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Re: Case

From:Matt Pearson <mpearson@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 14, 1999, 16:28
And Rosta wrote:

>> The INSTRUMENTAL case is used to mark >> -- Instruments (I hit the nail *with the hammer*) >> -- Paths/routes (I went *through the woods*, I slid *across the ice*, >> the bird flew *over the tree*, we travelled *via Boston*) >> -- Measures (I live *twelve miles* from here, John is *three feet* >> taller than Bill, I am *seven years* older than Bill) >> >> So, rather than coming up with lots of different cases, as other >people >> do, I enjoy limiting myself to a few cases, and then figuring out >which >> semantic relations to assign to each one. The resulting semantic >> mappings can be rather intriguing. I find the implied connection >> between the PATH, INSTRUMENT, and MEASURE relations rather pleasing, >> for example: "I hit the nail BY MEANS OF the hammer", "I walked BY >MEANS >> OF the woods", "I am taller than Bill BY MEANS OF three feet"... > >It sounds to me as if it is PERLATIVITY ("through-ness") rather than >INSTRUMENTALITY that is the semantic essence of this case. So better >translations would in that case be > > "I hit the nail VIA/THROUGH the hammer", > "I walked VIA/THROUGH the woods", > "I am taller than Bill VIA/THROUGH three feet"...
You're probably right. But "instrumental" is a more common case name than "perlative", so I'll stick with the former. "Perlative" sounds like one of those cases you only find in languages like Finnish, alongside the essive, inessive, abessive and whatnot. :-) Matt. ------------------------------------ Matt Pearson UCLA Linguistics Department 405 Hilgard Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543 ------------------------------------