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

It is commonly assumed that in Indo-European languages prepositions (and postpositions) have developed from adverbs which were added to specify the information given by the cases. [47] The development from adverbs to prepositions may be illustrated schematically as follows:

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In many languages examples may be found of the development of prepositions from adverbs. Assuming this development does not necessarily mean – as is often assumed – that at one stage there were no prepositions or postpositions and only cases. The main objection against this assumption is that among the languages known to us there are hardly any examples of languages without pre- or postpositions and with cases. Even languages with highly complex case systems – such as Hungarian and Tabassaran- have prepositions. In other words, the postulated structure is typologically unattractive. It is, on the other hand, not unlikely that in a preliminary stage of Latin cases were more important in marking the relation between constituents than were prepositions. [48]

For (Classical) Latin prepositions are often seen as a means of specifying the alleged semantic value of the cases. In support of this view linguists often refer to two phenomena, viz. (i) the existence of prepositions which govern two cases with a semantic difference, and (ii) the occurrence of verbs with which the preposition seems optional (liberare).

(i) With the prepositions in and sub we find two cases:

- venire in + acc. (urbem) indicates direction (`to come into the city')

- habitare in + abl. (urbe) indicates location (`to live in the city')

Many scholars explain this synchronic phenomenon by taking the preposition as a specification of a semantic difference whose essence is already inherent in the case forms involved. This explanation does not, however, hold for intra.

- venire intra + acc. (urbem) indicates direction (`to come within the city')

- habitare intra + acc. (urbem) indicates location (`to live within the city')

Cf. also ante murum and pro muro (`before the wall'). [49]

(ii) With a number of three-place verbs we find Complement constituents marked either by the ablative or by a preposition + ablative. [50] Cf. examples (80) and (81):

(80) te a quartana liberatum gaudeo (`I am glad that you have recovered from the fever, Cic. Att. 10.15.4)

(81) febri quartana liberatus est (`He has recovered from the fever, Plin. Nat. 7.166)

Instances of this type are quite often considered to offer proof for the general hypothesis that prepositions specify semantic relations already given in the

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case form itself. In the preceding section (pp. 53–4) I have already proposed that it is not very useful to say that the `separative' relation present in example (81) is localised in the case form, since the separative relation is inherent in the meaning of liberare. Nor is it useful to take a(b) in example (80) as a `specification' of the semantic value of the case. The two expressions, rather, seem to be synonymous, [51] the meaning of the preposition a(b) corresponding exactly to the semantic relation expressed at any rate by liberare. In this connection it is remarkable that we find hardly any other prepositions which indicate a slightly different kind of specification of the `separative' relation: the construction with ab has to a high degree become a set phrase. [52] Rather than drawing from examples (80) and (81) the general conclusion that prepositions are specifications of relations marked in themselves by the case, it is much more interesting to observe that verbs like liberare apparently allow the `separative relation' to be implicit or explicit. In both cases the noun phrase happens to be marked by the ablative. [53] Conversely, there are examples of preposition + case X competing with a different case Y. Cf.

(77) aliquam partem de istius impudentia

(82) ne residere in te ullam partem iracundiae suspicemur (`Lest we suspect the presence in your heart of some element of anger', Cic. Deiot. 8)

The genitive is, as we have seen, the pre-eminent case for the noun phrase level; the same formal marking allows a large number of semantic relations, according to the lexical meanings of Head and Attribute. The so-called `partitive' relation present in the examples cited here is made explicit by the preposition de (+ abl.). [54] Cf. also the competition on the sentence level for marking of the Addressee between the dative and ad + acc.: [55]

(83) tibi … praetor … palam dicit (`The praetor openly tells you', Cic. Quinct. 85)

(84) ad eos (deos) is deus … fatur (`To those gods this god says', Cic. Tim. 40; translated from the Greek)

Generally speaking, we may say that in a number of instances in which the semantic relation is sufficiently clear on the basis of the lexical meaning(s) there was a choice between a so-called `analytical' expression with the aid of a semantically related preposition + the case governed by this preposition and a so-called `synthetic' expression marked only by a case form. Sometimes, e.g. in the case of liberare, the case forms in the `analytical' and the `synthetical' expressions are identical. As is known, the analytical expression has been generalized in the development of the Romance languages. [56]

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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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