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    #1

    grammaticxal relation

    I sat, and wept in secret the tears that men have ever given to the memory of those that died before the dawn, and by the treachery of earth, our mother.

    Question: This is taken from de Quincey's essay "Dream Fugue". What's the grammatical relation between wept and tears? "Wept" is not a transitive verb, so it can't be linked to "tears". Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: grammaticxal relation

    I think this is an example of a "cognate accusative" - certain normally intransitive verbs are able to take an object which refers to the action inherent in the verb itself. Often this object is modified in some way.

    He ran a good race.
    She wept crocodile's tears.
    he slept a long and peaceful sleep.
    he died a noble death.

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    #3

    Re: grammaticxal relation

    Thanks. In most cases, in cognate accusative construction, the object is often the noun form of the verb. I guess it doesn't have to be that way. Thanks again.

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    #4

    Re: grammaticxal relation

    Quirk uses the term cognate object.

    A COGNATE object is similar to a resultant object in that it refers to an event
    indicated by the verb.

    Chris will sing a song for us.
    She lived a good life.
    They fought a cleanfight.
    He breathed his last breath.
    He died a miserable death.

    In this type of object, the noun head is semantically and often morphologically
    related to the verb.
    The object can therefore not be considered a participant.
    Its semantic function is to repeat, wholly or partially, the meaning of the
    verb. Most cognate objects tend to convey a rather orotund style.
    The noun is generally modified. The verb and theobject are then equivalent
    to the verb and a corresponding adverbial:

    They fought a clean fight. They fought cleanly.

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