Case and Meaning: A Cross-Linguistic Overview
Within the minimalist framework, case is often treated as a purely grammatical phenomenon. Checking the uninterpretable case feature, or, originally, case-assignment, constitutes a condition on the syntactic licensing of a nominal phrase. This licensing is strongly interrelated with the position occupied by the nominal in the structure and the syntactic relations into which it enters with other elements in the sentence. However, it is also well-known that (morphologically realized) case can be interrelated with meaning. In this talk, I will provide an overview of semantic phenomena that are sensitive to case-marking. Topics under consideration can be divided into three groups: (i) thematic roles and related concepts; (ii) prominence/individuation; (iii) tense and aspect. I will consider the ways in which semantic components associated with case can be contributed to truth conditions.