Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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5.2.5 The use of cases on the noun and adjective phrase level

In table 5.1 on p. 41 it may be seen that the genitive is pre-eminently the case used to mark constituents on the noun and adjective phrase level. This holds especially for constituents which function as Attributes to another noun phrase (type domus patris, `the house of the/my father'). Exceptions as in example (47), with an accusative Attribute hanc rem, are statistically negligible:

(47) quid tibi hanc curatiost rem? (`What have you got to do with this matter?', Pl. Am. 519)

The Head noun and the noun phrase functioning as Attribute may be related semantically in many ways. In this connection, the grammars distinguish a large number of different `genitives' (gen. materiae, possessivus, partitivus, etc.). In reality these labels are just as superfluous as those we will see below in

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the case of the ablative. The semantic relation is not determined by the `type of genitive', but by the meaning of the lexemes involved. [34]

In adjective phrases the genitive as case marker of the constituent depending on the adjective is less predominant. As for obligatory constituents depending on adjectives, note that there is a certain regularity in the case marking of arguments of adjectives and of semantically related verbs. Examples are:

liber/liberare + abl.

(48) animus … omni est liber cura et angore (`A mind is free from every form of worry and fear', Cic. Fin. 1.49)

memor/memini + gen.

(49) se eorum facti memorem fore (`That he would remember what they had done', Caes. Civ. 1.13.5)

This is similar to the regularity mentioned under (c) on p. 51. It is not at all surprising to find a similarity between adjectives and verbs: adjectives, too, can combine with a copula to form a Predicate and the semantic functions are the same.

Optional constituents with adjectives often have the same case that is used to express a comparable semantic relation on the sentence level. An example is the accusative with adjectives which indicate a distance or dimension (for examples see K.-St. I.282):

(50) clausi lateribus pedem altis (`Closed off by sides a foot high', Sal. Hist. fr. 4.79)

(51) negat umquam se a te … pedem discessisse (`He says that he has never moved one foot from your side', Cic. Deiot. 42)

Compare also the so-called ablative of respect (or: ablativus limitationis), of which examples can be found in K.-St. I. 392:

(52) non … tota re, sed … temporibus errasti (`You did not make a mistake with regard to the case as a whole, but in the circumstances', Cic. Phil. 2.23)

(53) quidam … voce absoni (`Certain people with a terrible voice', Cic. de Orat. 1.115)

It is, of course, due to similarities of this type that authors of grammars have decided to treat adjectives and verbs together, not paying any attention to the difference between sentence level and adjective phrase level. The genitive-case marker of the noun phrase level par excellence-is in all these cases predictably found as a competing construction, especially in poetry: [35]

(54) libera fortunae mors est (`Death knows no fortune', Luc. 7.818)

(55) alta novem pedum (`Nine feet high', Col. 8.14.1)

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(56) celer nandi (`A rapid swimmer', Sil. 4.585)

The fact that the genitive also occurs as a competitor in cases where there was sufficient semantic support for other case forms proves how fundamental the opposition between noun phrase level and sentence level was within the system. See also the following section and the reference to recent studies by Plank (1979a; 1979b).

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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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