A survey of the origins of directional case suffixes in European Uralic

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This paper surveys the origins of the total of twenty-seven directional case markers in the European branches of the Uralic language family. In an attempt to resolve a number of mismatches between the traditional tenets of historical Uralistics and the contemporary typological knowledge of the development of cases, the study also addresses the relevance of diachronic perspectives in mapping the synchronic interrelations of the various semantic roles marked by directional cases across languages. The data obtained from a continuum of etymologically transparent and opaque cases within inflectional paradigms of various sizes not only corroborates but also adds to our understanding of grammaticalization of postpositions to suffixes, also leaving space for alternative paths of development of case markers.


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