The Status of Case
The study of case1 has been an integral part of the study of clausal structure for centuries. In the ancient Greek tradition, for example, the actants of a clause were defined primarily in terms of semantic case notions like accusative ‘accused/affected’, dative ‘giving’, or vocative ‘called/named’. In the Pāninian tradition (ca. 6th century BCE), the relationship between the arguments of a clause and their case realization was mediated via a level of semantic roles such as actor and undergoer. While the ancient notions have remained with us as part of the modern view of syntax, languages also came to be classified according to the kind of subject vs. object marking they displayed. In particular, a distinction is drawn between ergative and accusative types of languages.2 This distinction goes back to Fillmore (1968) and has been taken up in various forms in the literature (see Manning 1996 for an overview).
KeywordsNoun Phrase Lexical Entry Argument Structure Head Noun Indirect Object
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