Poor (Two-Term) Case Systems

Peter M. Arkadiev

in The Oxford Handbook of Case

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Poor (Two-Term) Case Systems

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



Two-term systems are of especial relevance to the diachrony of case systems: very often such systems represent either the last or the first stage of the existence of case in the language, and their study is important for understanding how case systems emerge and dissolve. To avoid confusion and aprioristic labels, the members of a bicasual system will be called Dir(ect) and Obl(ique). The label Dir is assigned to the case which coincides with the citation form of the noun. This article deals only with those systems where both cases are able to encode semantico-syntactic functions of verbal dependents (that is, relational cases). The article also discusses the areal and genetic distribution of two-term case systems, cross-linguistic trends in the functional organisation of two-term case systems, and their morphology and diachrony.

Keywords: two-term case systems; genetic distribution; functional organisation; morphology; diachrony; bicasual system; language

Article.  4401 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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