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CHAT: Prepositions governing nominative, (X)... case [was Re: CHAT: Back on the list; Anti-conlanging bigots]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 2:02
Quoting Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>:

> Anton Sherwood wrote: > >"Thomas R. Wier" wrote: > > > one day we were discussing how GB handles case marking, and the > > > question arose whether there are any languages whose adpositions > > > assign nominative case. I mentioned that I knew off the top of my > > > head of no natural languages which marked case in that way, though > > > I did know of a constructed language [Esperanto] that did this. . . > >um . . . remind me? > > Hmm, as some people on this list may be aware, Tairezazh and Steianzh > violate this rule by having prepositions followed by the nominative*. > Now, in Kalini Sapak the accusative is the most basic case (used as the > lexical form, as vocative etc). So, does this mean that it be unnatural to > have adpositions govern accusative?
Generally speaking, no, but it really depends on the number of distinct cases in the language and what kinds of other uses they might have and how they uses interact with one another. Is the accusative morphologically marked by <null>, while the nominative takes some special ending? Such a system is not unheard of, though it is far rarer than special marking for the accusative and no marking for the nominative.
> It'd feel to me extremely weird to have > the adpositions govern the nominative (otherwised strictly reserved for > subjects), and I really don't want to have all adpositions govern > genitive.
FWIW, in Georgian, the default case assigned by postpositions is genitive. (There are a handful of postpositions -- maybe 20 or so AFAIK -- that take dative or instrumental, though none take nominative or "ergative", and I'm pretty sure none take the adverbial case either, but I could be wrong.) ===================================================================== Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <> "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers