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The Case of the Missing Cases
2012-01-23 02:57:04

The Case of the Missing Cases

After much consternation and a survey of classical Latin and Greek, it's come to my attention that the current form of Lilitic completely misses the Latin instrumental ablative, Greek instrumental dative, and Greek proper dative cases. Much ado has been made of the locative, which has six forms (from/at/toward, since/while/until) but there's still no "with" or "unto" in Lilitic!

I've explored means of adding the instrumental case to the FPIC; like the peculiar íé particle that still isn't very well-defined, one could argue that the proper nominative noun in conjunction with its associated instruments constitutes the whole subject of the sentence: "Bob with a hammer beat the nail," but in English this fails to provide a method for communicating that the hammer was doing the beating, and not just Bob. (Still, that's English, not Lilitic; just because the translation's ambiguous doesn't mean that a special noun-level 'with' conjunction would be.) Further, composition of "with" seems weird; "Bob with arm with hand with hammer with hammer-head beat nail"?

Maybe that's not such a bad idea, but in Lilitic I've already decided it's normal to repeat a locative case to refine the location described ("On the planet Earth, on the continent of Europe, in the country of England, in the city of London, ...", notably backward from English and all other Lilitic sentence structures—perhaps this is a bad idea!), so doing the same with an instrumental case appears to be natural, and an FPIC operator is unnecessary. So is it part of a noun or a sentence?

I think I've finally got it now: it makes no sense to put a 'with' anywhere else in the sentence unless it's really an 'and' in disguise; a cooperative at best. As such, it is more efficient and rational to create an official instrumental case.

Regarding the dative, the case of targeting an action: "I gave Bob flowers" (or, archaically, "I gave flowers unto Bob" is less ambiguous.) In Lilitic so far I've shoe-horned this into the destination case, e.g. "Sifa olrikhe rumekha rebis" (I gave food toward you) since the verbs of which I can think, off the top of my head, don't need both a dative and a destination. However, this may be somewhat sketchy, and I will probably consider revising it after consulting with the nearest linguist.
Thet comment   8452.137 tgc / 2012.059 ce