Re: 8- 5-case system

david.wigtil@hq.doe.gov (David Wigtil) writes:

>Bottom line.  There are as many functions as the human speech machine 
>can invent.  It's hard to grammaticalize them all, so every case or 
>every tense performs many different functions in any language sample.

     A very true statement.  Since there are so many, how handy it is to be
able to limit our cases to the extant forms!  That way, we are spared the
dilema of trying to figure out which functions should be grammaticalized and
which should be subsumed {;-).  But then, of course, in Greek, there are
those declinations in which the nominative and the accusative, for instance,
have the same form.  Should we talk of the accusative use of the nominative
(Historical grammarians might say, "the nominative use of the accusative.")?
 Or is it better to recognize the two different functions under the same

     If I remember correctly, we got on this thread in a discussion about the
correct balance between form and function.  IMO, both extremes may lead to
error.  Form cannot rule absolutely, and neither can function.  They need one
another, and we need them both within a system that fosters balanced
understanding and is willing to take into account all pertinent information
toward correct interpretation of the text.

David L. Moore