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In: Hommage à Milman Parry


The paper is divided in three main sections, which can be summarized as follows:

a) The traditional treatment of the accusative in Greek grammar is open to some objections, mainly in that its semantic functions are established on the basis of an intuitive analysis of the meaning that relates the lexeme in the accusative to its governing constituent.

b) Coordination, apposition, and juxtaposition between accusative and non-accusative forms offer a reliable criterion to determine the semantic function this case form fulfils. With their aid, the Homeric accusative case can be proved to denote the semantic functions overtly expressed by some prepositional phrases (Extent, Direction, and Cause), by the genitive and dative cases, by the infinitive and by some types of embedded predications. The exact function of the accusative case in each context, among those which it is able to designate, is determined by its lexeme and that of the governing constituent.

c) The nominative and accusative cases share some properties as to which both the genitive and dative cases behave in a different way. In the case of the nominative, such properties are agreed to be a consequence of its being the formal mark to denote the syntactic function Subject. With regard to the accusative case, such properties may be captured under the term Object in the description of Greek grammar.

In: In the Footsteps of Raphael Kühner