Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Case

Case

Case is a grammatical category determined by the syntactic or semantic function of a noun or pronoun .

The term case has traditionally been restricted to apply to only those languages which indicate certain functions by the inflection of:

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • noun phrase constituents, such as adjectives and numerals

The term is sometimes extended to include such functions expressed by adpositions .

(Latin)

The Latin sentences Canis hominem mordet ‘Dog bites man’ and Canem homo mordet ‘Man bites dog’, illustrate that differing case endings express the differing functions of the nouns in Latin.

(Japanese)

In the following sentence, case is indicated by the case markers ga, ni, and o:

  • John ga Mary ni hon o yatta
  • John NOMINATIVE Mary DATIVE book ACCUSATIVE gave
  • ‘John gave Mary a book.’
Page/s: 35
Source: Pei and Gaynor 1954

Pei, Mario A., and Frank Gaynor. 1954.A dictionary of linguistics. New York: Philosophical Library.

Page/s: 211
Source: Mish 1991

Mish, Frederick (editor). 1991.Webster's ninth new collegiate dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. 1,564 pages. 0877795088; indexed 0877795096; deluxe 087779510X.

Page/s: 4–5
Source: Kuno 1973

Kuno, Susumu. 1973.The structure of the Japanese language. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Page/s: 53–54
Source: Crystal 1980

Crystal, David. 1980.A first dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Page/s: 71–72
Source: Andrews, A. 1985

Andrews, Avery. 1985. "The major functions of the noun phrase." In Shopen 1985b

Page/s: 179–180
Source: Anderson, S. 1985

Anderson, Stephen R. 1985. "Inflectional morphology." In Shopen 1985d

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Date of creation
05-Ago-2021
Accepted term
05-Ago-2021
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