Lexicalization of case markers

Stefan Georg Georg-Bonn at T-ONLINE.DE
Wed Jan 3 23:02:10 UTC 2007

> Kazuha Watanabe schrieb:
>> Dear all,
>>   I was wondering if anyone know any languages where a case marker is
>> lexicalized.   Thank you so much.

The following example may come close: in Dutch, ³van² is the marker of the
genitive/possessive. It¹s of course not a bound marker (but a preposition,
³of²), like in:

De auto van mijn oom
The car   of   my  uncle

Now, in Afrikaans, this ³van² also acquired the meaning of ³surname, family
name² - in Dutch names this is a very frequent element: van Dale, van de
Kerkhof, you name it ­ it was certainly ³degrammaticized² from here (and
even names without any ³van² are of course /van/s).


Ek is Johan Marais. My van         is Frans maar ek is Œn Afrikaner.
I    am J. M.             my surname is French but  I    am an Afrikaaner

The usual possessive construction in Afrikaans is (probably also possible in
sub-standard Dutch, certainly in many substandard varieties of German ­ the
latter I can vouch for, the former not):

die vader se huis
The father his house


The possessive function of ³van² has not died out in Afrikaans (at least not
in the books...), so we do find also:

die strale van die son
The beams of the sun

So, maybe, this little example does not quite do the trick, but I think it
comes somewhat close at least.


And PS: on a somewhat less serious note: There is of course (english, german
etc.) ³Bus², which is etymologically a shortening of Latin ³omnibus², with
only the original Dative marker surviving as this neologism ­ thought I
mention it for completeness¹ sake, though it certainly is not much more than
a curio item for linguistics...
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