Questions tagged [cases]

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

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68 views

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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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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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 úı - a house, laq - goatling; genitive úı-diń - of a house, laq-tiń - 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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73 views

What cases are typical for nouns accompanying the subject?

In the phrase "I went to the shops with a friend", "a friend" is the accompanier, while I am the subject. Some languages, such as Finnish (I believe) have a comitative case, which is taken by an ...
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Are there other languages, besides Latin, where a gender of a noun is determined by its genitive case ending?

Are there other languages, besides Latin, where a gender of a noun is determined by its genitive case ending?
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Is there a name other than “absolute” for this kind of construction?

In some languages there are absolute constructions like the Genitive Absolute in Greek: Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης προσελθόντες αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγον ὅτι ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος καὶ ἤδη ὥρα ...
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Problem with [NOMINATIVE] Case in GB & Phase Theory (MP)

Most of works on case theory in generative syntax GB (Vergnaud, 1985; Chomsky, 1981, 1986, among others) and in MP (Chomsky, 1995, et seq; Gallego, 2010; Hornstein, 2011, among others) assume the ...
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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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1answer
200 views

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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125 views

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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How “the case system collapses” in e.g. Latin

A comment on Understanding the purpose of determiners/articles/demonstratives in language suggested that case systems break down: For unrelated reasons, the case system collapses, so that word ...
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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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3answers
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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. -- *resultant (of the) expression is (a) new relation This is not the first time I ...
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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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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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412 views

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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253 views

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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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 ...