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dative (dāˈtĭv) [key] [Lat., = giving], in Latin grammar, the case typically used to refer to an indirect object, i.e., a secondary recipient of an action. For example, him in I gave him a book is translated in Latin by a dative case. The Latin dative also has other uses; and the cases called dative in other languages correspond in their grammatical function only in part to that of the Latin. The residual dative case in English was treated in the early work of Noam Chomsky.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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