Datapoint for feature 49A and language wals_code_scr

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 49A and language wals_code_scr.

4 Responses to “Datapoint for feature 49A and language wals_code_scr”

  1. Daniel N. Says:

    As a native speaker, I have to say that Croatian (and Serbian) is ALWAYS described as having 7 cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, locative, instrumental, vocative). There’s a minor (accent) difference between the dative and locative, however in no way there are only 5 cases. Definitely Croatian (and Serbian, Bosnian) should be in 6-7 cases group.

  2. Margarita N. Says:

    I agree with Daniel; there is a consensus (i.e. children get taught at school) that Serbo-Croatian does have seven different cases. As a native speaker, I am able to recognize and use their distinct functions within a sentence, and if one was ommitted or substituted by the other I would be able to tell the mistake. One academic resource I can find to support this claim is the following: Alexander, R. (2006). Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a grammar: with sociolinguistic commentary. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 21-22

    Parts of it sufficient to support the claim that there are seven distinct cases are available in the Google books preview.

    Additionally, here’s a resource in Serbian that says the same thing: Stanojčić, Ž., & Popović, L. (1997). Gramatika srpskoga jezika: udžbenik za I, II, III i IV razred srednje škole. Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva, page 70

    There are some dialects, especially in South Serbia, that may use less than 7 cases (notably, one dialect only uses two, nominative and accusative). However, this is not in accordance with the normative grammar of the language, and definitely not what the majority of native speakers would identify as grammatical.

    I hope this comment helps correct this uncertainty.

  3. Zlatan Says:

    So, will this be fixed? As mentioned there are 7 cases in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.

  4. Rene Says:

    For all intents and purposes, modern standard BCS has 6 morphological cases. The endings for the Dative and Locative have fully merged, and while the difference is still made by some Western Croatian dialects, this difference is not made in the standard. Some grammarians state there is a difference in pitch accent in a very small set of words between their Dative and Locative forms, yet this is a marginal feature ignored by practically ALL contemporary speakers.
    Furthermore, for most Croatian speakers, the vocative case is moribund, and especially within the younger generations it is not applied to proper nouns, and infrequently to other ones.
    When Serbo-Croatian speakers try to learn other Slavic languages, they often confuse the Dative and Locative cases, furthermore supporting the fact that the difference has been lost in Standard BCS.
    I would say that Serbian and Bosnian can be described as languages with a 6 case system, whereas Croatian is quickly transitioning to a 5 case system.

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