Determining morphosyntactic feature values

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Determining the number of cases (case values) in a given language may be a challenging analytical task. In establishing the techniques, special attention has been devoted to Russian, since it exhibits a whole set of difficult problems. It has been claimed to have as few as six case values or as many as eleven. The evidence is considered again, taking the valuable work of the Set-theoretical School, and moving on to a ‘Canonical’ approach in which we construct a logical scheme against which to evaluate the different case values. We see clearly that the case values differ dramatically in status, from those at the centre of the system to those which are peripheral and in decline, yet maintaining a presence in the case system.


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