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What is "case"?

There are multiple definitions of case, but the differences in conventional terminology between languages also just have a lot to do with different traditions for teaching grammar. Morphological case ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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16 votes
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What are the subjective and objective genitives?

You've basically got it. The terms "subjective genitive" and "objective genitive" come from the classical grammatical tradition (as opposed to modern linguistics), and are mostly used when analyzing ...
Draconis's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why does "brother" have the instrumental case in this Polish sentence?

I don't understand either grammatically or morally, how is "brother" an instrument with which the subject goes on a walk. You are right, brother is not an instrument here. "I go with ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
12 votes
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Do languages ever get new cases?

Yes. One well-known example of a case emerging as we write is the Russian neo-vocative: In modern colloquial Russian given names and a small family of terms often take a special "shortened"...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
12 votes

Is a final -u in Semitic languages known outside of Akkadian?

That Akkadian word-final -u is the Nominative case ending, the other case endings being -a for Accusative and -i for Genitive. Thus, the case forms of the noun bētu 'house' are: Nom.: bētu Acc.: ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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12 votes

Vanishing of cases: general trend or specific to indo-European family?

It's not just a modern trend. Four millennia ago we see Hittite (Indo-European) gradually losing its elaborate case-marking system, and Akkadian (Semitic) reducing its three cases to two (and ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

The traditional Latin names are formed from the supine stems of verbs—basically, a way of turning a verb into a noun, and then into an adjective. Nōminātivus, for example, comes from nōmināre "to name"...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes
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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?

In the dictionaries, the Sanskrit name राम (Rāma), together with most other Sanskrit words, is given in the form of the stem. राम (Rāma) is the stem, and in a sentence it can be used only as a direct ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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10 votes
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Languages preserving loanword inflections

A great number of loanwords from Ancient Greek have been integrated into Czech with great attention to the original forms. For instance, many Ancient Greek nouns from the third (athematic) declension ...
Svatoslav Komínek's user avatar
10 votes
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Declensions in Polish

I can recommend this book: Słownik odmiany rzeczowników polskich by Stanisław Mędrak. The good news is that it's exactly what you want: a dictionary that lists all the noun declension paradigms. The ...
michau's user avatar
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10 votes

What is the difference between case and adpositions?

Semantically (in terms of meaning)? There's no real difference. Some languages might use an adposition for a certain meaning, while other languages use noun case. The underlying meaning can be exactly ...
Draconis's user avatar
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10 votes
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Indo-European languages that have innovated a nominative-accusative distinction for neuter nouns

Russian is such a language. Being a Slavic language, Russian has nouns belong to either animate or inanimate class. The difference is how the Accusative case is formed: the inanimate nouns have ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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9 votes

Why does "brother" have the instrumental case in this Polish sentence?

The preposition z meaning 'with' takes the instrumental case, is all. E.g. Mieszkam w domu z ogrodem You say The instrumental case is used to indicate the instrument/object with which an action or ...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
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8 votes

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

This is a fundamental question in morphology that has consequences going far beyond the simple distinction between case endings and postpositions (which, by itself, is effectively quite thorny in many ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
8 votes

Why do two English personal pronouns — "you" and "it" — lack an objective case?

I would not say that these pronouns lack an objective case. It is just that the subject (nominative) and object (accusative) forms are identical. In Old English, as in virtually all Indo-European ...
fdb's user avatar
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8 votes
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Are there any case-based languages in which the modal verbs do not change the verb they control to the infinitive form?

Yes, there are plenty, for the simple reason that not all languages (even ones that have case) possess an infinitive. All the examples you mention are fairly closely related Indo-European languages, ...
Janus Bahs Jacquet's user avatar
7 votes

Are there signed languages that have a case system?

Sign languages generally do not have rich case systems because they tend to be much more head-marking than, say, English. By this I mean that a translation of your Latin sentences into a hypothetical ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes

How dissimilar must case endings be to each other?

If there was a language where the case endings were just -a, -e, -i, -o, and -u, would speakers find these too similar to each other? Consider modern Russian, which has six cases: nominative, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes

Need for English not to have many grammatical cases

Portuguese doesn't have a case system. Neither has Spanish, or French, Catalan, or Italian. A case system means that nouns (and possibly adjectives) take different forms for different grammatical ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
7 votes

As French is a so-called Roman language, where are the cases?

Language families classify languages according to their history. Italian, French, Spanish and so on are Romance languages because there was a gradual evolution from Latin to these languages. Evolution ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
7 votes
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Are dative governing verbs in IE languages mainly inherited from PIE, or later developed within each IE language?

It is natural for a language that has the Dative case to use this case after verbs that have their action addressed for / to[wards] somebody or something, like “to help” and “to give”. In Russian, the ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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7 votes
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why in Polish we change ją to jej when negating the phrase?

Yes, you do understand correctly what those sentences mean. In the Slavic languages in general and in Polish in particular, the direct object of a verb is in the Accusative case when the verb is ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is there a question about the number of cases in Proto-Indo-European?

There is some uncertainty in what "Proto-Indoeuropean" actually means. The traditional reconstruction with the 8 cases and the rich verbal inflection system reflects a state more precisely ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
7 votes

What does 'overt NP' mean?

NP is short for noun phrase. You'll also see VP, PP, AdvP, AdjP which stand in for verb phrase, preposition(al) phrase, adverb phrase and adjective phrase. Some generativist linguists use the term DP ...
Araucaria - him's user avatar
6 votes

Languages preserving loanword inflections

This is more likely to happen when the original language is fairly well known amongst the community of writers–speakers of the adopting language. Latin often does it for Greek words. That is, one ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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6 votes

What is "case"?

This is actually a very well-thought out and interesting question, one that I have asked as well, as a non-linguist. In simple terms, a case is essentially any change to the form of the word that ...
Aryaman's user avatar
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6 votes
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Instrumental - nominative inversion in Polish

TL;DR: Your assumption is correct, "the new relation" is the main subject, while "result of the expression" is the nominal predicate. It's a remnant of the ancient Essive/Translative grammatical ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
6 votes
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What cases are typical for nouns accompanying the subject?

There are basically three ways accompaniment can be expressed: The language has a special "comitative" case, which is used for accompaniment: Finnish ystävineen, "with some friends". (Note that in ...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the difference between the nominative case and the subject?

"Multiple Nominative Constructions in Japanese and Their Theoretical Implications", by Masahiro AKIYAMA, indicates that in at least some Japanese sentences with multiple noun phrases marked by ga, ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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6 votes

Global case map

First, English does have case (He saw him, I saw them, They saw me...). Second, here is a map. "Rareness" is not a geographical property, it is a genetic property – it is rare in Niger-Congo and ...
user6726's user avatar
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