Synechdochical Accusative

One of the more idiomatic uses of the Latin accusative is a part for whole construction, the synechdochical (συνεκδοχή) accusative, wherein the accusative subject specifies the range of the verb or adjective. This is also called the Greek Accusative, or the Accusative of Specification.

  • Caput nectentur: they shall be bound at the head.
  • Nūda genū fuit: she was bare to the knees.
  • Femur trāgulā ictus vēnit: he arrived wounded in the thigh by a dark.

The Essential AG: 397b

The Vocative Case: Syntax

The Vocative is the case of direct address, and may be interspersed with other cases in poetic language.

  • Tiberīne pater, tē, sāncte, precor: O father Tiber, to thee, holy one, I pray. ( is the accusative object)
  • Rēs omnis mihi tēcum erit, Hotensī: My whole attention will be devoted to you, Hortensius.

Where a noun is placed in apposition to a vocative with the imperative, it may be apposited in the nominative.

  • Audī tū, populus Albānus: hear, though people of Alba.

Where the implied subject is or vōs, a vocative adjective may take the place of a vocative noun.

  • Quō moritūre ruis: where are you rushing off to die?
  • Cēnsōrem trabeāte salūtās: robed, you salute the censor.

The Essential AG: 340a-b

The Vocative Case: Declension

A&G define the vocative as “the case of Direct Address.” (35f)

Generally speaking, the vocative and the nominative are the same.

However, in certain nouns of the second declension (those with nominative -us or -ius) have two exceptional variations. All nouns in -us feature an -e in the vocative (mūrus…mūre). Those ending in -ius (Vergilius, fīlius, genius, etc.) take a vocative  (Vergilī, filī, genī).

  • [Highly attentive readers should note that this vocative does not shift its accent, rendering Vergílī, and not *Vérgilī, as one might expect.]

That’s how it stands for nouns. There’s a slight variation in policy for adjectives, though luckily the same general rule (same as the nominative) holds true for all but the second declension (bonus…bone). However, the one catch is that adjectives ending in -ius change to -ie and not . Therefore, when calling to a Spartan son, we might say O fīlī Lacedaemonie! (not *Lacedaemonī).

If anyone has a better understanding of vocative plurals, which I assume are all identical to their nominative forms, feel free to say more in the comments below. A&G are totally silent on this issue, which I assume signals that listing the vocatives would be redundant (with respect to the nominatives).

The Essential AG: 38a

Objects Direct and Indirect

Pardon the vacation, everyone. I’ve spent the last week cramming for and completing the GRE.

Direct Objects are “immediately affected by the action of a verb” within a standard sentence.

  • Direct objects always follow transitive verbs

Indirect Objects are less than immediately affected by the action of the verb

  • This definition captures the indirect sensibility of genitive and ablative indirect objects, which are not your standard ‘recipient of gift’ phenomena
  • Indirect objects are immediately affected by the milieu of a subject-verb-direct object ‘unit’, regardless of whether this ‘unit’ states all parts explicitly
  • Indirect objects may therefore follow transitive or intransitive verbs

The accusative is the case proper to direct objects, yet an English sentence containing a direct object, where translated to Latin, may feature the other cases as well.
Direct and Indirect in Latin

The following sentences, in English, all feature ‘girl’ as direct object, yet in Latin receive either direct or indirect variations, dependent on the particular syntax of the Latin verb:

  • puellam videō: I see the girl.
  • puellae serviō: I serve the girl. (dative, indirect)
  • puellae misereor: I pity the girl. (genitive, indirect)
  • puellā ūtor: I make use of the girl. (ablative, indirect)

Note that the dative usage holds the regular ‘recipient of gift’ formula that we’d imagine in English, yet the genitive and ablative examples feature non-active verbs, which couldn’t take any object in English without a preposition.

Indeed, the conservative structure of Latin syntax allows Latin to omit many English prepositions when constructing subject-verb-direct object units:

  • petit aprum: he aims at the boar.
  • laudem affectat: he strives for praise.

Where the direct object/subject transition, in English, requires a preposition, Latin merely requires a shift in case:

  • pater fīlium vocat: the father calls his son
  • fīlius patre vocātur: the son is called by his father

The Essential AG: 274-5

The Locative Case (p2)

Again, I’ve grown curious about the Locative, so now that I’ve discussed how to form it, I’d like to pick through all the ways to use it. A&G have no single section on the case; they drizzle it throughout the grammar.

Where’d It Come From?

Here’s a story of three cases: there were originally the ablative (case from where), the instrumental (case how or by what) and the locative (case whereat).

  • The instrumental and the locative were eventually absorbed, leaving the ablative to denote both instrument and location
  • However, there are still a few handfuls of words which retain an archaic locative
  • Compare it to the way that certain English words (who/whom, he/his/him) still take case endings, despite the near non-existence of visible cases within modern English

Things look trickier with the dative cause. Some argue that dative is directly related to or descended from the locative, where it originally noted the place to which. I’m no master of historical Latin linguistics, so this is all the research I’m going to bother with.

  • Suffice it to say: the locative has a historical relationship with the dative and the ablative

Locative Adverbs

The following adverbs are all archaic locatives: ubi, where; hīc, here; ibi, there; illī, there; peregrī, abroad; prīdiē, yesterday; hōdiē, today; postrīdiē, tomorrow; perendiē, the day after tomorrow

Locative in Apposition

The locative may be placed in apposition to an ablative

  • They halted at Alba, a fortified town: Albae cōnstitērunt, in urbe mūnītā.


Mind and Soul

The archaic animī are mentis are common locatives.

  • Antipho tortures my mind: Antiphō mē excruciat animī.
  • She is in suspense: animī pendet.
  • My mind deceives me: mē animī fallit.
  • I was out of my mind: dēsipiēbam mentis.
  • He is sound of mind and heart: sānus mentis et animī est.

Exhausitve List of Ablative

A&G appears to offer an exhaustive list of all remaining locatives in section 427.3. However, elsewhere they imply that you could make a locative of any word using the basic rules of formation. I don’t know whether Romans did or did not freely form the locative where they needed it (for place names). I’m not sure A&G do either.

The list:

Rōmae, at Rome; Rhodī, at Rhodes; Samī, at Samos; Tīburī/Tībure, at the Tibur; Philippīs, at Philippi; domī/domuī, at home; Athēnīs, at Athens; Lānuvī, at Lanuvium; Cyprī, at Cyprus; Cūribus, at Cures; Capreīs, at Capri; rūrī, in the country; bellī, at war; mīlitae, at war; humī, on the ground; vesperī/vespere, in the evening; forīs, outdoors, animī, in the soul, mentis, in the mind; temperī, at a time; herī/here, yesterday; īnfēlīcī arborī, on the barren tree; terrā marīque, by land and sea

If the list is short a few words, these may be the locative adverbs mentioned above.

But… that’s it? I suppose if you wrote these out five times you would have an entire case memorized.

The Essential AG: (again, scattered) 215.5; 282d; 358; 398; 421; 426.3; 427a

Famous Phrase: nec mē animī fallit quam sint obscūra [nor am I deceived by how dark it is]

Lucretius, Dē Rērum Natūrā 1.922

(he’s discussing the intimidating depth of the universe–a fear which study overcomes)

The Locative Case (p1)

My last post left me curious about the precise use and character of the Locative case, so I took to milling around A&G for just about every line I could find on the matter. There’s more than the might imagine for a case so rare–

Let’s start with the formation of the locative case (post 1) and then I’ll search out all the things we can do with it (post 2).

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Formation for First Declension

singular genitive; plural dative

(Rōmae; Athēnīs)

[remember that only place names which are already plural, like Athēnae, will appear with a plural locative]

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Formation for Second Declension

singular genitive; plural dative

[Corinthī; Philippīs]

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Formation for Third Declension

singular dative or ablative (-ī or -e); plural dative

[Carthāginī or Carthāgine; Trallibus]

__________________

Formation for Fourth Declension

The only locative offered by A&G is that for domus, house: it’s either domī or domuī

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Formation of the Fifth Declension

Here, the locative only appears in a few fixed expressions of time, where it always ends in the singular ablative:

hodiē, today; diē quārtō (etc.), on the fourth day; postrīdiē, tomorrow; perendiē, the day after tomorrow; prīdiē, yesterday

Review

1 —> gen/dat; 2 —> gen/dat; 3 —> dat or abl/dat; 4&5 —> just a few words!

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The Essential AG: (scattered, I know) 43c; 49a; 80; 93 n1; 98b

Famous Phrase: in locō parentis [in place the parent]

This is a legal term describing a state of non-parent custody of children; a teacher or your aunt (while you’re staying at her cottage) are in locō parentis figures

Cases and Relations of Place: Homes and Hometowns

Summary of Forms

There are particular rules for relations of place associated with the proper names of (i) cities and (ii) islands, as well as the words (iii) domus and (iv) rūs [the countryside]

  • The place from which uses the ablative 
  • The place to which uses the accusative
  • The place at which uses the locative
  • no prepositions!

Again, this system of relations of place and case forms is distinct from the archetypes discussed in this earlier post.

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Review of the Locative

In the first and second declensions (think Eurōpa and Ephesus), the locative is:

  • identical to the genitive in the singular (Eurōpae, Ephesī)
  • identical to the dative in the plural (Eurōpīs, Ephesīs)

In the third (and I assume fourth and fifth?) declension (think Carthāgō), the locative is:

  • identical to the dative in singular and plural (Carthāginī or Carthāgine, Carthāginibus)

[note the the plural of all these examples are superfluous–plural datives only apply to place names that are already plural, such as Philippī –> Philippīs]

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Place to Which (abl.)

He was absent from Rome: Rōmā abfuit.

He left home yesterday: prīdiē domō abiit.

Place from Which (acc.)

She arrived in Rome on the sixth day: Rōmam sextō diē vēnit.

I will go into the country: rūs ībō.

They will sail from Delos (abl.) to Rhodes (acc.): Dēlō Rhodum nāvigābunt.

Place at Which (loc.)

There are three hundred statues at Samos: Samī trecenta signa sunt.

The temple had been at Athens: Athēnīs aedem erat.

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The Essential AG: 427

Famous Phrase : ūnus papa Rōmae, ūnus portus Ancōnae, ūna turris Crēmōnae, una ceres Rācōnae

(one pope in Rome, one port in Ancona, one tower in Cremona, one beer in Rakovnik)

[motto of the Rakovnik Brewery]

Ok, not so famous, and dripping with neo-Latinisms, but it’s got a lot of locatives!