Ecce, ecco

Cnaeius

Senior Member
Italian, Italy
Split from here
coppergirl said:
Ciao a tutti!


PPS Spero che qualcuno possa spiegarmi perché in italiano si dice "eccomi" e non "eccoio"?
"Ecco" deriva dal latino "Ecce" (lat tardo "Eccum") e, per quanto ne so, quando regge pronomi vuole l'accusativo (ecce eum, ecce me..), a meno che non sia usato da solo
Ciao
 
  • coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Cnaeius said:
    "Ecco" deriva dal latino "Ecce" (lat tardo "Eccum") e, per quanto ne so, quando regge pronomi vuole l'accusativo (ecce eum, ecce me..), a meno che non sia usato da solo
    Ciao

    Grazie, Cnaeius, per una spiegazione utilissima!
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Cnaeius said:
    "Ecco" deriva dal latino "Ecce" (lat tardo "Eccum") e, per quanto ne so, quando regge pronomi vuole l'accusativo (ecce eum, ecce me..), a meno che non sia usato da solo
    Ciao

    Purtroppo ricordo ben poco del latino studiato al liceo ma i risultati che ho ottenuto con una ricerca su Google sono:

    Ecce ego 60.300

    Ecce eum 71

    :confused:
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    moodywop said:
    Purtroppo ricordo ben poco del latino studiato al liceo ma i risultati che ho ottenuto con una ricerca su Google sono:

    Ecce ego 60.300

    Ecce eum 71

    :confused:

    Ne ho guardati alcuni ma ecce non sta con ego, sta da solo:

    Ecce ego mitto Angelum meum
    Ecco, io mando il mio angelo

    ecce ego dabo civitatem istam in manu regis Babylonis
    ecco, io darò codesta città in mano al re di Babilonia

    ...

    Tra l'altro molte frasi bibliche iniziano con un Ecco. Il punto è che non regge alcun pronome
    Secondo me quando regge esplicitamente un pronome (eccomi eccoti eccolo ecc), il pronome va all'accusativo (mi pare si chiami accusativo esclamativo). Però non escludo che si usi anche il vocativo a volte (quindi il nominativo). Quando si tratta invece di nomi espliciti io ho sempre visto il nominativo (Ecce homo, ecce deus ecc), ma non mancano esempi con l'accusativo p.es:motto di sant'antonio

    Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!​

    Dipenderà anche dal latino che si considera (classico, medio, tardo ecc..)
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Me lo chiedevo solo perché in un altro post ho fatto riferimento alla pretesa assurda dei grammatici inglesi del passato di imporre le regole della lingua latina a una lingua come l'inglese. Il tentativo (a quanto sembra riuscito, vista la reazione unanime dei madrelingua all'idea che "it's me" o "than me" possano essere considerati corretti e il rifiuto di considerare le opinioni di alcuni dei maggiori linguisti contemporanei) di applicare i concetti di "nominativo" e "accusativo" all'inglese ne è un classico esempio.

    Mi interessava sapere se in questo caso l'italiano si discostava dal latino ("eccomi" vs "ecce ego")

    Qui comunque " ecce ego" vuol dire chiaramente "eccomi":

    Ecce ego quia vocasti me!
    (il motto del fondatore dell'Opus Dei)

    Naturalmente, come dici giustamente, l'uso potrà variare a seconda del periodo.

    Ma dov'è Brian, che studia latino e greco all'università?:) (scommetto che starà consultando qualche grammatica)
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Cnaeius said:
    Ne ho guardati alcuni ma ecce non sta con ego, sta da solo:

    Ecce ego mitto Angelum meum
    Ecco, io mando il mio angelo

    ecce ego dabo civitatem istam in manu regis Babylonis
    ecco, io darò codesta città in mano al re di Babilonia

    ...

    Tra l'altro molte frasi bibliche iniziano con un Ecco. Il punto è che non regge alcun pronome
    Secondo me quando regge esplicitamente un pronome (eccomi eccoti eccolo ecc), il pronome va all'accusativo. Quando si tratta di nomi espliciti io ho sempre visto il nominativo (Ecce homo, ecce deus ecc), ma non mancano esempi con l'accusativo p.es:motto di sant'antonio

    Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!​

    Dipenderà anche dal latino che si considera (classico, medio, tardo ecc..)
    You're right...it definitely depends on the period of Latin we're talking about. In Classical Latin, ecce takes only the nominative; hence, ecce ea instead of ecce eam (for here she is), ecce tu instead of ecce te (for here you are). Only afterwards did ecce take the accusative. So Cicero, as Nietszche did, would say Ecce homo! (Here is man!), while Plautus said Ecce hominem.

    As a stand-alone interjection, ecce need not take an object and thus means "Look! / Behold! / Lo!" With regard to Biblical Latin, I suppose you're talking about the New Testament translated from the Greek, which used the similar word Ιδου! and by the time it was translated into Latin, it had become common for ecce to take the accusative.

    I'm pretty sure Plautus was one of the biggest proponents of using ecce, and he would combine the accusative forms of is/ea (he/she/it) and ille (that) to give single words: ecceum = eccum, ecceam, ecca, eccilla, eccillud, etc. Eccum is the form whence we get our ecco (It.), and the reason Italian's ecco takes the accusative is because of later Latin's (Plautus's) tendency so do so.


    Brian
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    Alcuni esempi con l'accusativo:

    ecce me; opusne leni? (miles gloriosus)

    Quid me quaeris? quid laboras? quid hunc sollicitas? ecce me (epidico)

    ecce me qui id faciam vobis (Adelphoe)


    A questo punto sarebbe interessante sapere a quale epoca risponda quale uso. Se Brian riesce a dircelo.. In ogni caso credo che eccomi derivi da ecce (eccum) me


    EDIT: thank you Brian! I didn't see your post. Two citations I gave are Plauto's, if I am not wrong
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    So Cicero, as Nietszche did, would say Ecce homo! (Here is man!), while Plautus said Ecce hominem.

    God bless our forefathers! They accepted the idea of language change.

    Anyway, going back to "than me", I've just found this in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary:

    than with a personal or relative pronoun in the objective case (1560)

    So the prepositional use of "than" was considered perfectly correct as far back as 1560. Then the 18th century grammarians came along and labelled it as incorrect.
    The SOED states clearly that "than me" was perfectly acceptable for centuries.
     

    coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    brian8733 said:
    You're right...it definitely depends on the period of Latin we're talking about. In Classical Latin, ecce takes only the nominative; hence, ecce ea instead of ecce eam (for here she is), ecce tu instead of ecce te (for here you are). Only afterwards did ecce take the accusative. So Cicero, as Nietszche did, would say Ecce homo! (Here is man!), while Plautus said Ecce hominem.

    Ha! This is great! I had a feeling that "It is I" must have had its origins in something along these lines . . . in Classical Latin ecce takes only the nominative . . . so the next question is . . . in older Italian, was there ever a time of "ecco io"? Or did this not exist in the language at all?

    Sorry . . . don't mean to wax pedantic but I'm burning with curiosity now . . . !:D
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    coppergirl said:
    Ha! This is great! I had a feeling that "It is I" must have had its origins in something along these lines . . . in Classical Latin ecce takes only the nominative . . . so the next question is . . . in older Italian, was there ever a time of "ecco io"? Or did this not exist in the language at all?

    The "vernaculars" which were spoken during the Middle Ages (from one of which, Tuscan, Italian is derived) were not based on Classical Latin:

    "During the Middle Ages the written language was Latin...most people were illiterate, and hence, by definition one might say, did not know Latin. The majority would use their own native tongue, the vernacular, that is, one of the Italian dialects. These dialects derive from Latin; they are spoken Latin as it evolved naturally, unaffected by schooling and formal education"
    (Giulio Lepschy, The Italian Language Today)
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    moodywop said:
    Ma dov'è Brian, che studia latino e greco all'università?:) (scommetto che starà consultando qualche grammatica)
    Ha, you're right, I did consult them; but unfortunately, my two (usually very thorough) grammars, Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar and Allen & Greenough's New Latin Grammar, barely graze over the topic of ecce. They did, however, confirm that its classical use is restricted to taking the nominative (Cicero did so), while a couple centuries later Plautus would have it take the accusative.

    As for my suspicion concerning Biblical Latin, however, I just don't think there's a definite rule they followed. But I'd like to learn more. I think it's possible that after the classical period, ecce began to take nominative and accusative interchangeably, but that the combined forms employed the accusative (eccum instead of eccis).

    I decided to dig up my New Testament in Greek, and I found this in Acts 9:10 (I'm disregarding the diacritics because I'm lazy):

    ...και εἰπεν προς αὐτον ἐν ὁραματι ὁ κυριος, Ἁνανια. ὁ δε εἰπεν, Ἰδου εγω, κυριε.

    Which Saint Jerome gives in Latin (in the Latin vulgate) as:

    ...et dixit ad illum in visu Dominus, Anania, at ille ait, ecce ego, Domine.

    Which all together means:

    ...and the Lord said to him in a vision/dream, "Ananias," and (but) he (Ananias) said, "Behold, it is I, Lord" / "Here I am, Lord."

    Of course, this kind of comparative analysis can be quite fallacious since, from what I've seen, the Latin vulgate tries to mimick the Greek word-for-word, without regard to usual Latin stylistics; not only that, but in the very same way, the Greek in the New Testament often alludes to Old Testament Hebrew forms, and if I knew Hebrew I could tell you whether Jacob says, "Here I am, Lord," in Hebrew in the same way as the Greek. :)

    Interesting nonetheless.


    Brian
     

    coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    moodywop said:
    The "vernaculars" which were spoken during the Middle Ages (from one of which, Tuscan, Italian is derived) were not based on Classical Latin:

    "During the Middle Ages the written language was Latin...most people were illiterate, and hence, by definition one might say, did not know Latin. The majority would use their own native tongue, the vernacular, that is, one of the Italian dialects. These dialects derive from Latin; they are spoken Latin as it evolved naturally, unaffected by schooling and formal education"
    (Giulio Lepschy, The Italian Language Today)

    Thanks Carlo! I'm still pleased that ecce originally took the nominative case in Cicero's writings . . . Given that it is still technically correct to use the nominative form after verbs of being in English, it is almost sad that this has changed in Italian.

    Perhaps I am more of a purist at heart than I had thought;)
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    brian8733 said:
    Interesting nonetheless.

    Brian

    I would ask Brian, because I am not an expert in Latin literature

    1: Plauto said "Ecce me" and he was born around 250 before Christ. So a little before of the classical period
    So before Cicero. Please correct me if I am wrong. If this is true it could be that accusative form has (almost) always existed in spoken latin (Plauto wrote in a sort of spoken latin because he has written comedies). Did only written classical latin take the nominative form?

    2: Could it be that the accusativo esclamativo (in English I guess exclamation accusative) had influenced the use of ecce? I mean the accusative used per se or with O, ah, heu etc..

    Ciao

    EDIT: Ho aggiunto dopo una seconda domanda
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    coppergirl said:
    Thanks Carlo! I'm still pleased that ecce originally took the nominative case in Cicero's writings . . . Given that it is still technically correct to use the nominative form after verbs of being in English, it is almost sad that this has changed in Italian.

    Perhaps I am more of a purist at heart than I had thought;)


    I never see ecco io in italian, to respond to a previous question.

    But why to be sad?

    Actually accusative use with ecce is not a specific feature of italian. It is a latin feature, parallel to the written classical latin.
    This is not certainly an analysis, but Pluto used accusative before Cicero (Brian will confirm) and the motto of Sant'Antonio (ecce crucem) used accusative after Cicero (300 after Christ more or less)
    Ciao
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Cnaeius,

    First of all, sorry for the delay in responding (I've been trying to research this because I find it fascinating.)

    Secondly, you will not believe what I just did! I just wrote a whole post explaining how I've consulted different grammars and dictionaries, only to find close to nothing on ecce, and how every classical grammar written in English is severely lacking. And while I still do maintain the latter comment, let me revise the former by saying that, alas!, ecco!, ecce!, I have found something:

    From Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar (1895), 343.1 note 2:

    2. Em, Lo! and Ecce, Lo here! have the Acc. in the earlier language:

    Em tibi hominem!
    Pl., Asin., 880; here's your man! Ecce me! Pl., Ep., 680; here am I!
    ...
    Ecce takes only the Nom. in classical Latin. Distinguish between em and en, the latter of which, in the sense of lo! does not appear until Cicero's time, and takes the nominative.
    And there you have it--Ecce took the accusative early on, and then later the nominative.

    I'm still not satisfied with the amount of information I could dig up on this subject, and I still maintain the best classical grammars were written by the Germans (the language I have to learn next! :D). But until I can read those, I have to be satisfied with what's at my English disposal.

    There's only one other thing I can thing of, but which I do not yet own. It is a book called From Latin to Italian: an Historical Outline of the Phonology and Morphology of the Italian Language, by Charles H. Grandgent (the 2nd edition published in 1933, not sure when it was originally written). I suspect that there are other books like this written in Italian, but this is the only one I know of in English. My university library has it, so I've perused it but never read it in-depth. I wonder if it contains anything on ecce --> ecco...

    I will try to locate it and let you know.


    Brian
     

    coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Ciao ragazzi!

    Vorrei verificare la mia comprensione di questo argomento.

    Allora . . . per quel che ne so

    "ecce" took the accusative in early Latin, then switched to the nominative, then BACK to the accusative in later Latin, and takes the accusative in modern Italian after "ecco".

    Ho ragione?

    Grazie per la vostra pazienza! Questa `e una questione molto interessante!

    (PS Potreste anche correggermi l'italiano? Grazie ancora!)

    EDIT: Grazie a te, GC, per le correzioni . . . fixed them! ;)
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    brian8733 said:
    Secondly, you will not believe what I just did!

    I believe!
    Thank you Brian for your preciseness in searching.
    I was particularly interested in the fact that accusative with ecce was also used in preclassical latin (Plautus's). However I am satisfied of all the information you have collected.
    In any case if I find something other in the future, I will post it
    Ciao
     

    Cnaeius

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    coppergirl said:
    Ciao ragazzi!


    "ecce" took the accusative in early Latin, then switched to the nominative, then BACK to the accusative in later Latin, and takes the accusative in modern Italian after "ecco".

    Something like that, probably. Obviously we are talking about written latin. Talking about spoken latin also would complicate the matter.
    Ciao
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    coppergirl said:
    Vorrei verificare la mia comprensione di questo argomento.

    Allora . . . per quel che ne so

    "ecce" took the accusative in early Latin, then switched to the nominative, then BACK to the accusative in later Latin, and takes the accusative in modern Italian after "ecco".

    Ho ragione?
    Or perhaps... "Ecce" always took the accusative in popular Latin, but the elites of the classical period used the nominative because they felt that the accusative was wrong, for some reason.
     

    coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Outsider said:
    Or perhaps... "Ecce" always took the accusative in popular Latin, but the elites of the classical period used the nominative because they felt that the accusative was wrong, for some reason.

    Interesting point, Outsider. Any ideas from the chaps with the books on this? :confused:
     
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