Rare and ‘Exotic’ Cases

Andrej L. Malchukov

in The Oxford Handbook of Case

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199206476
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Rare and ‘Exotic’ Cases

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Linguistic Typology


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This article addresses rare phenomena in case marking, focusing on those which are exceptional in terms of distribution or function. First, it deals with cases deviant in distribution, then explores functionally unusual cases. It shows that in most cases, the rise of cross-linguistically unusual patterns can be straightforwardly explained in terms of functional and/or diachronic factors. Probably the best studied case of deviant distribution is the phenomenon of double case marking or Suffixaufnahme. Some of the most spectacular instances of multiple case marking come from Australian languages such as Kayardild and Nyamal. Multiple case marking may also arise in languages with so-called ‘templatic’ morphology, if case markers are distributed across several slots in the template. A pattern reminiscent of double marking is case layering as familiar from Indo-Aryan languages where case markers of postpositional origin attach to the oblique form of the noun. This article also discusses head-marking and displaced case markers in Tsimshian and Iraqw.

Keywords: Kayardild; Nyramal; case marking; distribution; function; double case marking; head-marking; templatic morphology; case markers; case layering

Article.  5019 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Linguistic Typology

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