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Unformatted text preview: Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction , 5 th edition, Chapter 4: Case, 1 Case Many linguistic phenomena reflect the interaction of the morphological and syntactic components of the grammar. An important example of this interaction involves case, which indicates an NPs grammatical role in the sentence (see Chapter 4, Section 4). The sole case marker used with nouns in Modern English is -s , which marks an NP that occupies the specifier position within a larger NP, as depicted in Figure 1. (We extend our system of phrase structure by allowing an NP to serve as specifier of an N.) However, a richer system of contrasts is found in English pronouns, whose forms reflect a three-way case distinction (see Table 1). One way to account for these contrasts is to have heads of particular types assign case features to NPs in their specifier or complement positions. Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction , 5 th edition, Chapter 4: Case, 2 1) The Case Rules for English NPs: a. I assigns a nominative case feature to the subject NP. b. V and P assign an accusative case feature to their complement NP. c. N assigns a genitive case feature to an NP in its specifier position. To see how this works, consider the sentence She saw him , with the structure shown in Figure 2. (Case features are written as subscripts; we treat pronouns as a type of N.) This sentence is well formed, since the pronoun in the subject position has the...
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- Spring '08