Double Case and Suffixaufnahme - How Morphology Challenges Syntactic Theory

Marcus Kracht  


Suffixaufnahme is a phenomenon where the case ending is distributed to each and every word of the constituent thus producing words with several case markers in a row (the latter is what is known as "double case", a slightly different phenomenon, as we shall see). The phenomenon itself has been noted in Old Georgian, Hurrian but also in many (hopefully still) living Australian languages. Living somewhat on the margin, the phenomenon is not only a curiosity for the empirical linguist, it has raised (and still raises) interesting questions for the theory of languages. It can be shown, for example, that these languages are very complex if measured in terms of the Chomsky-hierarchy, but in fact parsing such languages is quite easy.