Questions tagged [cases]

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

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54
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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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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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3answers
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How do linguists distinguish between case endings and postpositions, especially in languages which have both and/or have no traditional grammar?

In my attempt to learn Georgian, an agglutinative language of the South Caucasus, I have learned that it has both case endings and postpositions. I also have some familiarity with Korean and Japanese ...
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1answer
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Is there a language known to have developed a case system?

There are many languages which, having descended from a language with a complex case system, have lost or greatly simplified theirs: Bulgarian (Slavic), English (Germanic), most Romance languages etc. ...
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2answers
588 views

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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Are there any papers etc analyzing Japanese as a language with noun cases rather than particles?

Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinating languages. Many (most?) agglutinating languages are analysed as having case systems. Of course cases and prepositions/postpositions fill the same ...
12
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6answers
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Are there any languages where the genitive case changes according to its object?

In forms like Claudio's house or Claudio's dogs, are there languages in which the Claudio's would change depending on gender and number of the houses or dogs?
11
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1answer
555 views

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, ...
11
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1answer
593 views

Where did Latin and its descendants retain a case system most recently?

So we know that Latin nouns and adjectives inflect for case as well as person, number, and gender. Also we know that all the major modern Romance languages except Romanian no longer have a case ...
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4answers
791 views

Declinable conjunctions

Duolingo states: “In German, conjunctions do not change with the case (i.e. they are not declinable).”1 I started to think of languages I know, and I don't remember any which would have this property. ...
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4answers
569 views

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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4answers
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Why there are no grammatical cases in the French language?

As far as I know, the French language is considered as a Romance language, which is derived, in its turn, from the Latin language. The last one has a rich grammatical cases system. I am interested to ...
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Are there any recent articles on the current state of Case theory?

Specifically I'm interested in the split between Structural Case and Morphological case. Structural Case has been part of Chomskyan syntactic theory since at least Government & Binding (GB). ...
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4answers
739 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" ...
8
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851 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 ...
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3answers
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Is there a name for the "case" that is a conflation of nominative and accusative?

In Indo-European languages, the neuter is often characterized by syncretism between nominative and accusative. There are other examples of syncretism and also historical change where the nominative ...
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1answer
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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 ...
7
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1answer
495 views

Thematic roles in some languages

I have a question about semantic roles in Latin and Russian. Latin Quibusdam […] sudor erumpit. someone. DAT.PL sweat. NOM.SG come out.PRES.3SG. ‘Some people start sweating.’ ...
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554 views

Does the Finnish translative case exist in other languages?

The Finnish translative case expresses the concept of becoming or turning into something else. Does this case exist in other languages, or is it unique to Finnish? How is this concept most commonly ...
7
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1answer
420 views

Are there languages with PCC effects and a more developed person system?

The Person-Case Constraint (PCC) is a constraint on which arguments can co-occur in a construction such as a causative/applicative/ditransitive. It might cause a combination of persons to be ...
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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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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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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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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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3answers
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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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2answers
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Is it okay that Ergative case be unmarked?

I found a language of Celebes island in Indonesia, its name is Mongondow (mog). It has a Phillipine's Alignment morphosyntactic which it has combination of Accusative and Ergative languages. The word ...
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1answer
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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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Vocatives and Case Assignment

Vocatives, which are basically nouns that refer to the person to whom the speech event is directed, are said to be detached from the sentences in which they occur. Mary, I hate you. I don't think I ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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Is the case described below hypothetical or does it occur in natural languages?

Suppose that you have a language, let's say it's SVO, has a clause pattern in which the subject typically stands for an agent or experiencer and the object typically stands for a patient or stimulus, ...
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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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542 views

Why are these Sanskrit words in the nominative case

I'm studying the Sanskrit mantra that starts with asato ma: असतो मा सद् गमय asato mā sad gamaya तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय tamaso mā jyotirgamaya मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय mṛtyormā amṛtaṃ ...
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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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Difference between Genitive Personal Pronoun and Possessive Pronoun

I'm currently studying Icelandic. Right away at one of the first steps I found a bit of difficulty and I wonder if any of you might be able to help me as the question might be answered based on any ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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Do applicative verbs ever govern the cases of their objects?

From what I've read (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_case) applicative voice occurs when an oblique noun phrase becomes an argument of the verb when the verb takes some applicative morpheme....
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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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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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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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238 views

How do various frameworks account for situations when multiple cases can be assigned?

My mother and I went to the market. My mother and me went to the market. Many (most?) English speakers today will accept both of these as grammatical. But it would be hard to argue that they ...
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Which language(s) has cases which cannot be mistaken for other cases?

I would like to learn a language which has cases which cannot be mistaken for other cases, in pronunciation and writing. Does such a language exist? For an example of what I want to avoid: The case ...
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1answer
214 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 ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
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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 ...