Questions tagged [cases]

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

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1answer
300 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 ...
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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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1answer
58 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 ...
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3answers
343 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 ...
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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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67 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 ...
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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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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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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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Are there signed languages that have a case system?

In a prior question I asked whether word order in ASL has a special significance, which naturally lead to another question: do any signed languages, that is languages communicated mostly if not fully ...
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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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4answers
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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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1answer
112 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 ...
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1answer
284 views

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. ...
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539 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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1answer
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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 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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1answer
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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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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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2answers
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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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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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Can a case system in a language help resolve gramatical ambiguites?

One time in a linguistics class I sat in on, we were discussing ambiguous sentences such as "I killed the man with the spoon". In English, as written, it is unclear if the subject is using a spoon for ...
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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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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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4answers
569 views

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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1answer
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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 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 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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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
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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 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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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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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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Their class has more singers than (we/us) -- possible syntactical derivations?

Forgive me if this is not the right sort of question to post here, but I was curious as to the derivation of the above sentence. (Apparently the correct choice is 'we'). Their class has more singers ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
250 views

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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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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1answer
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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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13answers
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Do unschooled people use cases correctly, e.g. in Germany and in Russia?

I wonder if the case system is devised/imposed by literates and not really natural: it is said that the vulgar Latin that most people really used didn't have e.g. the cases (or all of them) of the '...
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850 views

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 ...