home edit page issue tracker

This page pertains to UD version 2.

Case: case

Values: Acc Abl Dat Gen Ins Loc Nom

Case is an inflectional feature of nouns and pronouns. It is also inflectional feature of some adpositions (ant not valency feature saying that the adposition requires its argument to be in that case).

Case helps to specify the role of the noun phrase in the sentence.

Here on the level of morphosyntactic features we are dealing with case expressed morphologically, i.e. by bound morphemes (affixes). The descriptions of the individual case values below include semantic hints about the prototypical meaning of the case. Bear in mind that quite often a case will be used for a meaning that is totally unrelated to the meaning mentioned here. Valency of verbs, adpositions and other words will determine that the noun phrase must be in a particular grammatical case to fill a particular valency slot (semantic role).

Armenian linguistics distinguishes between five (morphological) and seven (syntactic) cases: Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc, Abl, Ins and Loc (this ordering is fixed in the grammar).

Note, that the direct object of the verb can be formed in nominative or dative (syntactic accusative), this is related to Animacy. They will be tagged Case=Nom and Case=Dat and not Case=Nom,Acc or Case=Gen,Dat as in some Armenian grammars.

The difference between Gen and Dat is related to definiteness. The Gen can not have Definite=Def.

Note also, that vocatives, and noun modifiers as an attribute in nominative or as a genitive complement in genitive can not have Definite=Def. In these cases we declare Definite=Ind. Only this value will have also Ins, Abl and Loc cases.

Personal and some demonstrative pronouns distinguish between Case=Gen and Case=Dat. In genitive they will have Poss=Yes.


Nom: nominative

The base form of the noun, also used as citation form (lemma). In Armenian this is the word form used for subjects of clauses, for direct objects of verbs and for addressing someone.


Gen: genitive

In many languages prototypical meaning of genitive is that the noun phrase somehow belongs to its governor.

We do not recognize the genitive except for possessive personal, some demonstrative pronouns/determiners and իր  “one’s own”.


Dat: dative

This is the word form often used for indirect objects of verbs.

In Armenian this form is used also for cases when the noun phrase somehow belongs to its governor (adnominal dative) or depends on the verb (adverbal dative), see above.


Acc: accusative

Perhaps the second most widely spread morphological case. This is the word form most frequently used for direct objects of verbs, see above.


Abl: ablative

Prototypical meaning: direction from some point (object, location or time).


Ins: instrumental

The role from which the name of the instrumental case is derived is that the noun is used as instrument to do something (as in գրել գրիչով  “to write using a pen”). Many other meanings are possible, for example the instrumental is required and it includes the meaning expressed in other languages by adverbs of manner.

In Armenian the instrumental is also used for the agent-object in passive constructions (cf. the English preposition by).


Loc: locative

The locative case often expresses location in space or time, which gave it its name. As elsewhere, non-locational meanings also exist and they are not rare. On the other hand, some location roles may be expressed using other cases (e.g. because those cases are required by a preposition).


Case in other languages: [am] [apu] [arr] [bej] [bg] [cs] [el] [eme] [en] [es] [ess] [et] [fi] [ga] [gn] [grc] [gub] [hu] [hy] [ka] [kmr] [koi] [kpv] [ky] [mdf] [myu] [myv] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tl] [tpn] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urb] [urj]