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Active case-marking natlangs (was Re: What is needed in anconlang classificatory system?)

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Saturday, February 3, 2001, 1:57
Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:

> daniel andreasson <daniel.andreasson@...> writes: > > > Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > > > > 1. Some fictional languages display combinations of features not > > > attested in natlangs. For example, I have heard multiple times that no > > > active language has yet been found that marks nouns for case that way - > > > those that are known are all head-marking. But several case-marking > > > active languages exist in the realm of fiction (e.g. Nur-ellen and I > > > think also Chevraqis). > > > > And Rinya! :) And Georgian. Of course, Georgian could be argued > > to be a head-marking language because of all the stuff you put on > > the verb root, but it does inflect NPs for case. And Georgian displays > > active alignment in the aorist tense by marking the NPs with different > > case suffixes. So it should count as a case-marking active natlang. > > Of course, how could I forget?! Where did I leave my mind? Georgian is > pretty familiar to me, I used it once as a counterexample against Marcus > Smith's claim that active case-marking systems don't exist!
Tokana is another conlang with an active case-marking system. Tokana is strictly dependent-marking in this regard, inasmuch as there is no agreement morphology on verbs. The breakdown of case forms works more-or-less like this: ABSOLUTIVE: patients/themes (including subjects of non-eventive verbs) NOMINATIVE: volitional agents of eventive verbs (both transitive and intransitive) DATIVE ("to/at/in"): recipients, experiencers of verbs of perception/emotion/cognition, goals, locations, possessors ABLATIVE ("from/of/out of"): sources, non-volitional agents of eventive verbs, standards of comparison, supersets in partitive relations, reasons/motives, substances INSTRUMENTAL ("with/by/via/through"): instruments and inanimate actors, measurements/durations, degrees of comparison ALLATIVE ("towards/for"): benefactees, 'non-endpoint goals' COMITATIVE ("with"): comitatives, subsidiary instruments, possessees Matt.