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. 123–159
The development of case in Germanic
In this article five existing explanations for the loss of case morphology in the Germanic languages are examined. These are (1) phonological erosion, (2) a change from synthetic to analytic language type, (3) a change from free to fixed word order, (4) the development of the definite article, and (5) a change from lexical to structural case. All five explanations are rejected in favor of (6) a usage-based constructional approach where the breakdown of the case system is expected on the basis of the fact that the argument structure constructions are partially synonymous. Hence, it is predicted that the case and argument structure constructions will either merge, with subsequent loss of case distinctions and case morphology, or that high type frequency constructions will attract new verbs and verbs from low type frequency constructions, gradually causing them to fall into disuse. English, Mainland Scandinavian and Dutch have taken the former path, while German, Icelandic and Faroese have developed along the latter.
Published online: 11 March 2009
Cited by 16 other publications
Abraham, Werner & Elisabeth Leiss
Barðdal, Jóhanna & Spike Gildea
Beuls, Katrien, Luc Steels & Ricard V. Solé
Boas, Hans C. & Alexander Ziem
Butt, Miriam & Tafseer Ahmed
Cennamo, Michela, Thórhallur Eythórsson & Jóhanna Barðdal
Dewey-Findell, Tonya Kim & Stephen Mark Carey
Johnson, Cynthia A., Peter Alexander Kerkhof, Leonid Kulikov, Esther Le Mair & Jóhanna Barðdal
Melis, Chantal & Marcela Flores
Mojedano Batel, Andrea
Seržant, Ilja A.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 31 may 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.