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THEORY nouns and cases

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Sunday, April 25, 2004, 8:21
Ray Brown wrote:

> On Saturday, April 24, 2004, at 05:34 PM, Henrik Theiling wrote: > >> Hi! > > > Hi! > > I apologize if any of what I say seems hostile. It's not intended. We > seem > to be speaking at cross purposes and I'm just trying to clarify matters. > >> Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> writes: > > [snip] > >>> IMO it doesn't make sense to talk of nouns & pronouns having one case. >>> That'd mean all the world's languages decline their nouns & pronouns >>> which >>> seems to me counter-intuitive. >> >> >> Hmm, I don't mean by case that the nouns are morphologically changed. >> E.g. Chinese also has two cases (the one in front of the verb and the >> one after) but marks none by morphological processes. > > > Ah - we're talking at cross-purposes. You are using 'case' in the > sense it > is used in Government-Binding theory; as the late Larry Trask says under > 'case' in his "A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics": > "2. In GB, a putatively universal abstract property of noun phrases which > is an extension of 'case' in sense 1. Every overt NP, in this view, must > be marked by the grammar as bearing exactly one set of abstract 'Cases', > the names and nature of which are reminiscent of some of the traditional > cases in sense 1: Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, etc." > > Being just a plain ol' empricist, I do not subscribe to the GB theory nor > to concepts such as 'deep case'. By 'case' I mean what Larry Trask gives > as meaning 1. I quote from him again: > "1. A distinctive, overtly marked form which can be assumed by an NP to
My personal belief, actually, is that it is marked - it's marked by word order(Thus, the only language with 1/0 cases is MRLL). Let me give another example - if a language was to mark tense with word order (VSO-preterite, SVO-present, SOV-future) - would you say it has no tense? It clearly has a time-distinction, but no morphologically marked tense. And yet, I would suggest that it does indeed have tense, though I am not sure if you would.


Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>