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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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Academic Paper


Title: Case variation: Viruses and star wars
Author: Halldór Ármann Sigurðsson
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.nordlund.lu.se/Nordwebb/personalkort/hsig/halldor.html
Institution: Lund University
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Syntax
Abstract: This article discusses morphological case variation, arguing that individual cases are not syntactic objects or features but PF interpretations of a range of different underlying syntactic relations. Nevertheless, it turns out that case variation can, to a large extent, be analyzed in terms of only two atomic ‘ingredients’: event licensing of NPs and PF marking of the licensing relation (where marking is analyzed in terms of Chomskyan case stars). Ergative is a Voice/*-case, whereas accusative is a v*-case, licensed under c-command by Voice/ (ergative and accusative marking thus being two sides of the same coin). Individual cases in case-expanding morphological/PF case systems, it is argued, behave like viruses, striving to expand beyond their original ‘reasonable’ domain.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 35, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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