Questions tagged [cases]

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

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2answers
495 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 ...
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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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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
188 views

Theta-Marking, Case-Marking and Argumenthood in Copular Sentences

Nominal predicates in copular sentences are peculiar because in certain languages, they acquire case other than accusative case. Even English was so, e.g. "it is I (NOM)" vs. "it is me (ACC)." Perhaps ...
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272 views

Case assignment with prepositions

Consider these examples: 'I am happy with my parents' my parents gets assigned Case by 'with'. *'I am proud with my parents' My question is as follows: What is the reasoning for 2 being ...
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104 views

How do you assign Case to sentences with an infinitval clause?

Look at this example: For the butler to attack the robber would be surprising. Here, the butler and the robber are assigned accusative Case. Is 'For' assigning case to the butler and 'to attack' ...
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wals chapter 50 regarding german language

Regarding asymmetrical case marking in German referring WALS chapter 50, I understand the asymmetry in German (ich : I; mich : me; mir : to me; er : he; ihm : to him; ihn : him, etc.) but the value is ...
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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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194 views

Constructions like the double accusative outside of the Ancient Greek word “διδασκειν”

I'm looking for examples of having 2 or more nouns in the same case but with the different semantic roles given by the differing referents of the nouns, not entirely by one of morphological case, ...
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290 views

Overt Subjects of Non-Finite Clauses and Accusative Case

How do overt subjects of non-finite clauses such as the gerund clause below obtain accusative case despite there being no accusative case or ECM assigner? Me arriving late is a sure thing I think I ...
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3answers
2k views

How should I form grammatical cases in my conlang?

Now, I'm a Latin student, and that being said, I understand how cases operate and what they do for a language, but I've never enjoyed learning/studying/keeping track of them. That being said, I feel ...
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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 ...
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Month names variants

Regarding the question on TeX.stackexchange I am looking for generally used languages that use different cases for their month and day names. Based on Czech and Slovak languages I can imagine two ...
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1answer
422 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, ...
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245 views

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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2answers
202 views

What would you call a case specifying something is far away from a noun?

There's the adessive case, which can be used to specify something is near a noun, but is there an opposite? Is there a case specifying a far distance from a noun? I'm including this case in my conlang ...
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1answer
183 views

Are there languages with more cases than Latin?

I am currently busy with a project that involves production rules. From my years in Latin at college, I learned about the six basic ones. But if I am not confused, ablative could represent several ...
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338 views

Is there a language in which the verb “to ask” can be followed by a dative case?

So far as I know, the ditransitive verb "to ask" takes two accusatives in German (fragen), and the verb "to give" takes one dative and one accusative in many languages. Is there a language in which ...
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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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What is some standard analysis for “Look me in the eye”

I am looking for hints where to find a ("standard") analysis of something like this english dative construction: Look me in the eye Clearly, the "the" in this phrase is semantically scoped BY the me ...
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232 views

What motivated the terms 'ergative' and 'absolutive'?

Source: p 195, Understanding Syntax (4 ed, 2014) by Prof. Maggie Tallerman PhD in Linguistics (U. Hull) ERGATIVE is the case of A – the subject of transitive verbs. ABSOLUTIVE is the case of both ...
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1answer
157 views

Grammatical mistake in the Gita

I am studying Sanskrit. I encountered a sentence in verse 19 of chapter 1 of the Bhagavad gita - as it is. The sloka is as follows: स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्। नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो...
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1answer
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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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In a Latin ablative absolute, how is the ablative case being used?

In Latin, a common way of expressing when an action is happening relative to another action is to use an ablative absolute, consisting of an ablative noun and an ablative participle. As an example, ...
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How can case systems emerge diachronically?

This questions applies only to the languages which originally did not feature noun case systems and developed it over time through various sound, morphological and syntactical changes. By a case ...
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How to write sonorant assimilation rule? [closed]

I was wondering how the formally write the rule for assimilation; for example: Finnish mp -> mm ŋk -> ŋŋ nt -> nn lt -> ll rt -> rr I'm guessing it's assimilation when the preceeding consonant ...
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What is the difference between predicate-argument structure and case structure

Predicate's arguments are just case slots, aren't they? So predicate-argument structure and case structure are just the same thing?
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accusative being used to express an origin?

I read in Plutarch (Demosthenes.1) the phrase ὑπάρξαι ‘τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον‘ (~ to be born in ‘a famous city’). (τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον being a quote from (pseudo-?)Euripides' ode to Alcibiades, cf ...
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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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175 views

What is the difference between Arabic forms and cases?

Every word in Arabic derives from 3 root letters. Forms in Arabic are a way of modifying these roots to create new words whose meaning is based on the original one. For example, one might turn a verb ...
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Distinguishing “Eskimo”/“Inuit” languages by the passive agent morpheme

In The Origin of Agent Markers by Enrique L. Palancar an attempt has been made to list morphemes used both 1.) as a case morpheme belonging to a noun and 2.) as a morpheme on such nouns that express ...
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About ECMs and considering Adjective Phrases as predicates

I'll just jump right to it. I'm given the following sentence - "We remembered the scary dream", with the instructions to draw an X-Bar, and decide whether this is an ECM or a normal control type. ...
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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
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How can it be decided whether two grammatical cases should be taken to be just homophonous (i.e. as separate) or actually equal?

I've come across this in multiple grammars: Two grammatical cases (e.g. ergative and instrumental) are said to be "homophonous" - they make use of the (apparently?) same marker and yet, they are ...
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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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Kuryłowicz on cases and prepositions

I've read Kuryłowicz's classic paper "Le problème du classement des cas" and I'm not sure how to interpret what he says about the difference between case affixes and prepositions. Does he in effect ...
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Dependencies in case phrases

Languages like Japanese are said to have case phrases (KP). I don't understand why case particles are considered heads. Why is the structure of NP+ga [KP [DP x] [K ga]] (ie the DP depends on ga)?
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Nominative Case Assignment and VP-Internal Subjects

From what I've learnt, structural case is assigned in certain structural configurations. For example, nominative case is assigned by tensed I/T to nominals in SpecIP/TP. Therefore, the case filter ...
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156 views

How is the dative case for help being used here?

Swiss-German has dative and accusative case-marking for its objects. In the sentence "I gave him the book," "him" must be marked as dative and "the book" must be marked as accusative. It's clear that ...
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258 views

How is case assigned in elliptical answers?

I am interested in cross-linguistic variation in case assignment to single-NP elliptical answers – for example “What did they see?”; “A goat”. By “case” I mean a distinct form of a word selected to ...
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320 views

Is word order a method of implementing case in English language

I often read that English retains 'vestigal' case markers, particularly for the genitive, although some argue that 's is a clitic. Pronouns remain the largest source of marked words indicating the ...
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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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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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What is the difference between case marking particles and adpositions?

Apparently there is some relevant book which claims, more or less: Case marking particles and adpositions are not identical, one is a morphological, one a syntactic unit. This claim was heard ...
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1answer
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Case matching asymmetry in German dislocation

Left- and right-dislocation in German behave differently regarding the case the dislocated expression takes. Left-dislocation seems to be lenient, as it allows the nominative as well as the case the ...
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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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Do Germanic languages have partitive case?

Finnish, among a few other languages, is known for its partitive case. I have been told that in some Germanic language, partitive case is required whenever SV-order is absent. SV-order is absent, e.g.,...
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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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2answers
178 views

How does one gloss a case that has both locative and genitive meaning?

I am designing a language where a single case affix expresses both loc and gen. How should such a case be labelled? An example would be: house-GEN.LOC 'in the house'; he-GEN.LOC house-3POSS 'his ...
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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, ...