[Ads-l] Loss of the English dative

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 10 03:15:29 UTC 2015

Seems to be a confusion over terminology. Use of <dative> in Indo-European
studies is different modern theoretical use of the word <dative>. In IES,
<dative> is two or three paradigmatic slots filled by words from various
declensions; it is a <case> covering a number of functions, with a specific
set of suffixes. Modern use seems to give it a strictly benefactive
function, regardless of form. (This seems to be true of all modern
borrowings of Classical terminology, which makes life so exciting.) Then
when you throw in eighteenth-century English grammar terms, we know that we
still haven't all agreed upon a common metalanguage to discuss language.

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

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