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- Created 2012-02-26
whose value reflects the
performed by a
, or sentence. In some languages, nouns, pronouns and their
s take different
forms depending on what case they are in.
has largely lost its case system, although case distinctions can still be seen with the
s: forms such as
are used in the role of
kicked the ball"), while forms such as
are used in the role of
Languages such as
have extensive case systems, with nouns, pronouns,
s all inflecting (usually by means of different
es) to indicate their case. A language may have a number of different cases (Latin and Russian each have at least six; Finnish has 15). Commonly encountered cases include
, dative and
. A role that one of these languages marks by case will often be marked in English using a
. For example, the English prepositional phrase
with (his) foot
(as in "John kicked the ball with his foot") might be rendered in Russian using a single noun in the
, or in Ancient Greek as τῷ ποδί
, meaning "the foot" with both words (the definite article, and the noun πούς
, "foot") changing to dative form.
As a language evolves, cases can merge (for instance in Ancient Greek genitive and ablative have merged as genitive), a phenomenon formally called
More formally, case has been defined as "a system of marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their heads. " Cases should be distinguished from
s such as
. They are often closely related, and in languages such as Latin several thematic roles have an associated case, but cases are a
notion, while thematic roles are a
one. Languages having cases often exhibit
free word order
, since thematic roles are not required to be marked by position in the sentence.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 24 May), licensed under
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Differential object marking
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