[Lingtyp] Cases of loss of goal markers

bingfu Lu lubingfu at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 12 19:11:07 UTC 2019

It happens that I am reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, and just found the following passage:

‘Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.

 Here, ‘the very instant’ is an adverbial without any case-marking. Cases like this are everywhere in English.  It seems that not only the terms of place, but also these of time, are also frequently without case-marking when serving as adverbials.

Many expressions of definite time, including ‘yesterday, today, this year, last year’, can behave this way. In fact, ‘this way’ is also an instance of such phenomenon. 
Since the basic or default function of these expressions are adverbial, let them directly serve as adverbials without case-marking. This is an economic and natural way.
Bingfu Lu

   On Saturday, January 12, 2019, 4:29:27 AM PST, Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de> wrote: 
 The omission of spatial goal (and location) markers with place names and other nouns used typically in spatial function is very widespread in the world's languages.
Until recently, there was no term for this phenomenon, but I now call it "differential place marking" (inspired especially by Stolz et al.'s 2017 paper mentioned by Grev Corbett, and by Jonathan Schlossberg's 2017 ALT talk on "local nouns" and the differential marking of place).
In my forthcoming paper "Differential place marking and differential object marking" (to appear in LTU/STUF; available on Academia.edu), I highlight the similarities with other kinds of differential marking:
It seems that in many (or most) languages that allow unflagged spatial goals (and/or locations), these occur especially or exclusively with "typical place nouns", most notably place names. The reason is nicely expressed by Karatsareas & Georgakopoulos in their 2016 paper (cited by Ponrawee Prasertsom):
"The omission of [the goal preposition] "se" therefore seems to be the preferred option in motion event utterances in which the Ground-encoding expressions display high degrees of informativity, and also possibly redundancy" (p. 326)
    So when the place meaning is particularly easy to infer on the basis of the ground noun's usual use, a goal marker need not be used, in many languages.
But Ponrawee's question was about the diachrony, and it seems that in Greek, we do indeed see the *loss* of "se". But as David Gil pointed out, differential place marking may come about through the differential introduction of a marker where needed. And in many cases, the differential-marking situation may be very old – for example, Ancient Greek not only had "eis Athenan" (to Athens), but also a prepositionless construction ("Athenaze") which may have survived in some way into Modern Greek. And how sure are we that the zero goal patterns of Northwest British English are not old?
Thus, it seems to me that the cross-linguistic distribution (and its functional motivation) is clearer than the diachronic origin of this pattern.
 On 12.01.19 11:53, Vladimir Panov wrote:
  Dear Ponrawee, 
 actually, not only in Asia Minor, but also in colloquial standard Modern Greek goal and location markers are often dropped, e.g.
  ime athina / pao athina cop.1sg athens / go-1sg athens 'I am in Athens' / 'I am going to Athens' 
  Concerning Viktor Friedman's comment on Macedonian, it makes sense to test if it might be a Balkan areal feature. 
  пт, 11 янв. 2019 г. в 20:53, Ponrawee Prasertsom <ponrawee.pra at gmail.com>:
    Dear all, 
  I am looking for languages where goal markers (case affixes, prepositions, etc. corresponding to English to) developed into zero, i.e. are lost. That is, from something like I go to school to I go school. Does anyone know of such cases? 
  Currently, I am aware of only one such case: goal preposition loss on Asia Minor Greek (Karatsareas and Georgakopoulos 2016), which reconstructs history from variation among dialects (se > se/∅ > ∅). 
  Ideally, I would like cases with attested historical data, but reconstruction or any other relevant data such as ongoing change etc. is also welcome.  
  Karatsareas, Petros and Thanasis Georgakopoulos. 2016. From syntagmatic to paradigmatic spatial zeroes: The loss of the preposition se in inner Asia Minor Greek. STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 69(2), 309-340.
  Yours sincerely, 
   Ponrawee Prasertsom
  Graduate Student Department of Linguistics Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, Thailand        _______________________________________________
 Lingtyp mailing list
 Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
 _______________________________________________Lingtyp mailing listLingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.orghttp://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp 
Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10	
D-07745 Jena  
Leipzig University
Institut fuer Anglistik 
IPF 141199
D-04081 Leipzig    

Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20190112/83acffbb/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list