22.05.2015 - 18:06
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Department of Linguistics

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 300
fax: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 333

e-mail: cissewski@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

The nominative case in Baltic
May 26, 2015 13:30
Speaker: Ilja Seržant (Johannes-Gutenberg-University of Mainz & Vilnius University)
Work in Progress at the Department of Linguistics

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Seminar room H 4.10 /H 4.11 (4th floor, on top of the lecture hall)

The paper is a semasiological study on the nominative case in the Baltic languages, including both syntactic and semantic aspects. This nominative case is "unusual" in many respects. It is morphologically marked in almost all declensions and numbers by dedicated affixes. At the same time, the nominative case is a necessary (non-nominative subjects in terms of syntax are virtually non-existent in Baltic) but not sufficient condition for subjecthood in Baltic, only its combination with verb agreement provides safe evidence. This is because the nominative case can also mark "direct" objects and time adverbials (I have been working for two days). Furthermore, different NP types if marked by the nominative have different degrees of correlation with subjecthood. In addition to subject-related functions, I discuss the functions of the nominative case with time adverbials and with nominative objects. Thus, nominative objects is a productive category in Latvian (in its debitive construction), exhibiting a number of non-subject properties but retaining the nominative case. As regards, nominative time adverbials, I claim that they – in contrast to their accusative alternates (in terms of a "differential time adverbials marking") – encode emphasis (cf. Frey 2010 on the notion) which I test on the basis of a multivariate analysis.

Jessica Fiegert
phone + 49 (0) 341 3550 300
fax + 49 (0) 341 3550 333

E-mail: jessica_fiegert[>>> Please replace the brackets with an AT sign! <<<]eva.mpg.de
Website: http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/