Case Linking: A Theory of Case and Verb Diathesis Applied to Classical Sanskrit

N. Ostler, 1979

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In this work a proposal is made for the integration of Case into syntactic and semantic theory.  Case is the previous of three components of the grammar, each of which has its own internal structure.  These are: the domain of Case Incidence, whose rules govern the occurrence of relevant morphological categories, in particular the Formal Cases, on the basis of syntactic information; the domain of Functional Structure, which is the framework relating Participant Roles (similar to Fillmore"s "Deep Cases") to types of predicate; and the domain of Linking itself, which establishes systematic correspondences between the morphological categories and the participant roles.

In Chapter 1, these three components are laid out.  The rules of Case Incidence are a part of the syntax.  They interact particularly closely with Phrase Structure, but evidence is presented (from Japanese) which suggests that the power of these rules goes beyond that of context-free PS rules.  Previous attempts to formulate partial theories of functional structure are reviewed, and a new and more comprehensive attempt is made, which is localist in orientation: the concepts of Source, Goal, Theme and Path play key roles.  A system of binary features is introduced, which is intended to map out the whole domain, and to provide intrinsic connexions between types of predicate and types of participant role.  Linking principles are shown to be of two kinds, Semantic and Grammatical.  Semantic linking rules make use of the feature system to establish intrinsic connexions between particular formal cases and particular classes of roles.  Grammatical linking rules presuppose total orderings of the roles and cases respectively, and establish links on the basis of priority determined by these orderings.  Extensive illustrations of these various principles are given, from Japanese and other languages.  And the whole system is integrated with Bresnan"s "Realistic Transformational Grammar".  The place of the Lexicon in the application of all these components is crucial, and it is suggested that lexical rules provide a neat formulation for the complex phenomena of Verb Diathesis which interact with Case.

In the remaining four chapters of the work, the system is applied to the analysis of Classical Sanskrit.  A substantially complete analysis of Sanskrit phrase-structure and case-incidence is given.  All the traditional cases are given respresentations in the framework which are illustrated in extenso.  In Chapter 4, alternations in transitivity are investigated from the standpoint of a theory of Sanskrit lexical entries.  And in Chapter 5, the Sanskrit Passive is discussed.  Besides giving an analysis of it as a Diathesis within the terms of the system, the chapter also shows it to present evidence against other current theories of the passive, those due to Relational Grammar and the Revisited Extended Standard Theory.

Thesis supervisor:         Rene Paul Viktor Kiparsky

Title:                             Professor of Linguistics

Table of Contents

Chapter I          The general framework of case linking                                       12

            1.1       Introduction                                                                                          12

            1.2       Structurally induced case                                                                       19

                        1.2.1    Introduction                                                                              19

                        1.2.2    The adnominal genitive and the power of structural case

                                    marking                                                                                    22

                        1.2.3    Japanese case arrays and the structural context of

                                    particular cases                                                             31

                        1.2.4    Formal case & morphology                                                       38

            1.3       Functional structure                                                                               41

                        1.3.1    Introduction                                                                              41

                        1.3.2    Previous approaches                                                                 43

                           Logic and philosophy                                                    43

                           Fillmore"s "case grammar"                                             45

                           Halliday"s "transitivity systems"                          47

                           Wallace Chafe                                                              51

                           Anderson"s "Localist Case Grammar"               56

                           Theories based on embedding: Carter, Jackendoff         59

                        1.3.3    Position and identificational predicates                           61

                        1.3.4    Themes, goals, sources and paths                                              65

                        1.3.5    Possessional and cognitional predicates inversion                       75

                        1.3.6    Actional predicates                                                                   83

                        1.3.7    Embedding, external roles                                                         91

                        1.3.8    Formation rules for functional structure, binding             96

                        1.3.9    Conclusion                                                                               99

            1.4       Linking rules                                                                                         101

                        1.4.1    Introductory overview                                                               101

                           A sketch of Case linking, its relation to Bresnan"s

                                                "Realistic Transformation Grammar"                              101

                           Comparison with "Lexicase"                                          111

                           Comparison with generative semantics: relational

                                                grammar; Panini"s Karaka system                                 114

                           Comparison with Chomsky"s "Revised Extended

                                                Standard Theory"                                                         117

                        1.4.2    Semantic and grammatical linking                                              120

                        1.4.3    Role features and the characterization of formal cases, case

                                    syncretism                                                                                123

                        1.4.4    Semantic linking I: minimal feature specification or

                                    prototype role?                                                             126

                        1.4.5    Semantic linking II: case studies                                     129

                           Introduction                                                                  129

                           Japanese                                                                      130

                           Turkish                                                             135

                           Conclusion                                                                   140

                        1.4.6    Grammatical linking I                                                                141

                           Hierarchies of role and case                                          141

                           The subject and ergativity                                              146

                        1.4.7    Grammatical linking II:  illustration from Japanese                       150

                        1.4.8    Cater"s "Backwards Linking" vs. Inverse predicates                  160

                        1.4.9    Substantive relations between linking and formal case

                                    & morphology                                                                          164

            1.5       Lexical entries and lexical rules                                                  167

                        1.5.1    The descriptive power of lexical entries                         167

                        1.5.2    Some restrictions                                                                      174

                        1.5.3    Diathesis through lexical rules                                        176

Chapter II        Rules of form in Sanskrit                                                                       178

            2.0       Introduction to the analysis of Sanskrit; tests; abbreviations                    178

            2.1       Categories                                                                                            182

            2.2       The major PS rules                                                                               187

                        2.2.1    PS1                                                                                          188

                        2.2.2    PS2: impersonals in Sanskrit; finite verb morphology      190

                        2.2.3    PS3                                                                                          196

                        2.2.4    PS4                                                                                          199

            2.3       The expansion of P"                                                                              200

                        2.3.1    Oblique case marking                                                               200

                        2.3.2    Adverbs                                                                                   201

                        2.3.3    Adpositions                                                                              204

                        2.3.4    Predicate N                                                                              208

                        2.3.5    Attributive and predicative position                                            209

            2.4       Deverbal expressions                                                                            213

                        2.4.1    General                                                                                    213

                        2.4.2    Deverbal nominals                                                                    215

                        2.4.3    Infinitives and gerunds                                                   219

            2.5       Two minor PS rules; the vocative                                                          223

            2.6       Structurally determined case                                                                  226

                        2.6.1    CR1 incidence of nominative under S                            227

                        2.6.2    CR2 incidence of Acc. under V                                                228

                        2.6.3    CR3 incidence of Gen. under N                                                230

            2.7       Case-marking rules; the concept of head                                               233

            2.8       word order                                                                                           237

Chapter III       Case linking                                                                                          240

            3.1       Semantic linking                                                                                    240

                        3.1.1    Introductory                                                                             240

                        3.1.2    Accusative                                                                                242

                        3.1.3    Instrumental                                                                              246

                        3.1.4    Dative                                                                                      252

                        3.1.5    Ablative                                                                                    255

                        3.1.6    Locative                                                                                   259

                        3.1.7    Genitive                                                                                    262

                        3.1.8    Theoretical implications                                                 265

            3.2       Grammatical linking                                                                               270

                        3.2.1    Introductory                                                                             270

                        3.2.2    Examples                                                                                  275

                           Position                                                                        275

                           Possession                                                                    279

                           Cognition                                                                      281

                           Events and actions                                                        282

                        3.2.3    Vivaksa: paths as subjects                                                         285

                        3.2.4    Grammatical linking of the instrumental                          294

                        3.2.5    Inverse predicates in sentient fields                                            300

            3.3       Nominals and predication                                                                      308

                        3.3.1    Linking the genitive                                                                   308

                        3.3.2    Predication                                                                               314

                        3.3.3    Agreement as a phenomenon of semantic matching                    320

                        3.3.4    A derivation                                                                              324

Chapter IV       Lexical entries in Sanskrit                                                                      329

            4.1       General remarks                                                                                   329

            4.2       Inherent and non-inherent arguments                                                     333

            4.3       "Ditransitives"                                                                                       337

            4.4       Transitivity                                                                                            342

                        4.4.1    Variable transitivity and compounding                            343

                        4.4.2    Accusative of extene, duration and content;

                                    transitivization                                                                           351

Chapter V        The passive                                                                                          365

            5.1       Impressionistic description                                                                    365

            5.2       Relational grammar and the passive                                                       370

            5.3       A basic transformational analysis of the passive                          387

            5.4       A "move NP" analysis of the Sanskrit passive                            397

            5.5       Lexical analysis of the passive                                                   403

                        5.5.1    The passive label                                                                      403

                        5.5.2    The personal passive                                                                 405

                        5.5.3    Passives of intransitive verbs                                                     409

                        5.5.4    The reflexive and impersonal reflexive passives              415

                        5.5.5    The "1AEX"                                                                             420

            5.6       A transformational-lexical solution                                                         422