pugio bruti p.L

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The change of accusative to dative when a prepositional object comes into play
I'm not sure I understand correctly what you mean. Are you referring to prepositions that originally took the accusative (or did so for some meanings) and changed to the dative?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Oh, I see, you probably mean things like "her" becoming a dative if a prepositional phrase like "in the face" is added.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I'm not sure I understand correctly what you mean. Are you referring to prepositions that originally took the accusative (or did so for some meanings) and changed to the dative?
There are a lot of German verbs that are actually transitive ... but the accusative object becomes a dative if a prepositional phrase is attached -- possibly in analogy with the typical ditransitive pattern. Or in analogy to intransitive verbs ... no idea.

Er schlägt mich -- Er schlägt mir ins Gesicht.
Sie streichelt mich -- Sie streichelt mir über die Wange.
Der Hund beißt mich -- Der Hund beißt mir ins Bein.
Er haut mich -- Er haut mir auf den Kopf.
Sie tritt mich -- Sie tritt mir in die Eier.

It doesn't seem to work with all German verbs, though. ("Er kann mich im Arsche lecken" - Goethe)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's trochaically put; other than that the poetry in it is discreet.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
The actual German expression is "Leck mich am Arsch."
The dative -e gives it an archaic touch and the use of the preposition "im" is rather unique.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ah, I see.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I have to admit that the metre hadn't occurred to me, though.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It didn't to me, either, until you said it was poetically put.
 

Clemens

Member
I see what point is being made about the dative of reference in English, in phrases like bake me a cake, but you would never say, for example, I washed my (or myself) the hands nor He broke me the table. The second one, if it were ever uttered, would imply the breaking of the table was for my benefit but it would never mean the table belonged to me. In some dialects you do hear "dative" pronouns being used in ways that sound odd from the point of view of standard English, like I need to write me a list. I wonder if it represents earlier usage.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
The second one, if it were ever uttered, would imply the breaking of the table was for my benefit but it would never mean the table belonged to me.
A dativus commodi doesn't imply possession, either.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, it usually does at least when body parts are involved, but generally speaking, indeed, it doesn't necessarily imply possession. Possession is only inferred from context and isn't necessarily there.
 
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