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Bookmark and Share Paper 3254

Do We Need Abstract Case?
Michelle Sheehan and Jenneke van der Wal
351-360 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper critically evaluates the status of abstract Case in a number of unrelated languages. Six diagnostics are applied to six languages that at first sight lack morphological case: Mandarin, Thai, Yoruba, Jamaican Creole, Luganda and Makhuwa. The results show that five of the six languages test positive for 'the abstract Case property' with only Luganda apparently testing negative. Rather than positing a [uCase] feature to explain this (parameterised) property, we propose an alternative in terms of Extend, a principle which requires phases to be complete. Extend explains the range of facts covered by standard Case Theory as well as making new predictions, explaining, for example, the behaviour of nominals in Luganda.

Published in

Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00