Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Case syncretism refers to the combination of multiple distinct case values in a single form. Distinct case values are determined on a language-specific basis, so that case syncretism by this definition involves an observable asymmetry between paradigms within a language. In the most obvious pattern, multiple case forms in one paradigm correspond to a single case form in another. Identifying a syncretic pattern as systematic still leaves open the question of which component of grammar encodes it, morphosyntax or morphology. The presence of case syncretism in a language implies the presence of syncretism involving the core cases somewhere in the system. The most widespread type of case syncretism, that of the core cases, may in many instances represent the outcome of desyntacticisation, that is, the morphologised relic of what was once an active syntactic rule. This article discusses case syncretism and diachrony.

Keywords: case syncretism, diachrony, case values, grammar, morphosyntax, morphology, language, core cases, desyntacticisation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.