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Re: Case

From:Ed Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Sunday, July 11, 1999, 4:34
  <37860495.77e-@...> wrote:
original article:
> My conlang used to have a really really elaborate case system, with > probably about twenty five different cases. Recently I decided to > change this to just a few: > nominative > accusative > dative > genitive > prepositional(?)-does anyone have a better name for that-its for use > after prepositions, obviously
Nicole, That's not only a very reasonable system, it *IS* the Latin case system. Well, not exactly, but close. The "prepositional" case in Latin is called the "Ablative", after one of its uses (by no means the most common one) -- expressing movement away from something, often with the preposition "ab" ("away from"). Actually the ablative is kind of a catch-all case. Most prepositions take the ablative or either the ablative or accusative (the accusative is often used with prepositions that have a meaning of "movement towards"). "Prepositional" is a perfectly good name for a case, but if you want to be a little more traditional, do like Latin grammarians did, and pick a common usage for this case and name it after that. Or even a not-so-common usage. Note that if you want a little extra jolt of realism, you might want to have a meaning for that case used by itself, without a preposition. Like in Latin, if you use the ablative without a preposition, it becomes an instrumental, meaning "by means of ___". You might even want to name the case after its bare, "without a preposition" use... But when it comes down to it, there's really nothing wrong with calling it the "prepositional" case!