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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

ACCUSATIVE CASE

386. The Accusative originally served to connect the noun more or less loosely with the verb-idea, whether expressed by a verb proper or by a verbal noun or adjective. Its earliest use was perhaps to repeat the verb-idea as in the Cognate Accusative (run a race, fight a battle, see § 390). From this it would be a short step to the Factitive Accusative (denoting the result of an act, as in make a table, drill a hole, cf. § 273 . N.1). From this last could easily come the common accusative (of Affecting, break a table, plug a hole, see § 387. a). Traces of all these uses appear in the language, and the loose connection of noun with verb-idea is seen in the use of stems in composition (cf. § 265 .3).1 It is impossible, however, to derive the various constructions of the accusative with certainty from any single function of that case.

The uses of the accusative may be classified as follows:

I. Primary Object: 1. Directly affected by the Action (§ 387. a).
2. Effect of the Action Thing produced (§ 387. a). Cognate Accusative (§ 390 ).
II. Two Accusatives: 1. Predicate Accusative (Of Naming etc.) (§ 393).
2. Of Asking or Teaching (§ 396).
3. Of Concealing (§ 396. c).
III. Idiomatic Uses: 1. Adverbial (§ 397. a).
2. Of Specification (Greek Accusative) (§ 397. b).
3. Of Extent and Duration (§§ 423, 425).
4. Of Exclamation (§ 397. d).
5. Subject of Infinitive (§ 397. e).

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Notes
1
Compare armiger , armor-bearer , with arma gerere , to bear arms; fidicen , lyre-player , with fidibus canere , to (play on) sing to the lyre. Compare also istanc tāctiō (Plaut.), the [act of] touching her , with istanc tangere , to touch her (§ 388 . d. N.2).