Lexicalization of case markers

Paul Hopper hopper at CMU.EDU
Thu Jan 4 20:43:33 UTC 2007

It seems possible that in Indonesian pairs like:

1. aku mimpin akan dia
2. aku mimpinkan dia
(both = "I dream about him/her")

the applicative (i.e. case-coding) -kan suffix in 2 is older, and that the free preposition akan derives from the suffix, not the other way around (because the suffix but not the preposition has clear cognates elsewhere in Austronesian). IFF this is so, it would be a clear case of a lexical item derived from a case suffix. The historical picture is complicated. There's a recent discussion in a paper "Notes on the etymology of the Malay/Indonesian suffix -kan" by Uri Tadmor 10th Int'l Conf on Austron. Lx. Delaware 2006 <http://email.eva.mpg.de/~gil/ismil/10/abstracts/Tadmor_ISMIL_10.pdf>, from which the above example is taken.


> Dear all,
> I think Christian is right, one will have to look long before finding good
> examples of case markers being lexicalized.
> Eng. *bus* has long been recognized as a clipping, that is, part of a 
> lexical expression, created to stand in for the whole. At first a 
> stylistic variant of *omnibus*, *bus* soon became the primary expression
> for 'bus' and in the minds of many speakers lost any connection with
> *omnibus*. The *omnibus* connection has been thoroughly forgotten, except
> by philologists. The creation of *bus* had nothing to do with its original
> status of case marker. Hence there is no reason to speak of it as a 
> degrammaticalization. Since it was part of a lexeme to begin with, there
> is no lexicalization either. One might speak of its codification as a
> clipped variant of *omnibus* and its subsequent dissociation from it.
> Fi. ta (+umlaut) similarly has the appearance of a clipping. It is as yet
> merely a stylistic (casual speech) variant of the whole word for 'what'. 
> Since the clipped form of mita retains a grammatical function of mita,
> there is no reason to speak of degramma(ticaliza)tion here. One might
> wonder if it will be codified in the specific function 'what did you say';
> if so, one might consider describing the change as a 
> regramma(ticaliza)tion.
> Here is a product of phonological deletion. In standard Russian, initial
> /j/ is lost before /i/. Hence the pronominal stem /j-/ '3rd person', which
> occurs in j-ovo [jivo] 'acc.gen.sg.masc.nt', j-omu [jimu]
> 'dat.sg.masc.nt', etc. has no realization in j-im [im] 'instr.sg.masc.nt',
> j-ix [ix] 'acc.gen.loc.pl', j-im [im] 'dat.pl', j-im'i [im'i] 'instr.pl'.
> In other words, the case endings /ix/, /im/, /im'i/ serve as full words.
> But one might say that they imply the phonologically zero stem /j-/. (There
> are varieties of Russian where [j] has been restored (analogical
> restitution) in these pronominal forms, though not before any other, now
> initial, /i/ vowels.) This example, too, involves neither
> degrammaticalization nor lexicalization.
> Best,
> H
>> Dear all,
>> I was wondering if anyone know any languages where a case marker is 
>> lexicalized.   Thank you so much.
>> Kazuha Watanabe Cornell University Department of Linguistics
> |||||   Henning Andersen
> |||||   Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures |||||   University
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