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. 181–202
Lacking in Latvian: Case variation from a cognitive and constructional perspective
This article examines two construction families used with the Latvian verb(pie)trūkt ‘lack, miss’, employing usage-based construction grammar and Cognitive Grammar. Focusing on type frequency, I conclude that the nom constructions, characterised by the lacking entity appearing in the nominative and showing verbal agreement, have a higher degree of entrenchment than the gen constructions, where the lacking entity is in the genitive and verbal agreement is absent. Although diachronic data indicate a long history of coexistence between the families, I hypothesise that if one of them were to be ousted, it would be the one with the lowest degree of entrenchment (cf. Barðdal 2001: Ch. 6). This is consistent with a larger shift involving the Latvian genitive and conforms with tendencies in other North European languages.
Published online: 11 March 2009