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Encyclopedia > Grammatical case
Grammatical cases
General
Declension - Grammatical case - List of grammatical cases - Morphosyntactic alignment - Oblique / objective case
Grammatical cases
Abessive - Ablative - Absolutive - Accusative - Addirective - Adelative - Adessive - Adverbial - Allative - Antessive - Apudessive - Aversive - Benefactive - Caritive - Causal - Causal-final - Comitative - Dative - Delative - Direct - Distributive - Distributive-temporal - Elative - Ergative - Essive - Essive-formal - Essive-modal - Equative - Evitative - Exessive - Final - Formal - Genitive - Illative - Inelative - Inessive - Instructive - Instrumental - Instrumental-comitative - Intransitive - Lative - Locative - Modal - Multiplicative - Nominative - Partitive - Pegative - Perlative - Possessive - Postelative - Postdirective - Postessive - Postpositional - Prepositional - Privative - Prolative - Prosecutive - Proximative - Separative - Sociative - Subdirective - Subessive - Subelative - Sublative - Superdirective - Superessive - Superlative - Suppressive - Temporal - Terminative - Translative - Vialis - Vocative
Declensions
Czech declension - English declension - German declension - Irish declension - Latin declension - Latvian declension - Lithuanian declension - Slovak declension
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In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun indicates its grammatical function in a greater phrase or clause; such as the role of subject, of direct object, or of possessor. While all languages distinguish cases in some fashion, it is only customary to say that a language has cases when these are codified in the morphology of its nouns — that is, when nouns change their form to reflect their case. (Such a change in form is a kind of declension, hence a kind of inflection.) Cases are related to, but distinct from, thematic roles such as agent and patient; while certain cases in each language tend to correspond to certain thematic roles, cases are a syntactic notion whereas thematic roles are a semantic one. In linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns and adjectives to indicate such features as number (typically singular vs. ... This is a list of grammatical cases as they are used by various inflectional languages that have declension. ... In linguistics, morphosyntactic alignment is the system used to distinguish between the arguments of transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. ... An oblique case (Latin: ) in linguistics is a noun case of analytic languages that is used generally when a noun is the predicate of a sentence or a preposition. ... In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS, from Latin abesse to be distant), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun. ... In linguistics, ablative case (also called the sixth case) (abbreviated ABL) is a name given to cases in various languages whose common thread is that they mark motion away from something, though the details in each language may differ. ... In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive is the grammatical case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb. ... The accusative case (abbreviated ACC) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. ... In the Finnish language, Estonian language and Hungarian language the adessive case (from Latin adesse to be present) is the fourth of the locative cases with the basic meaning of on. For example, Estonian laud (table) and laual (on the table), Hungarian asztal and asztalon (on the table). ... The adverbial case is a noun case in the Abkhaz language and Georgian language that has function similar to the translative and essive cases. ... In the Finnish language, the Allative case is the fifth of the locative cases, with the basic meaning of onto. Its ending is -lle, for example pöytä (table) and pöydälle (onto the top of the table). ... Antessive case[1] is used for marking before something (before the concert). The case is found in some Dravidian languages. ... Apudessive case[1] is used for marking location next to something (next to the house). The case is found in Tsez language. ... The aversive case is a grammatical case found in Australian languages that indicates that the marked noun is avoided or feared. ... The benefactive case is a case used where English would use for, for the benefit of, or intended for. ... In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS, from Latin abesse to be distant), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun. ... The causal or causative case (abbreviated CAUS) is a grammatical case that indicates that the marked noun is the cause or reason for something. ... This case in Hungarian language combines the Causal case and the Final case: it can express the cause of emotions (eg. ... The Comitative case is used where English would use in company with or together with. It, and many other cases, are found in the Finnish language, the Hungarian language, and the Estonian language. ... The dative case is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given. ... The delative case (from Latin deferre to bear or bring away or down) in the Hungarian language can originally express the movement from the surface of something (eg. ... In Indo-Aryan languages, the direct case is the name given to a grammatical case used with all three core relations: the agent of transitive verbs, the patient of transitive verbs, and the experiencer of intransitive verbs. ... This case in Hungarian language can express the manner when something happens to each member of a set one by one (eg. ... This case in Hungarian language can express how often something happens (eg. ... See Elative for disambiguation. ... In ergative-absolutive languages, the ergative case identifies the subject of a transitive verb. ... The essive or similaris case carries the meaning of a temporary state of being, often equivalent to the English as a. ... In Hungarian language this case combines the Essive case and the Formal case, and it can express the position, task, state (eg. ... This case in Hungarian language can express the state, capacity, task in which somebody is or which somebody has (Essive case, eg. ... Equative is a case with the meaning of comparison, or likening. ... The aversive case is a grammatical case found in Australian languages that indicates that the marked noun is avoided or feared. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Final case is used for marking final cause (for a house). Semitic languages had that case, but all of them lost it[1][2]. Causal-final case found in Hungarian language. ... In Hungarian language this case combines the Essive case and the Formal case, and it can express the position, task, state (eg. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... Illative case in the Finno-Ugric languages Illative (from Latin inferre to bring in) is, in the Finnish language, Estonian language and the Hungarian language, the third of the locative cases with the basic meaning of into (the inside of). An example from Hungarian would be a házba (into... Inessive case (from Latin inesse to be in or at) is a locative grammatical case. ... In the Finnish language, the instructive case has the basic meaning of by means of. It is a comparatively rarely used case, though it is found in some commonly used expressions, such as omin silmin -> with ones own eyes. In modern Finnish, many of its instrumental uses are being... In linguistics, the instrumental case (also called the eighth case) indicates that a noun is the instrument or means by which the subject achieves or accomplishes an action. ... This case in Hungarian language contains the Instrumental case and the Comitative case at the same time. ... The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. ... Lative is a case which indicates motion to a location. ... Locative is a case which indicates a location. ... In linguistics,the Modal case is a grammatical case used to express ability, intention, necessity, obligation, permission, possibility, etc. ... Multiplicative case[1] is used for marking a number of something (three times). The case is found in Hungarian language. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The basic meaning of the Partitive case is partialness, without result or without specifying identity. In the Finnish language, its used to express unknown identities and irresultative actions. ... In linguistics, the Pegative case is used for a case marking that a noun is an agent of an action that has a dative-like undergoer argument. ... Perlative case expresses that something moved through,across, or along the referent of the noun that is marked[1]. The case is found in the West Australian Kuku-Yalanji language[2] ^ Article Perlative Case on the Linguist list wiki ^ Robert Malcolm Ward Dixon, Australian Languages: their nature and development, page... Possessive case is a case that exists in some languages used for possession. ... In a passive sentence, when we want to say when or where something happens, we use a phrase that asks for details about the action. ... Prepositional case is a grammatical case that marks prepositions. ... In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS, from Latin abesse to be distant), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun. ... The prolative case is a declension of a noun or pronoun that has the basic meaning of by way of. The prolative is widely used in Estonian. ... The prosecutive case is a declension found in Tundra Nenets language. ... The Proximative case is used to describe a meaning similar to that of the English preposition near to or close to. It is used in the logical language Gimív. An example of its use is ‘basúnid’ which the creator has given to mean ‘near a school. ... This case in Hungarian language can express the person in whose company (cf. ... The subessive case is a case indicating location under or below. ... This case in Hungarian language can express the destination of the movement, originally to the surface of something (eg. ... The Superessive case is a grammatical declension indicating location on top of something. ... In grammar, nouns in the superlative case typically denote objects over which or onto the top of which another object moves (movement over or onto the top of is important here). ... The temporal case in morphology is used to indicate a time. ... In morphology, the terminative case is a case that indicates to what point; where something ends. ... This declension (case) indicates a change in state of a noun, with the general sense of becoming X or change to X. In the Finnish language, this is the counterpart of the Essive case, with the basic meaning of a change of state. ... The vialis case is found in Eskimo languages. ... The vocative case (also called the fifth case) is the case used for a noun identifying the person (animal, object, etc. ... Czech declension describes the declension, or system of grammatically-determined modifications, in nouns, adjectives, pronouns and numerals in the Czech language. ... The English language once had an extensive declension system similar to modern German or Icelandic. ... German declension is the declensional system of the German language. ... The declension of Irish nouns, the definite article, and the adjectives is discussed on this page. ... Latin is an inflected language, and as such its nouns, pronouns, and adjectives must be declined in order to serve a grammatical function. ... Latvian declension describes the declension, or system of grammatically-determined modifications, in nouns, adjectives, pronouns and numerals in the Latvian language. ... Declension of the Lithuanian language is quite sophisticated similarly to that in ancient Indo-European languages (such as Sanskrit, Latin or Ancient Greek). ... See also: Slovak language. ... For the topic in theoretical computer science, see Formal grammar Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ... In English, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun phrase. ... If grammar is seen as studying the relations and architectures of language, such relations and structures would then have supports and anchors, forces and motions, features and property equivalencies, and roles galore just as a building or organixm has. ... Look up phrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In grammar, a clause is a word or group of words ordinarily consisting of a subject and a predicate, although in some languages and some types of clauses, the subject may not appear explicitly. ... According to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle, every sentence can be divided in two main constituents, one being the subject of the sentence and the other being its predicate. ... The accusative case of a noun is, generally, the case used to mark the direct object of a verb. ... Possession, in the context of linguistics, is an asymmetric relationship between two constituents, one of which possesses (owns, rules over, has as a part, has as a relative, etc. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... In linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns and adjectives to indicate such features as number (typically singular vs. ... Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Theta role. ... In linguistics, a grammatical agent is an entity that carries out an action. ... In linguistics, a grammatical patient is an entity upon whom an action is carried out. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...

Contents

Cases in English

Cases are not very prominent in modern English, except in its personal pronouns (a remnant of the more extensive case system which existed in Old English). For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, case is indicated only by word order, by prepositions, and by the clitic -'s. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Personal pronouns are pronouns often used as substitutes for proper or common nouns. ... The morphology of the Old English language is quite different from that of Modern English, predominantly by being much more highly inflected. ... In linguistic typology, word order is the order in which words appear in sentences. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with adposition. ... The Saxon genitive is the traditional term used for the s word-ending in the English language. ...


Taken as a whole, English personal pronouns are typically said to have three morphological cases: a subjective case (such as I, he, she, we), used for the subject of a finite verb and sometimes for the complement of a copula; an objective case (such as me, him, her, us), used for the direct or indirect object of a verb, for the object of a preposition, for an absolute disjunct, and sometimes for the complement of a copula; and a possessive case (such as my/mine, his, her(s), our(s)), used for a grammatical possessor. That said, these pronouns often have more than three forms; the possessive case typically has both a determiner form (such as my, our) and a distinct independent form (such as mine, ours). Additionally, except for the interrogative personal pronoun who, they all have a distinct reflexive or intensive form (such as myself, ourselves). The English personal pronouns are classified as follows: First person refers to the speaker(s). ... The subjective case is the term preferred by English grammarians for the nominative case. ... A finite verb is a verb that is inflected for person and for tense according to the rules and categories of the languages it occurs in. ... A complement is a phrase that fits a particular slot in the syntax requirements of a parent phrase. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The accusative case of a noun is, generally, the case used to mark the direct object of a verb. ... An object in grammar is a sentence element and part of the sentence predicate. ... Possessive case is a case that exists in some languages used for possession. ... Determiners are words which quantify or identify nouns. ... In some languages, there is a difference between reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns. ...


Cases in Indo-European languages

While not very prominent in English, cases feature much more saliently in many other Indo-European languages, such as Latin, German, Russian. Historically, the Indo-European languages had eight morphological cases, though modern languages typically have fewer, using prepositions and word order to convey information that had previously been conveyed using distinct noun forms. The eight historic cases are as follows, with examples: The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

  • The nominative case, which corresponds to English's subjective case, indicates the subject of a finite verb:
    The man went to the store.
  • The accusative case, which together with the dative and ablative cases (below) corresponds to English's objective case, indicates the direct object of a verb:
    The man bought a car.
  • The dative case indicates the indirect object of a verb:
    The man gave his daughter a book.
  • The ablative case indicates the object of most common prepositions:
    The boy went with his father to see the doctor.
  • The genitive case, which corresponds to English's possessive case, indicates the possessor of another noun:
    A country's citizens must defend its honor.
  • The vocative case indicates an addressee:
    John, are you O.K.?
  • The locative case indicates a location:
    I live in China.
  • The instrumental case indicates an object used in performing an action:
    He shot it with the gun.

All of the above are just rough descriptions; the precise distinctions vary from language to language, and are often quite complex. Case is arguably based fundamentally on changes to the ending of the noun to indicate the noun's role in the sentence. This is not how English works, where word order and prepositions are used to achieve this; as such it is debatable whether the above examples of English sentences can be said to be examples of 'case' in English.


Case and linguistic typology

Languages are categorized into several case systems, based on their morphosyntactic alignment — how they group verb agents and patients into cases: In linguistics, morphosyntactic alignment is the system used to distinguish between the arguments of transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. ... In linguistics, a theta role or θ-role is the semantic role a noun phrase plays in a sentence. ... In linguistics, a theta role or θ-role is the semantic role a noun phrase plays in a sentence. ...

  • Nominative-accusative (or simply accusative): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in the same case as the agent (subject) of a transitive verb; this case is then called the nominative case, with the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb being in the accusative case.
  • Ergative-absolutive (or simply ergative): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in the same case as the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb; this case is then called the absolutive case, with the agent (subject) of a transitive verb being in the ergative case.
  • Ergative-accusative (or tripartite): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in its own case (the intransitive case), separate from that of the agent (subject) or patient (direct object) of a transitive verb (which is in the ergative case or accusative case, respectively).
  • Active-stative (or simply active): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb can be in one of two cases; if the argument is an agent, as in "He ate," then it is in the same case as the agent (subject) of a transitive verb (sometimes called the agentive case), and if it's a patient, as in "He tripped," then it is in the same case as the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb (sometimes called the patientive case).
  • Trigger: One noun in a sentence is the topic or focus. This noun is in the trigger case, and information elsewhere in the sentence (for example a verb affix in Tagalog) specifies the role of the trigger. The trigger may be identified as the agent, patient, etc. Other nouns may be inflected for case, but the inflections are overloaded; for example, in Tagalog, the subject and object of a verb are both expressed in the genitive case when they are not in the trigger case.

The following are systems that some languages use to mark case instead of, or in addition to, declension: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The accusative case (abbreviated ACC) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. ... An ergative-absolutive language (or simply ergative) is one that treats the agent of transitive verbs distinctly from the subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive verbs. ... In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive is the grammatical case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb. ... In ergative-absolutive languages, the ergative case identifies the subject of a transitive verb. ... A tripartite language, also called an ergative-accusative language, is one that marks the agent, experiencer, and patient verb arguments each in different ways. ... The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. ... An active language is one where the only argument of an intransitive verb (that is, the subject) is marked sometimes in the same way as the subject of a transitive verb, and some other times in the same way as the direct object of a transitive verb. ... It has been suggested that Verbal agreement be merged into this article or section. ... Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Tagalog (pronunciation: ) is one of the major languages of the Republic of the Philippines. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ...

  • Positional: Nouns are not inflected for case; the position of a noun in the sentence expresses its case.
  • Adpositional: Nouns are accompanied by words that mark case.

Some languages have very many cases; for example, Finnish has fifteen (see Finnish language noun cases) and Tsez can even be analyzed as having 126 cases). In grammar, an adposition is an element that combines syntactically with a phrase and indicates how that phrase should be interpreted in the surrounding context. ... Nouns in the Finnish language have a large number of grammatical cases, which are detailed here. ... Tsez (also known as Dido; cez in Avar and Tsez; დიდო in Georgian) is a North Caucasian language with about 7000 speakers spoken in the mountaneous Tsunta district of southern and western Dagestan, Russia. ...


The lemma forms of words, which is the form chosen by convention as the canonical form of a word, is usually the most unmarked or basic case, which is typically the nominative, trigger, or absolutive case, whichever a language may have. In linguistics, and particularly in morphology, a lemma or citation form is the canonical form of a lexeme. ... Markedness is a linguistics concept that developed out of the Prague School (also known as the Prague linguistic circle). ...


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