Competition and Variation in Natural Languages: The Case for Case

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Mengistu Amberber, Helen de Hoop
Elsevier, Jun 30, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 374 pages
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This volume combines different perspectives on case-marking: (1) typological and descriptive approaches of various types and instances of case-marking in the languages of the world as well as comparison with languages that express similar types of relations without morphological case-marking; (2) formal analyses in different theoretical frameworks of the syntactic, semantic, and morphological properties of case-marking; (3) a historical approach of case-marking; (4) a psycholinguistic approach of case-marking.

Although there are a number of publications on case related issues, there is no volume such as the present one, which exclusively looks at case marking, competition and variation from a cross-linguistic perspective and within the context of different contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of language.

In addition to chapters with broad conceptual orientation, the volume offers detailed empirical studies of case in a number of diverse languages including: Amharic, Basque, Dutch, Hindi, Japanese, Kuuk Thaayorre, Malagasy and Yurakaré.

The volume will be of interest to researchers and advanced students in the cognitive sciences, general linguistics, typology, historical linguistics, formal linguistics, and psycholinguistics. The book will interest scholars working within the context of formal syntactic and semantic theories as it provides insight into the properties of case from a cross-linguistic perspective. The book also will be of interest to cognitive scientists interested in the relationship between meaning and grammar, in particular, and the human mind's capacity in the mapping of meaning onto grammar, in general.


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Case and the Composition of Arguments in Kuuk Thaayorre
Head Marking and Dependent Marking of Grammatical Relations in Yurakaré
Case Pattern Splits Verb Types and Construction Competition
Limits to Case A Critical Survey of the Notion
Case as Feature Checking and the Status of Predicate Initial Languages
An Accusative Analysis for an Ergative System
The Correlation between Case and Ambiguity
From Old English to Middle English
Evidence from EventRelated Brain Potentials
Differential Subject Marking in Amharic
Differential CaseMarking in Hindi
back matter
Language Index

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Page 1 - I am going to suggest below that there are many semantically relevant syntactic relationships involving nouns and the structures that contain them, that these relationships — like those seen in 1 and 2 — are in large part covert but are nevertheless empirically discoverable, that they form a specific finite set, and that observations made about them will turn out to have considerable cross-linguistic validity. I shall refer to these as 'case

About the author (2005)

Mengistu Amberber is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). He is the co-editor (with P. Collins) of Language Universals and Variation (2002), and (with H. de Hoop) Competition and Variation in Natural Languages: The Case for Case (2005), and the editor of The Language of Memory in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective (2007).

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