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Re: cases

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Sunday, December 1, 2002, 3:49
On Saturday 30 November 2002 09:09 pm, Florian Rivoal wrote:
> I am considering creating an inflected conlang (i have not started at all, > just thinking of it). But i have a problem: I don't know much about cases. > I could create some out of nowhere(i maybe i will for some) for my lang, > but i would like first to know what existing natlangs or conlang have. I am > only familiar with five of them:
Well, you could start with the FAQ. :) (, search for "Introduction to Cases.") It's in desperate need of revision and polishing, but it's a start.
> first question : Am i right with these 5?
Well, that's one possible system, out of many. I think the bare minimum is three (assuming an accusative system); nominative, accusative, and oblique/genitive/dative (pick one). English, for instance, has case remnants: accusative and genitive show up in the pronouns (me/my) as well as the 's possessive ending. If there are langs (con- or nat-) that only have two, I'd be interested in hearing about it. There tends to be about four to six "core" cases that show up in languages with a large number of cases, with the rest indicating location or direction. The core tend to be (again assuming accusative) nominative, accusative, genative, and dative, with comitative/instrumental ("with") and partative or vocative filling out the rest. But this is by no means a hard and fast rule--violate at will.
> third :What other cases can there be, and what is there use?
Well, you indicated that you already now about ergativity, but have you considered an active case system? I refer you to for Daniel Andréasson's excellent paper on active case systems. It's long, but rich on examples. :Peter


bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>