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a grammatical category of a noun. [In Russian linguistics, noun (imia) is the general term for substantives, adjectives, numerals, and sometimes pronouns. See NOUN.] The tagmemes of case express the relationship between what is designated by a given noun and the objects or phenomena designated by other words, and therefore the syntactic relationship of a given noun in a given case to other words in a sentence. The tagmemes of case consequently express the syntactic and semantic function of a noun in a sentence. The term “case” is also used to designate the particular meanings case tagmemes may have. The nominative case, for example, is the case used in naming objects and is known as the direct case, and all other cases, such as the dative and prepositional, are called oblique cases. The change of a noun according to case is called declension.
Different languages have varying numbers of cases: Old French, modern English, and Hindi, for example, have two cases, and Tabasaran has 46. Each case (tagmeme) represents a correspondence, specific to a given language, between a set of syntactic functions or senses and a set of formal markers. Therefore, cases in different languages do not have exact equivalents, even though the cases may have identical names because of a partial similarity in function.
Case and case usage are classified according to four criteria. From the point of view of the content plane, there are (1) syntactic and semantic cases, and (2) cases of government and agreement. From the point of view of the expression plane, there are (3) synthetic and analytic cases, and (4) primary and secondary cases.
There is no absolute boundary between syntactic (pertaining to grammar, abstract) cases and semantic (pertaining to sense, concrete) cases. Syntactic cases characterize chiefly the syntactic functions of a noun and serve to express relationships of the subject-object, defining, and attributive types. Semantic cases carry a certain meaning and characterize chiefly the sense relationship of a given noun to other words in a sentence, conveying spatial and other relationships.
Cases of government are typical of substantives and characterize a noun as dependent in a syntactic bond of the governing type. The substantive appears in the accusative case, for example, in Vizhu kartinu (“I see the picture”) and in the instrumental in Risuet kist’iu (“He paints with a brush”). Cases of agreement are typical of adjectives and characterize a noun as dependent in a syntactic bond of the agreement type, as in krasivuiu kartinu (“beautiful picture”; adjective agrees with accusative singular feminine substantive) and bol’shoi kist’iu (“with a big brush”; adjective agrees with instrumental singular feminine substantive).
Synthetic cases are expressed within a word form by suffixes or other morphological means. Analytic cases are expressed in another word form, one dependent on the given word form. The dependent word form may be an article, as in the German der Lehrer (“the teacher” [nominative]) and dem Lehrer (dative). Sometimes by analytic cases are meant groups consisting of a preposition + a substantive or a substantive + postpositions.
Primary cases are formed from the stem of a noun; secondary cases are formed from the primary case forms. Thus, in To-charian A, the oblique case is formed from the stem (käşşi,”teacher”; oblique case, käşşi-n), and the instrumental, dative, and other cases are formed from the stem of the oblique case (instrumental, käşşi-n-yo; dative, käşi-n-ac).
In a number of languages, such as the Kartvelian, Dagestan, Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Dravidian, the tagmemes of case are expressed autonomously (agglutinatively). An example is the Georgian word “house”: saxl-i (nominative singular), saxl-s (dative singular), saxl-eb-i (nominative plural) and saxl-eb-s (dative plural). In other languages, such as the Indo-European, the tag-meme of case is generally expressed together with the tagmeme of number in substantives and with the tagmeme of gender in adjectives, forming complex (cumulative) morphs. In the Russian tetrad-ei, for example, -ei expresses simultaneously the genitive case and plural number of the word “notebook,” whereas the genitive case and singular number of the same word are expressed in a different ending in the form tetrad-i.
REFERENCESBogoroditskii, V. A. Ocherki po iazykoznaniiu, 4th ed. Moscow, 1939.
Vinogradov, V. V. Russkii iazyk, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Kurylowicz, J. “Problema klassifikatsii padezhei.” In his book Ocherki po lingvistike. Moscow, 1962.
Jakobson, R. O. “Morfologicheskie nabliudeniia nad slavianskim skloneniem.” Materialy diskussii IV Mezhdunarodnogo s” ezda slavistov, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962.
“‘Den’ Artura Ozola’: kategoriia padezha v strukture i sisteme iazyka.” Materialy 7-i nauchnoi konferentsii. Riga, 1971.
Zalizniak, A. A. “O ponimanii termina ‘padezh’ v lingvisticheskikh opisaniiakh.” In Problemy grammaticheskogo modelirovaniia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1973.
Gladkii, A. V. “Popytka formal’nogo opredeleniia poniatii padezha i roda sushchestvitel’nogo.” In Problemy grammaticheskogo modelirovaniia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1973.
Fillmore, C. “The Case for Case.” In Universals in Linguistic Theory. New York, 1968.
Hjelmslev, L. La Catégorie des cas. Munich, 1972.
I. A. MEL’CHUK
The term case comes from the printing trade when the use of moving type was invented in the early Middle Ages (Caxton or Gutenberg?) and the letters for each font were stored in a box with two sections (or "cases"), the upper case was for the capital letters and the lower case was for the small letters. The Oxford Universal Dictionary of Historical Principles (Feb 1993, reprinted 1952) indicates that this usage of "case" (as the box or frame used by a compositor in the printing trade) was first used in 1588.
CASE(1) See computer case.
(2) (Computer-Aided Software Engineering or Computer-Aided Systems Engineering) Software that is used in any and all phases of developing an information system, including analysis, design and programming. For example, data dictionaries and diagramming tools aid in the analysis and design phases, while application generators speed up the programming phase.
Higher-Level Describing and Less Programming
CASE tools provide automated methods for designing and documenting traditional structured programming techniques. The ultimate goal of CASE is to provide a language for describing the overall system that is sufficient to generate all the necessary programs. See application generator. See also case statement.