituent expressing the `subject matter' is marked by the accusative as well. There are more indications for this type of correspondence. As is known, the ablative occurs with a number of groups of verbs, both two-place and three-place, which are related semantically. Examples are:
Two-placeThree-place
`to leave, remove oneself'`to hold back, remove'
`to lack', `to be free'`to deprive'
`to be full'`to fill', `to provide with'
The two-place verbs may be seen as the non-causative counterparts of the three-place verbs. Note that the semantically related adjectives (may) also govern the ablative. Something similar holds for a number of occurrences of the genitive in the nuclear predication. The ablative with the groups of two-place verbs mentioned above is often called `instrumenti' and `separativus'. In (e) below I will argue that arguments for this are lacking. Within the system the ablative could satisfactorily be explained as the case which – in view of the positive motivation for nominative, accusative and dative – with three-place verbs is the most obvious case for a number of semantic functions in the nuclear predication. This, in turn, may explain its occurrence with semantically related two-place verbs.

(d) The case form of the Complement with two-place verbs

We have seen above that with certain verbs, among which are certain groups of semantically related verbs, the cases marking the Complements seem to some extent to be semantically motivated. For most two-place verbs, however, it is not possible to indicate certain semantic characteristics on the basis of which they govern a case other than the accusative. It is even more difficult to determine why they govern the specific non-accusative case which makes them deviate from the `normal' pattern. Heilig (1978) has examined a large number of Latin verbs to see whether there is a connection between the case forms used for the obligatory constituents on the one hand and certain semantic

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properties of these verbs on the other. He arrives at a positive conclusion with regard to the opposition between verbs which govern the accusative and verbs which do not. Roughly, his conclusion is that most verbs `der ausser-subjektiven Relation' (`of non-subjective relation') govern the accusative, while most verbs `der subjektiven Befindlichkeit' (`of subjective experience') govern another case. [17] This division is a more refined version of that proposed by Chafe (1970) and is in some ways similar to the classification of states of affairs given in chapter 2. In Chafe's terminology, Heilig would say that the opposition accusative: non-accusative corresponds to the opposition between `Actions' and `Action-Processes' on the one hand and `States' and `Processes' on the other. Examples of Heilig's classification are given in table 5.6. In terms of the classification of states of affairs given in chapter 2 the Table 5.6 Examples of Heilig's (1978) classification
Actions and Action-ProcessesStates and Processes
(1) habeo(1) sum
contineodeficio
coerceoiaceo
sentio
(2) reprehendo(2) discedo
fateorexcedo
tractolabor
(3) facio(3) maereo
fingomaestus sum
tollohaereo
(4) maestus fio
adhaeresco
succedo
+ ACCUSATIVE- ACCUSATIVE
non-accusative instances should be non-controlled, the accusative instances controlled. This can be shown to be incorrect. [18] But even if Heilig's conclusions were correct, they would not explain why a specific verb governs a specific non-accusative case.

The traditional explanations, too, do not indicate the reasons why certain verbs govern certain cases, at least not in terms of common lexical characteristics of these verbs. The explanation is usually based on the alleged more or less autonomous semantic value of the case. As often, K.–St. are most explicit (and, as a consequence, in this case also most easily open to criticism). For the problem under discussion K.–St. I.253, 307 and 346–7 are the most interesting. On the last-mentioned page K.–St. first give as a common characteristic of dative and ablative the fact that they constitute a further specification of the sentence as a whole and mark something involved in the

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action. According to K.–St., the two cases differ in that `der Dativ ein persönliches oder persönlich gedachtes, also mit Willenskraft begabtes, der Tätigkeit des Subjektes tätig entgegentretendes, mit dem Subjekte in tätiger Wechselbeziehung stehendes, der Ablativ hingegin ein sächliches oder als Sache gedachtes, also willenloses Objekt bezeichnet'. [19] It is undoubtedly true that most of the semantic functions which can be marked by the dative are fulfilled by lexemes which indicate an animate being, and that in the semantic functions marked by ablative few lexemes occur which indicate animate beings. Problems arise with this explanation, however, in the case of the two-place verbs that govern a dative. K.–St. offer the following solution (I.307): `So werden z.B. in legibus paremus die Gesetze ebenso persönlich aufgefasst, wie in regi paremus der König.' [20] However, no independent proof is given for this statement, which, therefore, is not at all convincing.

I conclude that there is no satisfactory synchronic explanation for the specific case governed by two-place verbs (both those verbs which involve ostensible opposition – my group (a) on p. 49 – and others). There are some indications that the Romans, too, considered it an isolated, idiomatic phenomenon that a verb such as uti (`to use') governed the ablative. There are, in fact, `regular' examples of uti + acc. (not in Cicero or Caesar). Attention may also be called to the so-called personal gerundive (utendus, `having to be used'), which the `irregular' verbs share with the regular ones. [21]

(e) Relation between the use of a case in the nuclear predication and in the periphery

The current grammars, striving to assign to each case the smallest possible number (preferably one) of semantic values, equate the use of the ablative with uti and that to mark a peripheral constituent with the semantic function Instrument. Hence, in the case of uti the ablative is called `ablativus instrument;'. Several linguists have already pointed out that the semantic function fulfilled by a lexeme in a certain sentence need not necessarily be attributed to one single, constant semantic value of the case by which this lexeme is marked, since the context in which such a lexeme occurs also contains information (and the lexical meaning plays a role, too). A more upto-date formulation would be: `the ablative is used to mark both obligatory and peripheral constituents with the semantic function Instrument'. Applying this statement to sentences (30) and (31), one could say that eorum beneficio and officio et fide differ syntactically (Complement in the nuclear predication and Adjunct in the periphery, respectively), but have the same semantic function.

(30) multi eorum beneficio perverse uterentur (`Many people profit by their benefactions in a perverse way', Cic. N.D. 3.70)

(31) amici … officio et fide pariuntur (`Friends are made through devotion and faith', Sal. Jug. 10.4)

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This approach is actually defended by some linguists. According to the same line of reasoning, a semantic function Instrument is assumed also with complere (`to fill'). [22] Some semantic functions do, indeed, occur both in the nuclear predication and in the periphery: [23] cf., for instance, (32) and (33) (cf. p. 27), which contain an obligatory ((32)) and a peripheral ((33)) constituent with the function Direction:

(32) quo me miser conferam (Gracchus in Cic. de Orat. 3.214)

(33) quo ambulas tu? (Pl. Am. 341)

It remains to be seen whether eorum beneficio in (30) also has the semantic function Instrument. This is not the case. The ablative constituents in examples (30) and (31) differ from one another according to a number of tests. See also the behaviour of the ablative constituent with potiri (`to get possession of') in (34); here there seem to be even fewer arguments to distinguish a semantic function Instrument:

(34) (Augustus) Alexandrea … brevi potitus est (`A. took A. in a short time', Suet. Aug. 17.3)

(i) Even intuitively it seems strange to assume in (30) and (34) that the italicized constituents have the semantic function Instrument. This also appears from the impossibility to paraphrase the sentences in such a way as to give more prominence to the element of the instrument: cf. the application of the paraphrase with `to make use of' in (30'), (31') and (34'):

(30') * Many people make use of their benefactions in order to use … (?) [24]

(31') People make use of proofs of devotion and faith in order to acquire friends [25]

(34') * Augustus made use of Alexandria in order to conquer …

(ii) Alexandrea in (34) and similar nouns cannot very easily be used as (peripheral) Instrument Adjuncts. Cf. the occurrence of personal names as Complements with uti; this, too, would be impossible in the case of (peripheral) Instrument Adjuncts. [26]

(35) his Fabriciis semper est usus Oppianicus familiarissime (`With these Fabricii Oppianicus has always had a very friendly contact', Cic. Clu. 46)

In other words, there is a difference in the restrictions on the meaning of lexemes which may occur as Complements with this group of verbs, when compared to the restrictions on the group of lexemes which may occur as Adjuncts with the semantic function Instrument.

In (i) and (ii) I have listed some considerations which provide evidence against the assumption of an instrument relation between the Complement and the

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two-place verbs of the group uti, potiri. It is incorrect to explain the ablative with these verbs from the fact that the ablative is used to mark (peripheral) Instrument Adjuncts. Similar objections may be raised against the idea that the dative with verbs like favere should be explained by assuming that the Complement constituents have the semantic function `Beneficiary'. [27]

(f) Restrictions on the meaning of arguments and satellites in relation to the meaning of the predicate

In crosssection 3.2. I pointed out that arguments and satellites can have the same semantic function. I have also noted ( crosssection 3.4.) that in the periphery there is a relation between the semantic function and the lexical meaning of a constituent. Thus, as satellites with the semantic function `Price' (in the grammars, roughly speaking, the ablativus pretii) we will find those words which mean `purchase price'. In this section I will discuss in more detail the relation between lexical meaning and semantic function and the extent to which this relation is determined by the meaning of the predicate. In concrete terms: are there fewer or more restrictions on the meaning of arguments with a semantic function such as Price, Direction, etc. than on the meaning of satellites with this function? I will answer this question with the aid of what the current grammars say about the ablative of value and price. [28] K.-St. (I. 389-90) cite (36)-(39) as examples of the ablative of value and price:

(36) emi virginem triginta minis (`I have bought a woman for 30 minae', Pl. Curc. 344)

(37) (Caelius) conduxit in Palatio non magno domum (`On the Palatine C. rented a house for little money', Cic. Cael. 18)

(38) cum mercede doceret (`Although he taught for money', Cic. de Orat. 1.126)

(39) locavit … omnem (agrum) frumento (`He leased out all the land in exchange for corn', Liv. 27.3.1)

Most verbs with which the ablativus pretii occurs are classified under `to buy', `to sell', `to rent', `to contract out', `to bid' (liceri), but the ablative pretii also occurs with other verbs (as in (38)). With this group of verbs the Price Adjunct can be regarded as omissible. [29]

Also non-omissible constituents, e.g. the Complement with verbs meaning `to cost', are classified under the heading `ablative pretii'. Examples are (40) and (41):

(40) multo sanguine ac volneribus ea Poenis victoria stetit (`That victory cost the P. a lot of blood and injuries', Liv. 23.30.2) [30]

(41) Caesar … edocet, quanto detrimento et quot virorum fortium morte necesse sit constare victoriam (`C. sets forth how much damage and how many deaths of brave men the victory should cost', Caes. Gal. 7.19.4)

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The satellites in (36)-(38) indicate a `value/price' on the basis of the meaning of the nouns; also, with a verb like docere (example (38)) there can be no misunderstanding thanks to the unambiguous meaning of mercede. [31] But within the group of examples given under (36)-(39) some differences may also be pointed out. In example (39) frumento does not indicate unambiguously the `Price' by virtue of its lexical meaning. It is nevertheless interpreted as such, as a result of the meaning of the `commercial' term locare (`to lease out'). [32] Thus also the Adjuncts with emere (`to buy') enjoy a relative freedom from restrictions, though statistically the group of nouns meaning `price' predominates. [33]

(42) quid enim erat quod discessu nostro emendum putaremus? (`What was it I thought had to be bought with my departure?', Cic. Q. fr. 3.8.1)

With a verb such as docere, which does not have a `commercial' meaning, a satellite can only be interpreted as `Price' if it is expressed by a lexeme which indicates a price. Schematically, this can be illustrated as in table 5.7. With Table 5.7 Possible combinations of predication and satellite such that the interpretation `Price' is possiblea
PredicationSatellite
`commercial' noun, etc.`non-commercial' noun, etc.
`Commercial' predicate++
`Non-commercial' predicate+-
+ / -: interpretation `Price' possible/impossible
a The table is organized as a matrix of verb and noun, but a similar representation can be made for a nuclear predication and a peripheral constituent.
verbs meaning `to cost' there are no such restrictions on the meaning of the (obligatory) Complement.

From the discussion of the ablative pretii and table 5.7 we may draw the following conclusions:

- within the nuclear predication the semantic functions are determined by the predicate; therefore, relatively less severe restrictions are necessary on the meaning of lexemes which occur with the predicate in a specific semantic function;

- outside the nuclear predication highly specific lexical characteristics are required in order for a lexeme to be able to fulfil a specific semantic function. We see that for peripheral functions more cases are used than only the ablative (and prepositions). This is perhaps so because on the basis of the

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lexical characteristics a number of lexemes might be able to fulfil more than one semantic function in the periphery.

(g) Accusative and Infinitive (AcI)

By AcI I understand the AcI in the strict sense of the term (cf. crosssection 7.4.2).

(43) quis ignorabat Q. Pompeium fecisse foedus (`Who did not know that Q. P. had concluded a treaty', Cic. Rep. 3.28)

(44) iam tempus est me ipsum a me amari (`It is time for me to love myself', Cic. Att. 4.5.3)

crosssection 7.6.2 will be devoted to the historical explanation of the accusative as mark of the Subject of the AcI. What we are concerned with here is how the fact that the Subject constituent of the AcI is marked by the accusative fits into the synchronic case system. An essential distinguishing feature of the AcI as compared to other embedded predications and main sentences is the lack of explicit marking of the Subject: Predicate relation (agreement in Person and in most cases also Gender and Number). Also, the number of possibilities for the verb form to express tense and mood is limited. The AcI lacks formal markers such as conjunctions, which in the case of `normal', finite subordinate clauses clearly indicate the subordinate position of the clause; yet, there is a clear formal distinction between the AcI and the `main predicate'. Similarly, the clear recognizability of the Subject of the governing verb is guaranteed, since the nominative is not used to mark the Subject of the AcI.

Theoretically speaking, to mark the Subject of the AcI by a case other than the nominative, Latin could use the accusative, the dative, the genitive or the ablative. In reality, however, Latin uses the accusative. From a number of points of view this fits into the case system described (i-iii), but on the other hand, it creates some problems (iv-v). Yet, in the light of the following considerations, the accusative fits into the system better than the other cases.

(i) After the nominative the accusative is the most common case form in the nuclear predication.

(ii) The genitive occupies a clear position in the system as the marker of constituents on the noun phrase level. This distinction is of great importance (see p. 61); the ablative, too, plays a clear role in the system as the marker of satellites; note that it holds for both genitive and ablative that constituents marked by them may occur in the main sentence next to the AcI. Finally, the main function of the dative on the sentence level is to mark the third argument with a group of verbs which is easily identifiable semantically, among which are the communication verbs. It is precisely with these verbs that the AcI is rather frequent.

(iii) The AcI often fulfils the Object function in a predication; this function could also be fulfilled by a noun phrase, which would then be marked by

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the accusative. In many cases, therefore, the accusative is, as it were, left unused.

(iv) The remarks under (iii) do not, of course, hold for verbs such as docere, which govern a double accusative, nor for impersonal verbs, copula + adjective constructions etc., i.e. predicates with which the AcI fulfils the Subject function.

(v) A further problem is posed by the fact that within the embedded predication the formal distinction between Subject and Object (Complement) constituent disappears. How serious this problem is could only be determined on the basis of prose texts written in a not too literary Latin. In K.-St. (I.699-700) the problem is considered relatively inconsequential. 33a Tables 5.1 and 5.2 (pp. 41 and 42) show the number of instances in which the accusative occurs to mark the Subject constituent of an AcI. In only a small minority of instances will this concern a predicate with second or third arguments in the accusative. Exact data are lacking. K.-St. point out that, if the Subject constituent precedes, the presence of two accusatives does not create confusion:

(45) eo se periculo posse liberare eos (`That he could liberate them from that danger', Liv. 23.2.8)

In direct speech, too, the Subject constituent in most cases precedes the Object/Complement constituent. Furthermore, K.-St. mention passivization as a means of avoiding ambiguity (does the passive predominate indeed in cases of possible ambiguity?), while the context may also serve to shed some light on the matter. This is, for instance, the case in example (46):

(46) totiens te senatum … adisse supplicem (`That the senate has so often turned to you as a suppliant', Cic. Ver. 5.21)

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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