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In Latin, attributive adjectives agree with their head noun in case, number and gender. g. g. tristis (masc. ) triste (neuter)). Where an adjective makes more distinctions than the noun it modifies, an insuperable problem arises for a description based directly on distinct case forms. The word form dominae, for instance, can be genitive or dative. 2), there is no way of determining whether the adjective should be genitive tristis or dative trist ı¯, yet only one of these will be appropriate to the syntactic context.

De Carvalho also notes that the accusative in Latin is used out of context (1982: 257ff, 1985). He sees the nominative in more positive terms as the case in which one expresses the protagonist (1982: 248, 263). A curious fact about the nominative is its neglect in grammars of the classical languages. It is true that it has fewer functions and is used in a smaller range of syntactic contexts than any of the oblique cases, but it tends to be dismissed cursorily. Woodcock 1959, in a fairly detailed treatment of the Latin case system, omits it altogether.

The naming of this case has been attributed to Julius Caesar (Sittig 1931: 1). The label accusative is a mistranslation of the Greek aitiatik¯e pt¯osis which refers to the patient of an action caused to happen (aitia ‘cause’). BC) is responsible for the term and he appears to have been influenced by the other meaning of aitia, namely ‘accusation’ (Robins 1967: 35, Calboli 1972: 100). Case systems of the type represented by Latin and Ancient Greek present two major problems for description. One is the problem of distinguishing the cases; the other is the problem of describing their meaning and function.

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A grammar of the Turkish language by Thomas Vaughan


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