LINGUIST List 31.1764

Wed May 27 2020

Books: The Semantics of Case: Kagan

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 21-Apr-2020
From: Rachel Tonkin <>
Subject: The Semantics of Case: Kagan
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Title: The Semantics of Case
Series Title: Key Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics
Published: 2020
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Olga Kagan
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108416429 Pages: 304 Price: U.S. $ 110
Hardback: ISBN: 9781108416429 Pages: 304 Price: U.K. £ 85

The phenomenon of case has long been a central topic of study in linguistics. While the majority of the literature so far has been on the syntax of case, semantics also has a crucial role to play in how case operates. This book investigates the relationship between semantics and case-marking in the languages of the world, exploring a range of phenomena in which case-assignment is affected by (or affects) meaning. By bringing together data from a wide range of languages, representing different language families, a cross-linguistic picture emerges of the correlation between case and meaning. Different approaches to the phenomena are considered, including both syntactic and semantic analyses, and the question is raised as to whether case can be treated as meaningful, ultimately helping us shed light on the broader connections between grammar and meaning and, moreover, grammar and the human cognition.

Provides a survey of key literature and research on case from the perspective of meaning

Brings together data from a wide range of languages to form a cross-linguistic picture of the relationship between case and meaning

Reviews both syntactic and semantic perspectives on case to analyse whether case can be treated as meaningful

1. Introduction
2. Dative case
3. Spatial cases
4. Case and aspect
5. Differential object marking
6. The genitive/accusative alternation in Balto-Slavic
7. Predicate case
8. Generalizations and conclusions.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 27-May-2020