Versatile cases

Aikhenvald, A.Y. (2008) Versatile cases. Journal of Linguistics , 44 (3). 565-603.

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Abstract

Case markers are thought of primarily as nominal morphemes, indicating the function of a noun phrase in a clause. In a few languages of the world case markers also appear on verbal forms. Such ‘ versatile ’ cases can express (i) temporal, causal and other relationships between clauses, and (ii) aspectual and modal meanings within a clause. Core cases tend to express aspectual and modal meanings, while oblique cases tend to be used as clause-linkers. The recurrent semantic differences between case morphemes as nominal markers, as clause-linking devices, and as exponents of clausal categories are rooted in the inherent polyfunctionality of these ‘chameleon’ morphemes: the specific meaning of any instance is affected by the morphosyntactic context in which it occurs. The conclusions are corroborated by a case study of Manambu, a Papuan language with extensive use of cases on nouns and on verbs, as exponents of aspectual and modal meanings and as clause-linking devices.

Item ID: 8664
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: cases; Papuan languages; Australian languages
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ISSN: 1469-7742
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2010 05:42
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200407 Lexicography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950202 Languages and Literacy @ 100%
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