The case system of the Vilamovicean adjective – from description to explanation

Alexander Andrason


The present paper offers a detailed description and analysis of the adjectival declensional patterns in the Modern Vilamovicean language. The idiom possesses six declensional patterns – restricted to distinct environments – that, from a morphological perspective, form a continuum ranging from a strong declension (classes 1, 2 and 3) to a weak one (class 6), through intermediate mixed paradigms (classes 4 and 5). Nowadays, only the mixed and weak classes are productive and common. If compared with Classical Vilamovicean, the adjectival declension has suffered a process of syncretism and decay, evolving towards a two-case marking: nominative versus accusative-dative in the masculine singular and nominative-accusative versus dative elsewhere. Thus, the adjectival morphological case marking is more effective than in the nominal system (where no case distinction is usually made) but less successful than in the pronominal system (where a three-case distinction predominates). Within a typological-grammaticalization framework, the inflectional organization of Vilamovicean adjectives can be defined as an advanced case system.


Germanic linguistics, endangered languages, case system, adjective, language change

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ISSN 2223-9936 (online); ISSN 1027-3417 (print)

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