Questions tagged [cases]

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

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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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65 views

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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67 views

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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291 views

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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75 views

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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4answers
612 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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137 views

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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203 views

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," with "the ...
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1answer
235 views

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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586 views

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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86 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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93 views

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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114 views

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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5answers
807 views

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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218 views

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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75 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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91 views

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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95 views

“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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117 views

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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1answer
311 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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1answer
209 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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1answer
67 views

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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4answers
293 views

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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66 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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163 views

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
179 views

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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241 views

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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156 views

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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118 views

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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514 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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327 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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112 views

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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357 views

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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490 views

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 ...