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GROUPLANG: cases (was: noun and verb roots)

From:Pablo Flores <fflores@...>
Date:Friday, October 16, 1998, 2:46
Mathias M. Lassailly wrote:
> >Thanks :-) We understood each other although we don't use the same names for cases >(my 'absolutive' >is actually 'agentive' and your 'undergoer' is 'absolutive' :-) But I let down >case issues now : they >will pop out again later re. negative causative and factitive we don't have discussed yet. >
Wait, don't go yet! :-) I wouldn't like to face trouble with cases again, a month from now or so. Let's make a uniform terminology. I'll mention all the cases we have been dealing with so far, and you tell us what you call them: Case 1: THE DOG bit me (agent) Case 2: The dog bit ME (patient) Case 3: HE sees us (undergoer?) Case 4: The dog BIT me (predicate) Case 5: THE RED dog bit me (determinant) (also serves as genitive/possessive) Case 6: A RED dog bit me (modifier) (also serves as genitive) Now, there are some other possibilities: Case 7: HE runs. (factitive?) -> this could be merged with agent. Case 8: The dog is red (attributive?) Case 9: A dog is an animal (equative?) These two could be shown by making the dog the theme. --> dog, pred-red "The dog, it is red" dog, pred-animal "The dog, it's an animal" The lack of case inflection and the pause would mark the theme; you can't possibly misinterpret something like "The dog was reddened" (which would be [patient-dog pred-red]). I mean, you could, but context would tell you it's not probable. dog, caus-I pred-red would probably mean "I made the dog red". What I'm trying to do here is to show you that there's a way to reduce the complexity of the case system by merging some related functions into a single case, and letting word order and context do the rest. I find the 10-case system very interesting but too difficult to use... I don't know if the rest of us feel the same. --Pablo Flores