Questions tagged [cases]

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

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6answers
921 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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3answers
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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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1answer
33 views

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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1answer
68 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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0answers
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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
482 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
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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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
439 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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0answers
76 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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624 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
63 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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3answers
208 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," ...
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2answers
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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1answer
250 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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2answers
176 views

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
68 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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1answer
594 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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1answer
115 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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1answer
90 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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1answer
200 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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1answer
115 views

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
96 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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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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2answers
549 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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1answer
184 views

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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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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1answer
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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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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1answer
232 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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1answer
76 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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4answers
304 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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1answer
99 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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2answers
105 views

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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1answer
91 views

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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0answers
128 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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2answers
422 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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1answer
396 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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3answers
291 views

What sort of morpheme is this suffix meaning ‘about'?

Some background: This is a conlang that I'm developing as part of my job. It's a difficult task, but I want to make it as realistic as possible. I have to make a detailed grammar so that other ...
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1answer
327 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
221 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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3answers
222 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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1answer
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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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3answers
182 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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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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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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2answers
253 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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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 ...