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R: cases

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 12, 2000, 7:09
> Hi > > I'm not a linguist but I am tring to create a language and I was > wondering if there was a min. number of noun cases needed in a language > to keep it clear. is it better to have more or less affix cases etc. >
Hi Mario, and welcome to the list! You're Italian, aren't you? Where do you live, Veneto? I live in Lombardy, near Como. Welcome to the list! As for your query, well, you'll have noticed our Italian perfectly works with an almost free word order even in the spoken lang without marking any case. You can start with a nom.acc. and then add all the cases you want (Finnish comes up with an huge amount of them: AFAIRem14, and Boudewijn Rempt's Denden has something like 30 prepositional cases!). English, on the other hand, marks only genitive with the notorious clitic 's. If you want something special, you can decide to use an ergative case system (In case you were wondering, ergative is a designation for a kind of language where: The subject of transitive verbs (verbs which take a direct object) is marked for a case called ergative. The subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive verbs are marked for a case called absolutive. ) - this obviously does not mean you should use only erg. and abs: my Vaiysi has erg., abs., dat., gen., loc. and all.. Case system is one of the funniest things to make up. Have fun, and... welcome again! Luca