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oblique cases ??

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oblique cases ??

Postby hlawson38 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:27 am

Please check this definition: all noun cases minus nominative case = oblique cases.
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby truks » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:16 am

I don't think the vocative is an oblique case either, since nouns in the vocative aren't objects of a verb or preposition.
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:21 pm

truks wrote:I don't think the vocative is an oblique case either, since nouns in the vocative aren't objects of a verb or preposition.


That's an interesting question. Oblique case means any case which differs from the nominative, so in the case of nouns whose vocative is different, e.g. Marcus/Marce, I think it would be considered oblique. The terminology comes from the ancient grammarians, who saw the nominative as the base, and the remaining cases as "at an angle" from the nominative. Really it's the genitive that gives us the stem to which all the endings are attached...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Semper melius Latine sonat...
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby Timothée » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:32 pm

It’s probably best not to include vocative amongst oblique cases, although it’s obviously a matter of definition. Already Anacreon mentions the three oblique cases. Donatus says there are two casus recti, the rest being oblique.

If vocative isn’t counted amongst cases (which happened not infrequently), then we can of course accept Barry’s definition of an oblique case. This could well be where the idea of nominative being the only casus rectus arises—I haven’t delved into the question, however.

Also Indian grammar tradition left vocative aside. We can see this for instance in Pāṇini: vocative was counted as an “appendix” of nominative. It did have a name of its own, but the “real” cases were named after ordinal numerals.
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby hlawson38 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:02 am

Thanks to Timothée and Barry Hofstetter for the comments on oblique cases. As I searched the web for grammar help, I kept running into this phrase. Hence the query.
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby mwh » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:52 am

It’s not quite right to say that Anacreon mentions the three oblique cases. He uses three cases of the same name in anaphora.

Romans grammarians called oblique cases oblique because Greek grammarians called them πλαγιαι (as distinct from ορθη).

I can’t say offhand whether the vocative was regarded as an oblique case, but I expect it was.

EDIT. Yes, it seems so. Apollonius Dyscolus περι συνταξεως 36.2, in the context of dispute over whether σύ is nominative or vocative (as Tryphon held): Ἀλλ’ εἰ καθὸ δεύτερον πρόσωπον, διὰ τοῦτο κλητική, οὐδὲν κωλύει
καὶ τὰς ὑπολοίπους τῶν πλαγίων κατὰ δεύτερον πρόσωπον κλητικὰς εἶναι· καθάπερ οὖν ἐκεῖναι ἀντ’ ὀνομάτων ἐν πλαγίᾳ πτώσει κεκλιμένων παρελήφθησαν, οὕτως καὶ ἡ σύ ἀντ’ εὐθείας.
(“But if it’s vocative by virtue of its being 2nd person, there’s nothing to stop the remainder of the 2nd-person obliques too being vocative. …” My transl. and itals.) I haven't investigated further.

So there’s another thread for the grammatically minded among you. Is σύ (or Latin tu) nominative or vocative? Beware of facile answers anticipated by your ancient predecessors.

PS. Fun fact. I have just learnt what presumably Timothée and Paul already know, that in Hergé’s Tintin comics the character I and my children know as Professor Calculus is actually Professeur Tryphon Tournesol.
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Re: oblique cases ??

Postby Timothée » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:38 am

So another turn in the tale. Actually I probably expected this in some half-repressed thoughts. But at least Donatus thinks vocative is a casus rectus (“Duo recti appellantur nominatiuus et uocatiuus, reliqui obliqui”). I read the reference to Anacreon in Schwyzer’s grammar (in both volumes 1¹ and 2²), but may have been too straightforward.

Dickey (1996 & 2002) refers to Hélène Vairel’s article (1986) which Dickey cites as follows: tu is “toujours et exclusivement un nominatif” (when Vairel studied “apparent vocative uses” of tu).

We have quite excellent Tintin translations into Finnish, but (nowadays) I do prefer reading them in French. This is an example of how R. G. (or his mind) worked.

¹ S. 6: Schon lange vorher waren aber die Anfänge der landläufigen praktischen Grammatik begründet worden; die Reihe der drei πτώσεις πλάγιαι (casus obliqui) reicht ins Ionien des 6. Jahrh. zurürck — —. Footnote: An Anakreon 3 (Diehl) nachgewiesen von Mahlow, NW 212 und bes. Sittig, Das Alter der Anordnung unserer Kasus und der Ursprung ihrer Bezeichnung als „Fälle“. Stuttgart 1931 (Tübinger Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft 13) S. 25 f.
² S. 54: Schon ein dreizeiliges Gedicht des Anakreon (6. Jahrh. v. Chr.) setzt Kenntnis der wirklichen πτώσεις (πλάγιαι) in der Reihenfolge Genitiv, Dativ, Akkusativ voraus.

EDIT. Σύ nominative or vocative: Dickey 1996:24—25 does say that for instance in Hdt. 1,115,2³ it could be interpreted as either bound or free form of address. However, none of the uses of σύ is indubitably free form of address and it is never preceded by ὦ in her data. Dickey says earlier (p. 5) that “[i]n Greek, this distinction of between free and bound forms corresponds fairly closely to the distinction between vocatives and non-vocatives”. So there does appear to be a tendency towards non-vocativeness of σύ (and other pronouns), but the difficulty of the question is best not underrated.

³Σὺ δὴ ἐὼν τοῦδε τοιούτου ἐόντος παῖς ἐτόλμησας τὸν τοῦδε παῖδα ἐόντος πρώτου παρ’ ἐμοὶ ἀεικείῃ τοιῇδε περισπεῖν;
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