Thursday, June 1, 2017

Detail #343: Places to Put Differential Case Markings

Differential case marking is something that to me is mainly associated with:
  • subjects and objects (c.f. Turkish or Finnish objects, Turkish subjects of some infinitive verb types; also, fluid-S languages kind of qualify for this!)
  • adpositions (Latin, German, Russian, Greek, etc prepositions)
  • some kinds of secondary subjects (e.g. the agent that is caused to do something with some types of causative constructions)
Conversely, the features I associate it with are:
  • negative vs. positive
  • aspect (telic vs. atelic, for instance)
  • direction vs. location (the adposition thing)
  • definiteness (Turkish object and (infinitive) subject marking)
  • volition (fluid-S)
  • in some Finnish causatives, "permit X to ..." vs. "have X do ...", so basically sort of volition again?
Could we go for some different things? For contexts where differential case could make sense, how about:
  • relative pronouns
  • resumptive pronouns
  • interrogative pronouns
  • reflexive pronouns pronouns
With relative and resumptive, we could consider for, say, subjects and objects, whether  the relative clause is restrictive or not. For interrogative pronouns, a relevant distinction could be analogous to what vs. which. For reflexives, maybe reflexive vs. reciprocal.

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