Fillmore[Charles Fillmore, The case for case, 1968.] proposed a theory of deep case structures, in which elements of a sentence are related to the verb by deep case[ case: an inflectional form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective indicating its grammatical relation to other words; such a relation whether indicated by inflection or not. -- Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary] relationships.
Unlike some languages, English does not modify most words for different cases. Cases used in English are:
|Formal Name:||Description:||Example:||Example Use:|
|Nominative||subject||he||He hit the ball.|
|Objective||direct object||him||John hit him.|
|Dative||indirect object||him||I gave him a book.|
|Genitive||possessive||his||He lost his keys.|
Although English does not make the cases obvious, Fillmore argued that the cases are still present in English:
|Mother baked for three hours.|
|The pie baked for three hours.|
|*||Mother and the pie baked for three hours.|
Why is the third sentence anomalous?[Linguists use the * marker to indicate a bad sentence.] Although both ``Mother'' and ``the pie'' are syntactic subjects, Fillmore argued that they are in different deep cases and thus cannot be conjoined.
Contents    Page-10    Prev    Next    Page+10    Index