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I know a woman, whose native language is Kyrgyz (Turkic family) and who learned Russian as an adult (mostly, maybe she was somewhat exposed to it before as well).

What striked me is that she invented her own "locative case", with an ending -ах, that neither Russian, nor Turkic seemingly have.

For instance, she would say "я дорогах" instead of "я в дороге" or "будешь квартирах" instead of "будешь в квартире".

I wonder what can lead to the appearance of such self-invented cases and how much this is common?

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I challenge your interpretation: In Russian the ending -ах is the prepositional plural ending and thus it is not an invented case at all. In my interpretation, it is just a missing preposition.

Dropping prepositions is quite frequent for L2 learners, the stereotypical Gastarbeiterdeutsch sentence Ich gehe Aldi instead of High German Ich gehe zum Aldi shows the same phenomenon. Until recently, speakers of Turkish were the largest group of immigrants to Germany, and the dropping of locative prepositions might be an influence of a Turkic L1.

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  • She was using it as singular, not plural. Including, in cases where there was no plural physical objects at all...
    – Anixx
    Oct 26 '20 at 17:53
  • And she does not use plural instead of singular in other cases...
    – Anixx
    Oct 26 '20 at 18:08
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On your general question on what can explain this, I'd point you to read on Pidgins and Creoles. Creoles are languages that emerged in environments where speaker A has no languages in common with speaker B. Pidgins are "Creoles-to-be", that is, they're some sort of pre-stage of some Creole. There's a lot of research going on on these kinds of stuff in Europe, too, as mentioned by jk's comment ("Gastarbeiterdeutsch").

It'd be interesting to know if the person you heard -- as I understand, speaking to someone she knew speaks Russian -- uses that thing, and if other people do. Then you could identify linguistic research on exactly that (say, a Kyrgyz/Russian pidgin).

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  • I never heard it from other people. She definitely uses it when talking with people she knows know Russian.
    – Anixx
    Nov 20 '20 at 1:24
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I have an impression she just making a mistake: confusing prepositive plural with singular!

Cause, "дорогах" and "квартирах" -- are legit, but just plurals. Tell her she is wrong. )))

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Seems there was situation that often happens even among the natives: there is dialogue between two persons:

–Chasto takoe popadaetsya!? (- Is this the often situation!?)

– Da. Vo mnogih kvartirah. (- Yeah. In the most of the apartments).

Then inters the third person, who ask they about the theme of dialogue:

Chto 'kvartirah'!? Kakih 'kvartirah'!? Zachem 'kvartirah' !? (What 'apartments'!? Which 'apartments'!? Why 'apartments'!?)

The last heard word is repeated by him.

And this 'undeclinable' word is often when you ask non-native speaker:

– Daleko do magazina!? (- How far to a store!?)

– Chto!? A! Magazina..Magazina tam! (- What!? Ah! Store..The store is there!)

Maybe there was misinterpretation of such type in your case.

What about the last question, as I know, and as here was answered to you, there is common situation of the inventing a new feature during the creolisation: https://en.wikipedia.org/Creole_language

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