Questions tagged [cases]

Inflectional forms that indicate the grammatical functions of nouns, pronouns and their modifiers (such as adjectives).

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how does case inflection work on the head noun in internally headed relative clauses?

I have read that some languages use internally headed relative clauses; so, for example, instead of saying "the man that we met yesterday went home today"; they position the shared noun in a ...
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Question about cases in Polish

Cases are baffling and puzzling to me. I'm trying to learn Polish and trying to master the cases, and I'm sincerely confused at all the different uses one case can have. If one case is, say, used with ...
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Is there "adjunct indexation" in some languages?

The arguments of a verb may leave markers on the verb about the person and number features, which is commonly called as argument indexation. We know the distinction between arguments and adjuncts is ...
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When expressing speak/write certain language, what leads to the different choices of cases? [closed]

To express if someone can speak/write a certain language, different languages evolved differently. English: Can you speak English? (Accusative) Can you write in English? (Instrumental) Chinese: 说英语 (...
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Why is there a Second Palatalization in personal nouns but not in non-personal nouns in Nominative Plural in Slavic languages

Using Polish as an example, why in personal nouns like "robotnik>robotnicy" or "włoch>włosi" Second Palatalization takes place in the nominative plural, but in non-personal ...
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Does English have animate/inanimate distinction?

I know we have the "'S" genitive and the "X of Y" but I don't exactly understand the rules of using these even as a native English speaker and I'm unsure if English makes other ...
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What is (or was) the exative case?

Inspired by this finding I'd like to know what the exative case described by Taplin for south-australian languages is or was. It does not seem to be modern terminology any longer, and lists of ...
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analogic accusative endings on pronouns?

Do accusative ‘me’ and ‘thee’ have final /m/ (or evidence of a lost or altered /m/), by analogy with (non-neuter) nouns, in any Indo-European language?
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Western European languages tend to have fewer genders and simpler case systems than Eastern European ones, is this due to contact?

You can draw a relatively consistent line through Europe, to the west of which, Indo-European languages mostly have one or two genders and nouns don't inflect for case, and to the east of which, ...
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Is there a question about the number of cases in Proto-Indo-European?

I've found this quote in what appears to be the Usenet sci.lang FAQ page: Earlier historical linguists cheerfully reconstructed eight cases for PIE, on the model of Sanskrit; but the IE languages ...
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How many marked cases are there for regular nouns in English?

How many cases are marked for regular nouns in English? I see online the following: The English language has just three cases: subjective, possessive and objective. Most nouns, many indefinite ...
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Can an object be in functional case A even though it's declined like case B?

Pardon my word choice, since I'm obviously lacking the background in linguistics. I know that language-specific questions are off-topic, yet I still like to use Finnish as an example, since it spawned ...
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Why do two English personal pronouns — "you" and "it" — lack an objective case?

Most English person pronouns have an objective case — I/me, we/us, thou/thee, he/him, she/her, they/them, who/whom. But "you" and "it" have no such form. Did they every have one? ...
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How should the Albanian "genitive" really be analysed?

The Albanian language is typically described as having a genitive case. In actuality, this "case" consists of an connective particle which agrees in number, gender AND CASE with the ...
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How did Old Norse influence Old English to lose genders and cases?

Wikipedia says that "Norse influence is ... considered to have stimulated and accelerated the morphological simplification found in Middle English, such as the loss of grammatical gender and ...
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why in Polish we change ją to jej when negating the phrase?

ja lubię ją - I like her ja nie lubię jej - I do not like her Do I understand correctly what these sentences mean? If yes, why do we change ją to jej when negating the phrase? In both cases the ...
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How can the polysemy of the Polish instrumental case be explained?

If the instrumental case in Polish is used to designate the tool with which an action, or state of being, is being performed/is, how is it that the instrumental is also used to express time and ...
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Why does "brother" have the instrumental case in this Polish sentence?

The instrumental case is used to indicate the instrument/object with which an action or state of being is performed. For instance, when you go to work "by car", car is instrumental because ...
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Origin of Italian plurals

Some sources say that italian plurals come from the nominative case, so "italiano" has the plural "italiani", and "italiana" has the plural "italiane". However ...
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Is the multiplicative case 'validly' present in any languages?

Wikipedia lists something called the 'multiplicative case' in its template of grammatical cases. However, on the (stub) article of said case, it lists only two Uralic languages in which it is found - ...
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The easiest model for mapping Hindi oblique case onto Slavic languages' case systems

How can Hindi Oblique case be mapped into Slavic cases of languages such as Polish or Russian? My intuition is that Oblique case stands for all the Polish cases, except the nominative. That is, for ...
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What is the origin of certain Hungarian suffixes?

I have a question about the etymology (within the Uralic family) of three Hungarian morphemes Accusative -t- suffix: Hungarian has an accusative in -t- (eg. fíu, fíut), which has no cognates in any ...
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What is the definition of a “case” in grammar?

Among others, according to Wikipedia: "Case" is a linguistics term regarding a manner of categorizing nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles, and numerals according to their traditionally ...
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The term for the state of a noun

In linguistics, a case is how a noun declines with respect to its grammatical function within a given phrase, clause, or sentence. Is there a linguistics term to refer to the “state” of a noun within ...
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What can explain the appearance of "self-made" language features if neither of languages a person speaks or learns have similar features?

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 ...
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How do I know if ECM happens in a foreign language?

I have learned about ECM and how it works within the English language, but I don't understand it thoroughly. How would we be able to decide whether a language has ECM?
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How common object/subject case being applied to determiners/demonstrative/articles instead of nouns?

I'm talking about a language where say, a certain case is only expressed on the determiners/demonstrative/article? So they might say for example: Which-a Cat? Which-LOC. Cat? Rather than: Which Cat-...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Is it possible in Sanskrit to distinguish between the names Rāma and Rām i.e. राम and राम् when used in a sentence?

Consider this sentence: रामो लेखन्या लिखति Is रामो in that sentence always referring to someone named राम (Rāma) or could it be equally possible that the person's name was राम् (Rām)? Are names like ...
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6 votes
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Are dative governing verbs in IE languages mainly inherited from PIE, or later developed within each IE language?

Some typical dative governing verbs in many IE case-inflecting languages are "help", "give" etc.. Are they mainly inherited from PIE or are they developed within each language? If ...
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Is a final -u in Semitic languages known outside of Akkadian?

Consider Akkadian bētu vs. Hebrew bayit (בַּיִת) (meaning "house") and Akkadian daltu vs. Hebrew delet (דֶּלֶת) (meaning "door"). Are these endings known outside of Akkadian? If so, when did they ...
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subject of a to-infinitive - is it a nominative or an accusative?

Is the subject of a to-infinitive a nominative, because it's a subject, or an accusative, because it's assigned the Case by 'for'? The man kept the door open for the cat to enter the room.
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A-positions where no structural Case is available?

I am a little puzzled. Is there any such thing as an A-position where no structural Case is available? The arguments are either a nominative or an accusative (structural Cases) aren't they? [...] ...
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Two questions about Icelandic (syntax)

The following sentence is from Icelandic language: Mér vir›ast tNP [hestarnir vera seinir] meDAT seemPL the-horsesNOM be slow ‘It seems to me that the horses are slow.' ...
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Is there a language where presence/absence of V-O agreement would reflect presence/absence of accusative case?

I am trying to find a language which would show the following pattern with respect to agreement/morphological Case: presence of verb-object morphological agreement yields accusative morphology ...
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What is case for pronouns in different positions? [closed]

Can we say "the case of subject in a sentence is nominative, the direct object of a verb is accusative, the second object of a ditransitive verb is accusative, the objective of a preposition is ...
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What are the subjective and objective genitives?

I have recently come across the terms subjective genitive and objective genitive, but I don't fully understand them. From what I have read, an example might be 'the love of God', as in 'the love of ...
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What is meant by the term 'genitive of appurtenance'

In his Sanskrit Grammar, William Dwight Whitney describes the uses of the genitive case in Sanskrit and he mentions the 'genitive of possession or appurtenance': The genitive in its normal ...
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8 votes
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Do languages with cases frequently have verbs which use particular cases for their objects?

Turkish, German, Russian, Greek and Latin are examples of languages with declension. They also have lists of verbs for which the verb's single object takes a particular case apart from the "normal" ...
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Global case map

A lot of European languages, especially Finnish (not an INDO European language) have cases. English for the most part doesn’t. Other languages don’t. I have seen maps of grammar features around the ...
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Case in English phrase "friend of mine"

In English phrases like Jesse is a friend of mine/*of me the case of the word "mine" is not the oblique ("me") which usually occurs with prepositions ("That's a part of me that you don't see too ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Case in German Nouns

German has an interesting situation in its noun phrases - articles and adjectives reflect case, but the noun itself does not. Der große Mann sieht das Haus. ("The big man sees the house," ...
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4 votes
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Absense of cases in Bulgarian

Nowadays, Bulgarian and Macedonian are the only Slavic languages where the system of cases isn't developed. Bulgarian and Macedonian are very close to each other, but are considered to be 2 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

I cannot find any source explaining the Latin names of grammatical cases. I am especially curious in the names of the less common cases, like in Finnish: nominative genitive accusative partitive ...
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1 answer
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Is Finnish harder than Latin? [closed]

I'm not interested in learning Finnish, but I do have some interest in Latin. I suspect that this is the case (no pun intended) because Latin only has 5 cases (plus a 6th that is used sparingly), but ...
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How does the Thai language express the instrumental?

In English and many European languages the instrumental is expressed with a preposition: I eat noodles with chopsticks. (But "with" is not dedicated to this function and has other uses such as the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between the nominative case and the subject?

I'm studying Japanese and recently I came across the term "double nominatives". The idea is that ga marks the nominative case, so a phrase with two ga has two phrases in the nominative case: boku ga ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is considered a grammatical case in the framework of turkic languages?

Let's take kazakh language as an example. In every source I've read there are 7 cases in kazakh language: nominative üi - a house, baqşa - garden; genitive üi-diŋ - of a house, baqşa-niŋ - of a ...
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What is the difference between case and adpositions?

The preposition expressions like "on top of the table", "under the tree", "above the building" are very well understood. Comparing these with the Germany noun cases "auf dem Tisch", "unter dem Baum", "...
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Are there languages in which overt morphological accusative case is obligatory on the second conjunct of a conjunction?

For example: (1) The officer believed [NP Mary and me] Of course, the distribution of ACC pronouns in English doesn't really map onto ACC in overt morphological case languages.
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Grammatical case vs semantic case

I'm not sure what these terms mean. In my lecture notes I wrote that grammatical case is used to show the syntactic functions of a nominal syntagm, depending on its relation to the verb. Semantic case,...
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