Case Systems for Natural Language
BOLT BERANEK AND NEWMAN INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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In many languages e.g. Latin, Greek, Russian, Turkish, German the relationship of a noun phrase to the rest of a sentence is indicated by altered forms of the noun. The possible relationships are called surface cases. Because 1 it is difficult to specify semantic-free selection rules for the cases and 2 related phenomena based on prepositions or word order appear in apparently case-less languages, many have argued that studies of cases should focus on meaning, i.e. on deep cases. A representative sample of proposed case systems is examined. Issues such as surface versus deep versus conceptual levels of cases, and the efficiency of the representations implicit in a case system are also discussed.