Lacking in Latvian: Case variation from a cognitive and constructional perspective

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This article examines two construction families used with the Latvian verb<i>(pie)tr&#363;kt </i>‘lack, miss’, employing usage-based construction grammar and Cognitive Grammar. Focusing on type frequency, I conclude that the <i>nom</i> constructions, characterised by the lacking entity appearing in the nominative and showing verbal agreement, have a higher degree of entrenchment than the <i>gen</i> constructions, where the lacking entity is in the genitive and verbal agreement is absent. Although diachronic data indicate a long history of coexistence between the families, I hypothesise that if one of them were to be ousted, it would be the one with the lowest degree of entrenchment (cf. Barðdal 2001: Ch. 6). This is consistent with a larger shift involving the Latvian genitive and conforms with tendencies in other North European languages.


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