Article published in:The Role of Semantic, Pragmatic, and Discourse Factors in the Development of Case
Edited by Jóhanna Barðdal and Shobhana L. Chelliah
[Studies in Language Companion Series 108] 2009
► pp. 3–21
Case variation in Gothic absolute constructions
The choice of case in Gothic absolute constructions is not random, but systematic. Its determining factors are the semantic relationship between the matrix clause and the absolute construction, the tense/aspect of its participle, and the thematic role of its subject. The nominative absolute has main clause semantics, while absolutes in the oblique cases have subordinate clause semantics. The bare dative is the default for absolute constructions in Gothic, while secondary meanings such as durativity or iterativity are linked with other cases. Additionally, the preposition at can be used with either the dative or the accusative as a temporal marker or a focussing device.
Published online: 11 March 2009
Cited by 3 other publications
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