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Questions tagged [cases]

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

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“To whom” in pied-piped infinitive relative clauses

In English wh raised from, or in situ in, a direct object or prepositional object, you can almost always use "who" at least as well as "whom",1 and in some cases you can only use "who": Who/whom did ...
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Direct–inverse marking on the noun, or the possiblity of inverse alignment

A direct-inverse language, Wikipedia claims, is one which involve[s] different grammar for transitive predications according to the relative positions of their "subject" and their "object" on a ...
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What is configurational case assignment?

How does it differ with inherent case? I found this definition from Maria Polinsky and Omer Preminger paper; Noun phrases are assigned case by virtue of their structural position relative to certain ...
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Drawing case specified trees for english gerunds

I'm reading Adger's Core Syntax book and am having a tough time with Exercise 1 of the functional categories chapter. The exercise is about gerunds. Gerunds are specified by the form of suffixing -...
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Should Japanese postpositions be treated as belonging to the same category as English prepositions?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language and WALS, as well as Wikipedia, treat both English prepositions and Japanese postpositions (particles) as belonging to 'adpositions' (although CGEL ...
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Configurational assignment of accusative case?

I'm an undergraduate linguistics student, and I'm currently reading this chapter by Coon & Preminger (2015) (http://ling.umd.edu/assets/publications/Coon-Preminger-17-SplitErgativity.pdf), which ...
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50 views

Is there a grammatical case indicating displacement?

As part of a constructed language experiment I am trying to write phrases with clause structure of [noun supersedes noun] as just two words. For example, “death before dishonor” or “freedom over ...
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What does “referentiality” mean?

I have problems with the linguistic terms. I did not find satisfactory explanation about "referentiality". On the other hand, what are the differences between "case" and "referentiality"? If there is, ...
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How does 'like a book' befit the Translative, and not Essive, Case?

McWhorter, J. PhD Linguistics (Stanford). The Language Hoax (2016). p. 56 Bottom. I speak no Estonian. 1. But how does the preposition 'like' conveys the Translative Case? E.g., an encyclopedia ...
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Case of Nominal Associate in Clauses with Exceptional case-marking

I've been wondering whether the nominal associate of expletive there gets nominative, accusative or dative case in clauses with exceptional case-marking in other languages, since case isn't visible ...
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Instrumental - nominative inversion in Polish

While scrolling through a course in Polish, I saw the following sentence: Wynikiem wyrażenia jest nowa relacja. This is not the first time I notice this pattern, where the instrumental is used for ...
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Are there any languages with a case system like Esperanto's?

Thinking about Esperanto's case system, if I saw that in a natural language, I would think it was rather odd. Esperanto only has two cases: accusative and non-accusative. The non-accusative, on is ...
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Doesn't Sanskrit use adpositions of any kind?

For some reason, the Wikipedia article makes no mention of any adpositions of any kind. I find it highly unbelievable that the language makes no use of such. It has a case system, but there's only 8 ...
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Grammatical Case for Noun Phrase in English

Consider the sentence: John's book is blue. What is the grammatical case of "book" here? The two obvious choices are nominative or genitive. Most information online suggests it is nominative, ...
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What is “case”?

As a non-linguist, I am confused about the concept of case. What is its definition, as linguists use it? Is it about the different forms that nouns/pronouns can take? Is it about the function of the ...
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What does CGEL mean by 'instability in the system' in their explanation of case?

Consider the following passage from CGEL (p. 458, boldfaced emphasis mine): We look first at the contrast between nominative and accusative case, where we find a considerable amount of variation ...
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List of Hungarian toponyms by interior/surface case

Hungarian toponyms can be grouped grammatically according to whether they take the "interior" cases (inessive, illative, and elative) or the "surface" cases (superessive, sublative, and delative) to ...
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Do case endings really make sentences shorter?

In the Language Construction Kit, Mark Rosenfelder makes the claim that case endings 'makes things compact and frees up word order'. The latter is pretty obvious, but do case endings really make ...
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Is there a language where in declension number is affixed peripherally to case?

Is there a language where, given that number and case are affixed seperately not fusionally, a noun can have the structure of , e.g. ithawen = itha-w-en [woman]+GEN+PL ("of the women, the women's")? I ...
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Do nominative-absolutive languages behave differently from nom-acc languages?

This is something I was just trying to study, but can't seem to find much information online. In a nom-abs, or 'marked nominative' language, the nominative case is more marked than the direct object. ...
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Are there any languages where possessive nouns have to agree with the head noun?

I know there are plenty of languages out there where possessive personal pronouns can and do agree with the head noun in number and case. But I was wondering if there were any where nouns also had to ...
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As French is a so-called Roman language, where are the cases? [duplicate]

French language is known to be a Roman language, just like Spanish, Italian, Swiss Roman… Those Roman languages are told to be originating from Latin language. When I learnt Latin, one of the first (...
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How do languages with case deal with 'sentential arguments'?

I'm not 100% sure of the proper terminology here, so I'm just using the one used in the LCK. What I mean by a sentential argument is an argument that is a sentence rather than a noun phrase. Case in ...
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What language has a declination for each of its phonemes that a word can end in?

Some guy told me once about his native language which I now can't seem to recall. I think it was a member of the Slavic family (I thought it was Czech, but that isn't it). I was talking about how case ...
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Why is it that direct object may be marked with either ACC or GEN case, depending on the verb in Slavic languages?

Why is it that in many or all Slavic languages e.g. the verbs “need” and “see” mark the direct object with genitive case, whereas the nouns “buy” and “eat” do so with accusative case? Is it related ...
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Subjective pronouns in English copulas: gradual loss of objective case, or emphatic construction taking over?

I'm interested in the historical linguistics of constructions like "that's me" versus "this is she" when answering the phone. Searching online led to a Google Books peephole view of a book that ...
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Is case-marking really useful for such languages?

CASES The function of cases is to differentiate nouns in order for the reader/hearer to know what syntactic/semantic function it is performing in a sentence since others languages, such as Portuguese,...
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Need for English not to have many grammatical cases

In other languages (mainly Romance languages such as: Portuguese and Spanish), we have many grammatical cases such as: abessivo ablativo, absolutivo, acusativo, adessivo; English doesn't feature such ...
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Are there any universals about how m-case can pattern for predicate NPs?

Predicate noun phrases (NPs) have different patterns of case in different languages. Even closely related languages can show significant differences (Sigurðsson 2008). For example, among the Germanic ...
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How dissimilar must case endings be to each other?

I'm asking this question for a conlang. I know that's normally too subjective for this forum, but honestly, I think this may be an exception. I tend to try to keep things as terse as possible. Often ...
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Theta-Marking, Case-Marking and Argumenthood in Copular Sentences

Nominal predicates in copular sentences are peculiar because in certain languages, they acquire case other than accusative case. Even English was so, e.g. "it is I (NOM)" vs. "it is me (ACC)." Perhaps ...
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Case assignment with prepositions

Consider these examples: 'I am happy with my parents' my parents gets assigned Case by 'with'. *'I am proud with my parents' My question is as follows: What is the reasoning for 2 being ...
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How do you assign Case to sentences with an infinitval clause?

Look at this example: For the butler to attack the robber would be surprising. Here, the butler and the robber are assigned accusative Case. Is 'For' assigning case to the butler and 'to attack' ...
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wals chapter 50 regarding german language

Regarding asymmetrical case marking in German referring WALS chapter 50, I understand the asymmetry in German (ich : I; mich : me; mir : to me; er : he; ihm : to him; ihn : him, etc.) but the value is ...
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Languages preserving loanword inflections

Erudite English has an interesting practice where the plural form of loanwords may follow the inflectional grammar of the source language. Thus "campi" as well as "campuses", "minima" as well as "...
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Constructions like the double accusative outside of the Ancient Greek word “διδασκειν”

I'm looking for examples of having 2 or more nouns in the same case but with the different semantic roles given by the differing referents of the nouns, not entirely by one of morphological case, ...
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Overt Subjects of Non-Finite Clauses and Accusative Case

How do overt subjects of non-finite clauses such as the gerund clause below obtain accusative case despite there being no accusative case or ECM assigner? Me arriving late is a sure thing I think I ...
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How should I form grammatical cases in my conlang?

Now, I'm a Latin student, and that being said, I understand how cases operate and what they do for a language, but I've never enjoyed learning/studying/keeping track of them. That being said, I feel ...
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Declensions in Polish

Declension, as far as I know, corresponds to the act of creating boxes where you can pile up nouns that follow the same rule when inflected (generally due to cases). Classical Latin is often said to ...
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Month names variants

Regarding the question on TeX.stackexchange I am looking for generally used languages that use different cases for their month and day names. Based on Czech and Slovak languages I can imagine two ...
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Do languages ever get new cases?

In my education, I've learned about a lot of languages whose case systems have atrophied, especially from PIE. Wikipedia had a reference to The Evolution of Case Systems for Marking Event Structure, ...
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Are there any languages where numbers have cases?

Are there any languages which use different cases of numbers for different uses?
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What would you call a case specifying something is far away from a noun?

There's the adessive case, which can be used to specify something is near a noun, but is there an opposite? Is there a case specifying a far distance from a noun? I'm including this case in my conlang ...
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Are there languages with more cases than Latin?

I am currently busy with a project that involves production rules. From my years in Latin at college, I learned about the six basic ones. But if I am not confused, ablative could represent several ...
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Is there a language in which the verb “to ask” can be followed by a dative case?

So far as I know, the ditransitive verb "to ask" takes two accusatives in German (fragen), and the verb "to give" takes one dative and one accusative in many languages. Is there a language in which ...
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Grammatical case for provenience

I am looking for the term for the grammatical case expressing provenience or origin, roughly corresponding to the English prepositions "of, from, out of, made from" as for example: He is from Sweden. ...
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What is some standard analysis for “Look me in the eye”

I am looking for hints where to find a ("standard") analysis of something like this english dative construction: Look me in the eye Clearly, the "the" in this phrase is semantically scoped BY the me ...
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What motivated the terms 'ergative' and 'absolutive'?

Source: p 195, Understanding Syntax (4 ed, 2014) by Prof. Maggie Tallerman PhD in Linguistics (U. Hull) ERGATIVE is the case of A – the subject of transitive verbs. ABSOLUTIVE is the case of both ...
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Grammatical mistake in the Gita

I am studying Sanskrit. I encountered a sentence in verse 19 of chapter 1 of the Bhagavad gita - as it is. The sloka is as follows: स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्। नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो...
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Order of cases in Indo-European languages by morphologic similarity

Following the first Greek grammars or even older sources, there is a traditional and apparently arbitrary order used for cases in most if not all living European languages, e.g. in declension tables. ...