[Ads-l] dative & accusitive prepositions

Tue Feb 10 00:49:28 UTC 2015

> > "Him," "them," and " 'em" are also historical datives. In the Slavic
> > languages, this -m still marks the dative.
>And even closer, in German (dem, einem, )

And (in both languages) aren't they also
accusative markers?  "I gave him <something>"
"I hit him".  I won't attempt the analog in German.



IIRC, German has some prepositions with fixed cases regardless of the situation of the phrase in which they are used;
{aus bei mit nach zeit von zu gegenuber} all use dative all the time,
{durch fur gegen ohne um entlang} all use accusitive, and 
{an auf hinter in neben uber unter vor zwichen} vary depending on the case involved.
(This goes way back to highschool - did I get them right?)

'With' in English can be fun, as in: "I fought with my brother." 
With no other information most people will think he and I were opponents.
But if I say "I fought with my brother in the war," people will feel imaging were united against our enemy, except if we mean a particular civil war or internal insurrection notorious for sharply divided ideologies overriding familial relationships. Then they might gingerly inquire. German would expect 'gegen' ('against') if my brother were also my opponent.

'Vid' and 'med' in Swedish both mean 'with,' with 'vid' meaning in opposition and 'med' meaning in union.

They all lack a good ablative case, wherein I say I fought with my brother against some large beast, but after several solid hits on the critter my brother started feeling a little too pulpy to get the job done, so I put him aside and picked up a large sledge hammer, and fought the beast to the finish with that instead.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list