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Re: Case

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Thursday, July 15, 1999, 19:22
On Wed, 14 Jul 1999, Patrick Dunn wrote:

> On Wed, 14 Jul 1999, Nik Taylor wrote: > > > Kristian Jensen wrote: > > > Boreanesian gets away with just three cases, which is perhaps the > > > absolute minimum in any language. > > > > What about English's two? > > English has three by my count. The accusative usually isn't marked, > except for pronouns. So we have nom (I), genitive (my, or bob's), and > accusative (me). >
It has four by mine. I recall a few discussions with my Germanic Studies prof. several years ago, now, in which we concluded that English could be described as having the four standard Germanic cases (Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc). Only we don't have endings for 3 of them. Granted, this is pushing things things a bit, but there it is. Jack likes Johns book, but instead gives Sue a dollar for hers. Nom Gen Acc Dat On the other hand, when learning English in grammar school, the word "case" never reared its head once. Except as boxes into which we could store musical instuments, or things heard in court. I'm not sure what the minimum no. of cases can be. I suppose one could argue that, for ex., Spanish nouns don't have case: when the need arises for specifying the nouns function within the sentence, you simply pick the correct preposition. Padraic.