Heavy Construction

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Ablative Absolute.


A noun or pronoun, with a participle in agreement, inay be put in the Ablative to define the time or circumstances of an action. This construction is called the Ablative Absolute: - [1][The Ablative Absolute is perhaps of instrumental origin. It is, however, sovu* times explained as an outgrowth of the locative, and in any event certain locative constructions (of place and time) must have contributed to its development.]

NOTE: The ablative absolute is an adverbial modifier of the predicate. It is, however, not grammaticaHy dependent on any word in the Sentence: hence its name absolute (absolitus, i.e. free or unconnected). A substantive in the ablative absolute very seldom denotes a person or thing elsewhere mentioned in the same clause.

a. An adjective, or a second noun, may take the place of the parti2iple in the Ablative Absolute construction: - [2][The present participle of esse, wanting in Latin (§170. b), is used in Sanskrit and Greek as in English.]

b. A phrase or *ause, used substantively, sometimes occurs as ablative absolute with a participle or an adjective :

NOTE: This construction is very rare except in later Latin.

c. A participle or an adjective is sometimes used adverbially in the ablative absolute without a substantive: