Gaining new cases.

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Nachtuil
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Gaining new cases.

Post by Nachtuil » Thu 08 Sep 2016, 02:36

We all know western European languages lost all sorts of cases but are there any documented examples of languages gaining new cases historically? Or even presently?

I am curious how cases come into being and develop. If they are prepositions or articles that get sucked into nouns or what. If they just develop when other cases split. That kind of thing.
Last edited by Nachtuil on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 21:51, edited 1 time in total.
Ephraim
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Ephraim » Thu 08 Sep 2016, 10:52

Postpositions are probably the most common source of case endings, but by no means the only one.

See this chapter by Leonid Kulikov on the "Evolution Of Case Systems", it has many examples of new cases developing in different languages:
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstr ... sequence=1
Nachtuil
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Nachtuil » Thu 08 Sep 2016, 14:07

That's wonderful, thank you so much!
Nachtuil
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Nachtuil » Fri 09 Sep 2016, 19:11

I just finished reading the PDF and want to thank you again as it was perfectly what I was looking for.
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Frislander
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Frislander » Fri 09 Sep 2016, 22:37

Nachtuil wrote:I just finished reading the PDF and want to thank you again as it was perfectly what I was looking for.
[+1]
protondonor
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by protondonor » Sat 10 Sep 2016, 06:12

Thanks for the link, Ephraim!

One thing I didn't see mentioned in the PDF, although I admit I didn't read it super thoroughly, is that in many Mesoamerican languages locative words have developed from independent words for body parts, developing in some instances into suffixes, e.g. Cakchiquel -ix "back; behind", -pan "stomach; inside", -wi "hair; on top of" (examples taken from Lyle Campbell's 1986 paper on Mesoamerica as a linguistic area).
Kaimen Keling: Uralic goes Germanic
Kolyma Ainu: Ainu language spoken in mainland Siberia
Wetokwa: a priori, spoken in a Death Valley-like environment, former speedlang
Mañi: a Ngerupic language inspired by Oto-Manguean, Cariban, and Mataco-Guaicuruan
Ephraim
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Ephraim » Sat 10 Sep 2016, 16:23

I've linked to that PDF many times now in different threads. The question of how different inflectional categories can develop seems to be a common one among conlangers (which is hardly surprising, it's far from obvious how languages can gain abstract inflection), and for case, that chapter is the best general source I've been able to find. For other categories, I don't really have any go-to source. Perhaps we need a grammaticalization or morphologization thread for collecting information about the development of morphology.

The full Oxford Handbook of Case has quite a few interesting chapters, if you have access to it.
http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10. ... 0199206476

Some authors seem to have made their chapters (or drafts of them) available for free so it's worth Googling for individual chapters.
protondonor wrote:One thing I didn't see mentioned in the PDF, although I admit I didn't read it super thoroughly, is that in many Mesoamerican languages locative words have developed from independent words for body parts, developing in some instances into suffixes, e.g. Cakchiquel -ix "back; behind", -pan "stomach; inside", -wi "hair; on top of" (examples taken from Lyle Campbell's 1986 paper on Mesoamerica as a linguistic area).
Actually, that's in the next chapter (29: "Grammaticalization of Cases" by Bernd Heine)! But unfortunately, it's not available online for free, as far as I can tell.

The chapter basically deals with the origin of individual cases, and it has some examples of how nouns can develop into adpositions and then to case markers. Heine gives a "general directionality in the grammaticalization":
noun, verb (〉 adverb) 〉 adposition 〉 case affix 〉 loss
(note the parentheses around adverb).

Here are some examples of nominal origins for adpositions:

‘back’, ‘buttock’ > ‘behind’
‘head’, ‘eye’, ‘front’, ‘breast’ > ‘in front of’
‘house’, ‘home’ > ‘at’, ‘of’
‘stomach,’ ‘guts’ > ‘in’

A specific example from Bengali:
Sanskrit noun > Bengali case suffix
kakṣa ‘hiding place, armpit’ > -kē dative

And an example from Estonian:
"The Balto-Finnic noun *kansa ‘people’, ‘society’, ‘comrade’ developed into the comitative postposition kanssa in Finnish and kaas (‘together with’, ‘in the company of’) in Estonian, and eventually it turned into a comitative-instrumental marker -ga/-ka (p. 462) in Estonian"

———

This also reminds me of a similar development in Ket where a word for belly developed into a postposition or case suffix meaning ‘under’. It is used together with multiple layers of possessive morphology which makes the nominal origin quite clear:

suul–d–ɨn–di–ŋ–al
sled–INAN.POSS–under–INAN–POSS–abl
‘out from under the sled’

See this lecture by Edward Vajda, especially 15:30 and a bit forward.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABFZs5N4Q6g
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Cikkernok
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Cikkernok » Mon 03 Oct 2016, 21:24

Ephraim wrote:See this lecture by Edward Vajda, especially 15:30 and a bit forward.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABFZs5N4Q6g
This is awesome to watch during a daily commute! Do you have other similar videos to recommend besides Vajda's?
Nachtuil
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Nachtuil » Wed 05 Oct 2016, 20:03

Cikkernok wrote:
Ephraim wrote:See this lecture by Edward Vajda, especially 15:30 and a bit forward.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABFZs5N4Q6g
This is awesome to watch during a daily commute! Do you have other similar videos to recommend besides Vajda's?
I also quite enjoyed this. Thanks again Ephraim.
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Re: Gaining new cases.

Post by Ephraim » Sun 09 Oct 2016, 18:55

Cikkernok wrote:
Ephraim wrote:See this lecture by Edward Vajda, especially 15:30 and a bit forward.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABFZs5N4Q6g
This is awesome to watch during a daily commute! Do you have other similar videos to recommend besides Vajda's?
Unfortunately, I don't know of a lot of recorded linguistics lectures. Vajda has some lectures on other channels as well (just search for his name). Also, there are other lectures about Ket and Dene-Yenisean on this channel (including one by Vajda) and others:
https://www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaNati ... age/videos

Many of the lectures from the Third Conference on Elfdalian, I found really interesting, although most are not in English:
http://video.ku.dk/tag/elvdalsk%202015

There are some channels and playlists which I have subscribed to but haven't really watched (yet):

This channel has some lectures about (Proto-)Indo-European. There are some "famous" names so they might be interesting:
https://www.youtube.com/user/2mmel2t/videos

Also, this channel has some stuff which looks interesting, but again, I haven't watched the videos myself:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... kiES_Brmap

For example, I'm probably going to watch this video about the predestinative form in Tundra Nenets ("Tense-Aspect-Mood on nouns"):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FKP30MSsPc
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