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Construct Case

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Saturday, September 18, 2004, 1:12
I came across a book in the library today called "Construct Case",
which they describe as the phenomenon of one word having more
than one case tag (we've been calling it Suffixaufnahme, and they
also say that "case stacking" or "CS" is an appropriate term).   There
was a neat example in there that I thought I'd share.   I didn't write
it down, so I'm going to have to paraphrase.

The sentence in question was "The woman gave food to the child..."
and this was then followed by a phrase that referred to one of the NP's.
So the cases of the first part looked like this:

woman-ERG. food-ABS. child-DAT. gave...

Then it was followed by a few different phrases...

(1) the house.   /in house-OBL.-ABS./
(2) the house.   /in house-OBL.-DAT./
(3) ...from the camp.   /camp-ABL.-ERG./

No further specification was necessary because the secondary case tag
tells you which NP the phrase applies to.   The first applies to the food
(that is, it's the food that was in the house); the second applies to the
child (that is, it's the child that was in the house); the third is to the
(that is, the woman was the one who was coming from the camp).
Thus, a sentence like, "The woman gave the child food in the house",
which would be ambiguous in English, would be necessarily unambiguous
in...the language in question.   (I forgot that too.   :(   It was
Australian, and
not one of the popular ones: Diyari, Dyirbal, etc.)

Anyway, I thought this was neat, so I thought I'd share it.   :)

"sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>