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Double Accusative Construction

A. Identification and Semantics 1. The double accusative construction is one of the substantival uses of the accusative. 2. Sometimes verbs require more than one object to complete their meaning. 3. Indeed, if one count space and time, 3 accusatives are possible. 4. In the Sanskrit it is very common to have 2 accusatives with one verb. 5. When one recalls that the accusative is the old and normal case with transitive verbs, it is not surprising that some verbs use 2 accusatives, just as many transitive verbs have an accusative and a dative, an accusative and an ablative, an accusative and an instrumental, an accusative and a genitive. 6. This double accusative is common in Homer and a multiplicity of accusatives is a characteristic of Pindars style. 7. It is a common idiom in the papyri also and it is not unknown in Latin and English. 8. It is very common in Modern Greek, going beyond the ancient idiom. 9. Perhaps the simplest kind of a double accusative is what is called the predicate accusative, really a sort of apposition. 10. There are two types of double accusative constructions: a. Person and thing b. Object-complement 11. An object-complement double accusative is a construction in which one accusative substantive is the direct object of the verb and the other accusative (either noun, adjective, participle, or infinitive) complements the object in that it predicates something about it. 12. The complement may be substantival or adjectival. 13. This usage occurs only with certain kinds of verbs. 14. It is a common usage of the accusative. 15. The proper label for the direct object in such a construction is object in object-complement construction; for the complement, complement in object-complement construction, or simply the object complement. 16. Identification of the components in the construction is also not a given. 17. Although normally the object comes first, about twenty percent of the examples reverse this order. 18. However, it is easy to determine which is which because the object-complement construction is semantically equivalent to the subject-predicate nominative construction. 19. This is because such a construction is an embedded subject-predicate nominative clause. 20. Thus, the principles used to sort out subject from predicate nominative can equally be used here. 21. Specifically: a. If one of the two is a pronoun, it will be the object; b. If one of the two is a proper name, it will be the object; c. If one of the two is articular, it will be the object. 22. Person and Thing a. There are two types of double accusative constructionsi.e., constructions in which a verb takes two accusatives. b. Because the semantics are different, it is important to distinguish them. c. Certain verbs take two direct objects, one a person and the other a thing. d. The thing is the nearer object; the person is the more remote object. e. Another way to put this is that the person is the object affected, while the thing is the object effected. f. This is a fairly common category. 23. Object-Complement a. An object-complement double accusative is a construction in which one accusative substantive is the direct object of the verb and the other accusative (either noun, adjective, participle, or infinitive) complements the object in that it predicates something about it. b. The complement may be substantival or adjectival. c. This usage occurs only with certain kinds of verbs. d. It is a common usage of the accusative. e. The proper label for the direct object in such a construction is object in object-complement construction; for the complement, complement in object-complement construction, or simply the object complement. f. Identification of the components in the construction is also not a given.

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Although normally the object comes first, about twenty percent of the examples reverse this order. However, it is easy to determine which is which because the object-complement construction is semantically equivalent to the subject-predicate nominative construction. i. This is because such a construction is an embedded subject-predicate nominative clause. j. Thus, the principles used to sort out subject from predicate nominative can equally be used here. k. Specifically: (1) If one of the two is a pronoun, it will be the object; (2) If one of the two is a proper name, it will be the object; (3) If one of the two is articular, it will be the object. Dana and Mantey classify the double accusative as follows (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament page 94): 1. personal and impersonal object 2. direct and predicate object Blass, Debrunner and Funk list a 3-fold classification (A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature pages 85-87): 1. Accusative object and cognate accusative 2. Accusative of object and predicate accusative 3. Accusative object and of result A. T. Robertson lists the following classifications (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Reseach pages 479-484): 1. object and predicate 2. person and thing Wallace lists 2 types of double accusative constructions (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament): 1. Person and thing 2. Object-Complement

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