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. 93–120
How useful is case morphology? The loss of the Old French two-case system within a theory of Preferred Argument structure
This paper discusses the loss of the Old French two-case system within the theory of Preferred Argument Structure (Du Bois 2003, 1987). It will be shown that the chronology of this process followed a hierarchy of relative frequency, which in turn was driven by discourse preferences. Apart from strictly historical facts, this explanation also accounts for some basic typological properties of case-marking systems. In particular, it will be argued that no correlation exists between morphological case marking on the one hand and word-order flexibility on the other. Moreover, the theory of Preferred Argument Structure allows for a coherent assessment of the long-standing observation that in many cases, morphological case on full nouns is not necessary for distinguishing subjects from non-subjects.
Published online: 11 March 2009
Cited by 1 other publications
Fedzechkina, Maryia, Elissa L. Newport & T. Florian Jaeger
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 november 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.