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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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How do we characterize the thematic relations between verbs and subordinate phrases (clauses?) in languages without explicit case marking (eg English)

I've been trying to understand correct terminology for describing the "case" of phrases (as opposed to individual nouns) where that case is not marked on any word within the phrase. Is it ...
Nathaniel Christen's user avatar
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2 answers
160 views

Why is "I am me" not "I am I"?

In Latin, the case of a noun that follows a link verb is nominative, not accusative. But in English, why do people say "I am me" not "I am I"? Is it different in English?
Tim's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What criteria are used to determine whether a morpheme is a case ending or a postposition?

Both postpositions and case endings are morphemes placed after the meaning-bearing morpheme of the noun and convey information like position and grammatical role, among others. Particularly in ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
145 views

Is there a reason why certain verbs use certain cases?

For examples, in German there are certain verbs that always use the dative cases and others that always use the accusative case. Is there a logical or semantical reason for this? Does the use of a ...
Agustin G.'s user avatar
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What is "Argument Visibility" and “INFL“ in Case Theory?

I didn't know much about case theory. Can anyone help me explain the meaning of "argument visibility" in a way that is easy to understand? What's more, does the "INFL" mean "...
Rongrong's user avatar
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Are there languages with free argument order that lack a passive voice? If not, why not?

Consider German, with its four cases and relatively free argument-order. Now consider the following German sentence, courtesy of Google Translate. Johan schenkte dem Mädchen eine Katze. (Johan gave ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
289 views

What differences are between Ablative of Manner and Ablative of Means/Instrument? [closed]

Keller's Learn to Read Latin says on p42 Association/Instrument In the sentence "The farmer came to the party with a poet", the phrase "with a poet" indicates that the farmer was ...
Tim's user avatar
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What is the argument position of a noun in vocative case in a sentence?

What is the argument position (e.g. subject, direct object, ...) of a noun in vocative case in a sentence, for example, in Latin?
Tim's user avatar
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2 answers
115 views

Mysterious uncertainty about ablative case in Turkish

Yesterday I was watching a Turkish trivia game show on TV when a question came up about the ablative case in Turkish. The question, asked during a part of the show when questions are generally deemed ...
mdirkse's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
322 views

How many grammatical cases does Telugu have?

I can't figure out how many grammatical cases Telugu has: Wikipedia says 8 (Telugu grammar) Telugu itself says 8, but I'm not sure if they map 1-1 to linguistic cases (విభక్తులు/viḅaktulu) I found a ...
shreyasm-dev's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
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Word for difference between "in" and "into"

I was wondering whether there are words for the two types of prepositions, or a word for the distinction between them. I understand that the difference between them is that one is a "static" ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
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Determining factor for the default inflection of a noun

In Arabic, a noun can have three different inflections depending on its role in a given sentence. For example, for the word "book", it can be kitabun, or kitaban, or kitabin. The default ...
blackened's user avatar
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1 answer
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Question about a phrase with the Polish case genetive (dopełniacz)

in the following sentence: "Teraz idę do żabki po sok" What is the function of the genitive case applied on the noun "żabka"? I'm aware that with the preposition "do", ...
FMB's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
298 views

What's the difference between nominative and absolutive case?

Why do both these cases need to exist? They are both subjects
minseong's user avatar
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On the effects of sound changes on case suffixes

I am working on a conlang and I came up with a question that I can't find a good answer too. How does sound change effect suffixes, as whenever I work on conlangs with suffixes to mark different cases ...
Zoey's user avatar
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1 answer
452 views

Why is it OK to claim that a language "has no grammatical cases"?

My question is a direct consequence of this question and its answers and comments. What completely baffles me (as a non-linguist) is the claim (decision? definition?) that there can be a language on ...
virolino's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does 'overt NP' mean?

I just started studying syntax, and I am a little lost in terminology. Would someone please explain to me what does overt NP stand for?
future linguist's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are there any case-based languages in which the modal verbs do not change the verb they control to the infinitive form?

I have come to realize that in all the European languages I know of, the modal verbs change the verb they control to the infinitive form. These languages are all case-based (Spanish, Danish, English, ...
Foolish Lemon's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
69 views

How does Case work in an impersonal sentence?

The Case filter is what prohibits the phonetic realization of a DP that recieves no grammatical Case. In languages such as Portuguese, people use impersonal constructions like "há/tem um carro na ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Vanishing of cases: general trend or specific to indo-European family?

Does vanishing of cases reflect a general trend across the languages or is this a false impression that one gets from the most Indo-European languages, like English and the Romance languages? A ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Indo-European languages that have innovated a nominative-accusative distinction for neuter nouns

One ubiquitous and ancient feature of Indo-European languages is a lack of contrast between the nominative and accusative for neuter nouns. I'll restrict attention to nouns here and not independent ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
177 views

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 ...
noah johnson's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
184 views

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 ...
FMB's user avatar
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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 ...
jywu's user avatar
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1 answer
91 views

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 ...
Gensch's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
670 views

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 ...
Franglishman24's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
131 views

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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
266 views

When and by whom were the terms 'ergative case' and 'absolutive case' coined?

The terms 'ergative' and 'absolutive' indicate cases in ergative-absolutive languages. The terms themselves derive from Greek respectively Latin roots. Given that Greek and Latin are not themselves ...
JanKanis's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
100 views

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?
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
361 views

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, ...
asinoladro's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
455 views

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 ...
zale's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
90 views

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 ...
Outsider's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
395 views

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 ...
infinitezero's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
544 views

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? ...
Leisureguy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
256 views

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 ...
Jeff Leer's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
289 views

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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
625 views

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 ...
mercury0114's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
108 views

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 ...
FMB's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
FMB's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
281 views

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 ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
110 views

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 - ...
Geza Kerecsenyi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
169 views

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 ...
GA1's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
351 views

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. fiú, fiút), which has no cognates in any ...
user8606's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
232 views

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 ...
blackened's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
139 views

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 ...
blackened's user avatar
  • 473
0 votes
4 answers
167 views

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 ...
Anixx's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
48 views

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?
ghood96's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
52 views

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-...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
856 views

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 ...
MangoLover's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
194 views

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 ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
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