Source: p 137, Syntax, A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012) by Andrew Carnie

xxix) Oblique: any NP/PP in the sentence that is not a subject, direct object of a preposition, direct object, or indirect object.

I understand the definition above, but what motivated the choice of this term?
I am conjecturing the word choice not to be random.

  • 3
    It comes from Latin, meaning among other things "indirect", and has been used in language studies since Hector was a pup.
    – user6726
    Apr 13, 2016 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


Casus rectus and Casus obliquus are calques on πτῶσις ὀρθή (“upright fall”) and πτῶσις πλαγία (“sideways fall”) respectively. It has been suggested that these were originally technical terms in a game of dice.

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