case etc.

Elena Maslova Lena at LH.BICOS.DE
Fri Oct 23 22:28:50 UTC 1998

At 13:21 10/23/98 -0700, Scott DeLancey wrote:
> On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, Elena Maslova wrote:
> > There is a clear example of Locative-to-Accusative in Kolyma
> > Yukaghir (which is still locative in Tundra Yukaghir) and a
> > (diachronically) misterious relation between Accusative,
> > and Instrumental in both languages.
> Given that datives often develop from accusatives, one has to
> ask whether there is clear evidence to show that the form in
> question didn't (or did) pass through a dative stage on its
> way to accusative.

I would say, yes:
Both languages have "the same" Dative marker -ngin, with a normal
"dative" array of functions (which scarcely goes beyond
recipients and addressees).
      Tundra Yukaghir uses one of the Locative cases (-GE-ne,
where -Ge is the common element of all locative markers) for
object-marking, under some additional conditions (non-focus,
definite object) and another marker -le ~ -leng (Focus OR Object)
      Kolyma Yukaghir has also two forms for object-marking
-GE-le (definite) - which functions as specialized Accusative
(that is, for O-marking only) and the Instrumental (sic!) -le for
indefinite non-Focus objects. The Locative in -Ge-ne is preserved
only in the system of verb forms (that is, it is absent from the
regular case inflection).
    Thus, in Tundra we have one form for Locative and definite
O-marking (but not Dative), in Kolyma, the former function is
lost and the marker is modified in such a way as to have the same
final component as the other O-marking form. There seems to be no
place for Dative in this development.

To say the truth, in Kolyma the Accusative marking can be used
for indirect objects, but under strong additional conditions
(this issue is discussed in my paper in Comrie & Polinsky (eds.)
on Causatives and Transitivity). Yet this is a very marginal
option which does not have anything to do with the use of the
Locative for O-marking.

Elena Maslova
University of Bielefeld
mailto:lena at

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