pugio bruti p.L

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Interestingly, one of my Latin grammars doesn't mention a dative of reference, but gives similar examples under a "dative of interest" which it classes as a type of indirect object.
The non-English-speaking world calls it dativus commodi.

It still exists in Italian.
It also exists in ... English.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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The non-English-speaking world calls it dativus commodi.
In English it can also be called dative of advantage or dative of disadvantage (depending on the context).
It also exists in ... English.
Hmm... Are you thinking of things like "bake me a cake" or "sing me a song"? In any case, where French and, I guess, other Romance languages come closer to Latin is that the construction is commonly used there when body parts are involved: elle lui a cassé le bras, bracchium ei fregit, she broke him the arm, i.e. she broke his arm. Can you put it that way in German too, actually? I know that in German one washes oneself the hands, for instance, just as on se lave les mains in French. That's basically the same construction as in bracchium ei fregit, even though when it comes to washing one's hands in Latin the most usual way to go is without any dative or genitive, just manus lavare.
 

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Hmm... Are you thinking of things like "bake me a cake" or "sing me a song"?
Yes. The ethical dative is essentially the same phenomenon. English may have cut short in this construction, but it hasn't lost it completely. And it's still productive.

Can you put it that way in German too, actually?
Yes. It's I have broken me the arm German ... or I have me the arm broken to be more precise.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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Yes. It's I have broken me the arm German ... or I have me the arm broken to be more precise.
Is it the same if it's someone else's arm as in my Latin and French examples?
 

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Is it the same if it's someone else's arm as in my Latin and French examples?
Yes.
I have her the arm broken.
I have her in the face slapped. (<-- this one actually exists in English as well, which was my point)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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I have her in the face slapped. (<-- this one actually exists in English as well, which was my point)
Well, there "her" is a direct object, at least in English.
 

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If English had free-range datives, it would be a dative.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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It feels like a direct object to me. "Her" is the person you slapped, the direct object of "slapped", and "in the face" just specifies where in her body you slapped her.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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It's accusative in French: je l'ai frappée au visage (not lui).
 

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That's – as I said – simply because English has no indirect objects without direct ones.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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I'm not sure I follow you reasoning here. "Her" is clearly the direct object in "I slapped her".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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I'm not sure I follow you reasoning here. "Her" is clearly the direct object in "I slapped her".
I don't doubt that it's a direct object in Modern English. I was questioning whether it was one historically. But if OE treated it with the accusative, I suppose it is.

Is folgian constructed with the accusative or with the dative?

Do you say "Je l'ai persuadé" in French or "Je lui ai persuadé"?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't doubt that it's a direct object in Modern English. I was questioning whether it was one historically.
I didn't get that. It looked to me as if you were arguing that it was still a dative of disadvantage/reference.

I don't know if Old English has any verb meaning "slap" that takes the dative. The verb "slap" itself is later.
Is folgian constructed with the accusative or with the dative?
It can take either.
Do you say "Je l'ai persuadé" in French or "Je lui ai persuadé"?
The former.
 

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It can take either.

The former.


That's what I mean. It takes a direct object now but was probably constructed with an indirect object originally.

I didn't get that. It looked to me as if you were arguing that it was still a dative of advantage/reference.

I don't know if Old English has any verb meaning "slap" that takes the dative. The verb "slap" itself is much later, and has probably always taken a direct object.
How do you say ei bracchium fregit in OE?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
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That's what I mean. It takes a direct object now but was probably constructed with an indirect object originally.
It could already take the accusative in Old English (both constructions are found, as I said) but I agree the construction with the dative is probably earlier.

I would never deny that some verbs that originally took the dative later changed to take the accusative, but the issue seems only tangentially related to the original discussion.
How do you say ei bracchium fregit in OE?
I don't remember if the construction with the dative exists there, but it could be.
 

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Civis Illustris
but the issue seems only tangentially related to the original discussion.
It was only relevant for my claim that Modern English doesn't have indirect objects in the absence of a direct one, anymore, while OE still did.

The change of accusative to dative when a prepositional object comes into play seems to be something restricted to German :/ Or to High German even.
 
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