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By Laura A. Janda

ISBN-10: 3110126729

ISBN-13: 9783110126723

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Additional info for A geography of case semantics: the Czech dative and the Russian instrumental

Example text

Semantic features (Hjelmslev, Jakobson, van Schooneveld) Hjelmslev (1935-37) theorized that each case has a single abstract meaning, derived from a matrix of semantic features. His work inspired Jakobson's (1936 [1971]) "Beitrag zur allgemeinen Kasuslehre", which has been a subject of vigorous debate ever since. Perhaps the most ambitious author in this regard is van Schooneveld (1978), who sought a single grand semantic pattern for all morphemes that serve to structure Russian sentences. The fact that Burston (1977) succeeded in applying the very same system of features which van Schooneveld worked out for Russian to a language with a very different case system (Pali) is enough to suggest that something is amiss.

This possibility for variation is problematic for an approach the express purposes of which are to discover how many submeanings are present and to describe them. Such variation is easily incorporated in the cognitive model, since it strives instead to draw a map of semantic structure, which can be drawn to whatever scale desired, thus allowing for greater or lesser detail. 2. Semantic features (Hjelmslev, Jakobson, van Schooneveld) Hjelmslev (1935-37) theorized that each case has a single abstract meaning, derived from a matrix of semantic features.

The concrete cases were said to be progressing toward grammatihereas the grammatical cases were moving in the opposite direction, bialization (lexicalization). And it was claimed that concrete case ntermediate position between adverbs (lexical meaning) and purely ms. Thus, even though the theoretical purpose of Kurylowicz's to identify a bifurcation of semantic and syntactic functions, we dency to emphasize the relationships between these two functions as pectrum of case values rather than as a concerted effort to draw etween them.

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A geography of case semantics: the Czech dative and the Russian instrumental by Laura A. Janda


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