LINGUIST List 3.217

Fri 06 Mar 1992

Qs: Case, Pama-Ngungan, Dialect

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  1. Chris Culy, (Q) Case marking and ambiguity
  2. Ingo Plag, query: Pama-Nyungan language family
  3. Howard L. Geyer, Query

Message 1: (Q) Case marking and ambiguity

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1992 16:46:10 (Q) Case marking and ambiguity
From: Chris Culy <cculyvaxa.weeg.uiowa.edu>
Subject: (Q) Case marking and ambiguity

I have a question about ambiguity and case marking. Specifically, in his book
_Language Universals and Linguistic Typology_, Comrie states (p. 130 in the 2nd
edition) that

"there are some languages where the occurrence of the special ergative or
accusative marker is conditioned not by any specific rigid cut-off point on the
animacy or definiteness hierarchy, but rather by a more general condition of the
kind: use the special marker only if there is a likelihood of confusion between
A [subject of a transitive verb--CC] and P [direct object of a transitive
verb--CC]; the assessment of likelihood of confusion is left to the speaker in
the particular context. Hua is an example of a language of this type."

I am interested in other languages where optional case marking is used to
disambiguate a clause. Any references, pointers, etc. would be most appreciated.

Please reply directly to me (cculyvaxa.weeg.uiowa.edu) and I will post a
summary of the responses.

Thanks in advance.

Chris Culy
cculyvaxa.weeg.uiowa.edu
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Message 2: query: Pama-Nyungan language family

Date: Thu, 05 Mar 92 12:33:12 CEquery: Pama-Nyungan language family
From: Ingo Plag <PLAGDMRHRZ11.bitnet>
Subject: query: Pama-Nyungan language family


I need information on the Pama-Nyungan language family, a group
of Aboriginal languages spoken in Western Australia. Can anybody help
with references?

Many thanks in advance.

Ingo Plag

s-mail:

Univ. Marburg
Englische Sprachwissenschaft
Wilh.-Roepke-Str. 6D
D-3550 Marburg
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Message 3: Query

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 92 15:23:03 ESTQuery
From: Howard L. Geyer <geyercattell.psych.upenn.edu>
Subject: Query

	I have a friend who consistently uses constructions such as

		Are you done dinner?

Is this acceptable in anyone else's dialect?


Howard Geyer
Department of Psychology and School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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