Ethic(al) dative (was: Polysynthetic Languages)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, September 28, 2003, 6:13|
On Friday, September 26, 2003, at 09:02 , Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> En réponse à Pablo David Flores :
>> Isn't it the "ethical dative" discussed here some time ago?
> Exactly :) .
>> I've never heard of a conlang with an "ethical dative". In some
>> of my conlangs there are particles or affixes that indicate
>> such things as emotional involvement (in Stálág they're called
> Maggel has it nearly for sure :)) . I think another conlang of mine has
> it too, but I don't remember which one and I'm too lazy to check my notes
> :))) . Probably Narbonese (as a Romance language, it has to have it! :)))
Presumably because Latin had it also :-)
It's only found with pronouns, as in the modern Romance langs also -
mainly, but not exclusively 2nd person; there are example of 'mihi' used
this way. It's predominantly a feature of more colloquial Latin; hence
books tend to quote examples from Plautus. But there are examples in
later authors. It's survival till the present day in the Romance langs
shows this usage to have an unbroken history of some two and half
millennia at least!
It is also found in ancient Greek with pronouns; so I guess this use was
even more ancient in mediterranean IE langs than the surviving examples in
I learnt the term as "ethic dative" way back in the late 1950s. I note
books I have seem to very between "ethical" and "ethic" when describing
this use of the dative.