Case Marking of Asamiya in comparison with Bangla for animate and inanimate objects BORNINI LAHIRI M.PHIL CENTRE FOR LINGUISTICS JNU Introduction Linguistically, Asamiya and Bangla are quite similar to each-other. Basically because: 1. Descendent of Magadhi Prakrit 2. Member of Outer Indo-Aryan group 3. Member of Eastern group of Indo-Aryan languages. Similarity in Case Marking feature They share1. Most of the cases, though they are realized differently through affixation and postpositions. 2. Usage of non-cannonical case marking 3. Feature of differentiating animate and inanimate object through case marking for some of the cases. What is case? Blake- “ Case is a system of marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their heads”. Generally case is marked by an affix or a complete word. At times both are needed to realize one case. Sometimes affixes are needed for adpositions to occur. One case-marking may serve different cases at different times. Cases Which are Overtly Marked in Asamiya and Bangla Cases Marked Asamiya Bangla Agentive /-e/ Genitive /-ɔr/ /-er/, /-der/, /-kar/, /-ker/ Accusative /-ɔk/ /-ke/ Locative /-ɔt/ /-te/ /-ere/, /-di/, /-dara/ /dije/ Instrumental ACCUSATIVE MARKING Accusative case is marked by affixation in both the languages. Asamiya - /-ɔk/ (the vowel drops when the root ends with a vowel), Bangla - /-ke/ With animate objects: eg1: lɔra – tu – k tebil-ɔr upor-ɔt thoa boy-CLA-ACC table-GEN on-LOC keep Keep the baby on the table. eg2: bacca – ta - ke tebil-er opor-e rakho child-CLA-ACC table-GEN on-LOC rakho Keep the baby on the table. (Asamiya) (Bangla) With Inanimate Objects Both the languages drop its accusative case marking when the object is inanimate. eg3: kitab-khon tebil-r upor-ɔt book –CLA table-GEN on-LOC Keep the book on the table. kitab-khon-ɔk tebil-r thoa keep upor-ɔt eg4: boi-ta tebil-er opor-e rakho book –CLA table-GEN on-LOC keep Keep the book on the table. (A) thoa * (B) With Bangla Inanimate Objects boi-ta-ke tebil-er opor-e rakho (NOT GOOD) book-CLA-ACC table-GEN on-LOC keep Keep the book on the table. boi-ke tebil-er opor-e rakho * book-ACC table-GEN on-LOC keep Keep the book on the table. In Bangla accusative case can be used at times with an inanimate object to get animate reading. But an inanimate object can never take an accusative marker without any classifier. With Bangla Inanimate Objects contd putul-ta-ke dekhli? (B) doll-CLA-ACC see? Did you see the doll? Here the doll is taken as an animate object. eg5: Generally one will say: putul-ta dekhli? With Bangla Inanimate Objects contd eg6: bostu-ti-ke dekhli? thing-CLA-ACC see? Did you see the thing? (B) In this sentence the use of /–ke/ gives the sense that some animate object is being referred as a thing. May be to make fun of it. But such use of accusative marking is not allowed in Asamiya. Locative Marking Locative case is marked to the noun in whose respect the location is being told. It is marked by suffix in both the languages. Asamiya : /-ɔt/ Bangla: /-te/ With inanimate objects: eg7: kitap-tu bakos-ɔt book-CLA box-LOC The book is in the box. ase be (A) eg8: ace be (B) boi-ta bakɔs-e book-CLA box-LOC The book is in the box. Locative Marking with Animate Objects Locative maker cannot be attached directly to the animate object. Locative marker can get attached to a specific location like majh-ɔt (A) majh-e (B) (middle+LOC=between), upor-ɔt (A) opor-e (B) (top+LOC =on top), Locative Marking with Animate Objects CONTD eg9 tumi mu-r-tat ki dekhile? You I-GEN-LOC what see what you saw in me? eg10 tumi ama-r modh-e ki dekhle you I-GEN in-LOC what see what you saw in me? (A) Locative marker for animate comes after genitive marker. (B) Locative Marking with Animate Objects In Asamiya if locative marker is used with animates then the sentence becomes ungrammatical whereas in Bangla it gives different meanings but not that of locative. eg11: kukur-e kamre dog - LOC bite give Dogs bite. (GENERIC) dæe Locative Marking of Bangla with Animate Objects dui bondhu-te jhogra two friend- LOC fight There is a dispute between the two friends. eg12: (COUPLED RECIPROCAL) eg13: o ama-e/-ke bollo he/she I-LOC/-ACC said He/she told me. (ACC-DAT) Instrumental Marking When an object helps in doing a work then it takes instrumental case in these two languages. It is marked in Asamiya by suffix /-ere/ & /-di/ when the object is animate & /-dara/ when the object is inanimate. eg14: kamkora-zuali-joni-dara sapha kora working-girl-CLA-INST clean do Get it cleaned by the maid. eg15: jaru –ri sapha kora broom-INST clean do Get it cleaned by a broom Instrumental contd In Bangla when the object is inanimate then the postposition /dije/ is used. But when the object is animate then accusative marking /-ke/ is used before /dije/. eg16: jharu dije jhat deao broomINST sweep give Get it swept by the broom. eg17: dai-ke dije jhat deao maid-ACC INST sweep give Get it swept by the maidservant. CHART Case Marking For Asamiya ANIMATE ACCUSATIVE LOCATIVE INSTRUMENTAL Bangla INANIMATE ANIMATE INANIMATE -ɔk Not used -ke Not used Location + LOC GEN+LOC -ɔt GEN+Locat ion + LOC -te -ere -de -ke + diye (PP) dije Conclusion In Asamiya out of five case markers of different cases, case markers of three cases distinguish between animate and inanimate objects. In Bangla case markers of every cases except Genitive case dintinguishes between animate and inanimate objects. Conclusion CONTD Bangla genitive case marker distinguishes between plural human and non-human. For plural human /-der/ is used while for all other instances /-r/ is used. Conclusion CONTD Cases show perception of the language so the same relation between two objects in different languages is realized through different cases. It can be said that Asamiya and Bangla perceives difference between animate and inanimate objects which along with classifiers is also realized through cases.