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Re: THEORY: Case stacking; was: Re: THEORY: genitive vs. construct case/izafe

From:Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 2:58
On 7/26/05, tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...> wrote:
> > Hello, everyone, and thanks for writing. > > TERMINOLOGY QUESTION: Is "Suffixaufnahme" the same as "case- > stacking"?
I am unaware of "case-stacking" as a widely-used item of terminology, but as it's used here, it appears to refer to constructions in which a noun may receive more than one case morpheme -- a group of phenomena which includes the various Aufnahme-phenomena. (That is, Suffixaufnahme, the even rarer Präfixaufnahme, Tone-Aufnahme, etc. For convenience, sometime *all* of these are referred to as Suffixaufnahme.) But there are other case-stacking phenomena than Suffixaufnahme. The definitive work on the subject (Double Case, Planck ed., 1995) gives a prototype definition of Suffixaufnahme roughly as follows: "In what can be recognized as the prototype of Suffixaufnahme there is a nominal consisting of a noun or a personal pronoun in a relationship of attribution to another nominal, in the basic form that attributive constructions take in the language concerned, with the head nominal morphologically marked by a case suffix for its external syntactic relation, with the attribute carrying the inflectional marking of genitive case, and -- crucially -- with the attribute itself in addition separately marked for the same case, plus perhaps further categories expressed by suffixes, as the head." (p. 50) That is, possessions take both the genitive case suffix and the case suffix of their possessors. (This also, in many languages, works with other cases, such as the dative or the locative. The prototype specifies genitive because it's the most common.) Here's an example from Hurrian: shen-iffu-ve ashti brother-my-GEN wife "my brother's wife" shen-iffu-ve-ne-zh ashti-zh brother-my-GEN-SING-ERG wife-ERG "my brother's wife" As for recursive attribution -- phrases like "the dowry of the wife of my brother" -- different languages behave differently. Hurrian appears only to accept one Suffixaufnahme construction per recursive genitive phrase, and it's the deepest one. Schematically: brother-GEN-GEN wife-GEN dowry-DIR This is a bit odd -- perhaps I shouldn't have chosen Hurrian but it's the one I know the best -- but the canonical Suffixaufnahme construction would be brother-GEN-GEN-DIR wife GEN-DIR dowry-DIR. When I say "canonical" I really mean "most consistent" -- I don't believe that the "canonical" recursive construction is used in the majority of Suffixaufnahme languages. ---------------------- Sumerian, on the other hand, exhibits a different sort of case-stacking, "Suffixhäufung". This occurs when suffixes are "postponed" until the end of the entire phrase -- that is, when the case suffix occurs after the phrase rather than the head. This resembles Suffixaufnahme but is really a completely different pattern. Here's a Sumerian example: é dnin Girsu-k-ak-e house lord Girsu-GEN-GEN-DEM "this house of the lord of Girsu." In my analysis, this is perhaps best understood as clitic case postpositions (morphological but not phonological words, which must attach to a nearby word to be pronounced) attaching to the final word of their phrase. When combined with head-initial genitive phrase structures, as above, we get the Sumerian pattern of Suffixhäufung. ------------------------ There are other construction that might qualify as case-stacking, as well. For example, in Jiwarli (a Mantharta language of Australia, distantly related to Warlpiri), the ablative case can only be added to a locative-case-marked noun. More strangely, all demonstratives must be marked dative before any other suffix (case or otherwise) may be added to them. ---------------------- Of course, if we stretch the definition of Suffixaufnahme to include non-case suffixes (which seems reasonable), then some sorts of Suffixaufnahme would not be case stacking. Take Elamite, which shows aufnahme of definiteness suffixes: puhu-ri sijan Inshushinak-mi-ra issue-DEF=ANIM temple Inshushinak-DEF=INANIM-DEF=ANIM (The DEF=INANIM suffix -mi can be omitted from the noun (temple) itself; maybe this then appears to prevent further suffix accumulation on this noun. Perhaps; I don't know much about Elamite.) -------------------- Anyway, hope this clears things up, and inspires some interesting ideas, -- Patrick Littell PHIL205: MWF 2:00-3:00, M 6:00-9:00 Voice Mail: ext 744 Spring 05 Office Hours: M 3:00-6:00