Case Marking of Rava in Comparison with Bangla

Author: Shuvam Dutta (School of Languages & Linguistics, Jadavpur University, India)
Speaker: Shuvam Dutta
Topic: Language Documentation
The GLOCAL CALA 2022 General Session


Rava, also known as Kochakrew is a Tibeto-Burmese language mainly spoken at New Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India and Bangla/Bengali is an Indo-Aryan Language spoken primarily India and Bangladesh.

Case are traditionally referred as ‘‘a system of marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their heads’’ (Blake1994). Case marking is useful for the establishment of the semantic roles of nouns/pronouns and their syntactic relationship to the verb. It may also indicate the relation between two nouns. Case is a semantic relationship and case marker exhibits this very relationship by some phonological word.

The present paper aims to investigate how case is formed in both Rava and Bangla. It mainly undertakes a study of case as a nominal inflectional category in Rava and Bangla and accounts for the morphological and syntactic features of case and case marking with special emphasis on their semantic significance.

Some case features those are founded are listed here:

Rava and Bangla both languages are Nominative-Accusative languages.

1. amai-ɸ ɟubuː-ta-ɸ (Rava)
mother-NOM sleep-PROG-PRS

“Mother is sleeping.”

2. ma-ɸ gʰumo:-cʰ-e (Bangla)
mother-NOM sleep-PROG-3

“Mother is sleeping.”

3. umɔr bɔl-wo tɔsamɔo (Rava)
he.NOM ball-ACC kick

“He kicked the ball.”

4. se bɔl-ʈa-ke latʰi mar-l-o (Bangla)
he.NOM ball-CLF-ACC Kick

“He kicked the ball.”

Nominative case is unmarked in both the languages.

Case inflectional is postpositional in all two languages.

Most of the cases are overtly marked. They are realized differently through affixation and postpositions.

Case Markers / Postposition (Rava) Case Markers / Postposition (Bangla) Case
ɸ ɸ Nominative
-wo -ke Accusative
-na -ke Dative
pʰriŋ -e, -te, -ke, -r, tʰeke Ablative
-i -e, -ke, -te Locative
faŋ -e,-te, diye,dʷara Instrumental
-ni -r Genitive

Bangla share a usage of non-canonical case marking as well as feature of differentiating animate and inanimate object through case marking. But Rava does not.

Dative case inflection is similar with accusative case inflection in Bangla. But Rava has two different suffix.

Accusative Case is unmarked in the direct object of ditransitive verb in both the languages.

5. raɟa-ɸ uni jowk-na go-sa par-ɸ lao-tana-mon (Rava)
raɟa-NOM his wife-DAT CLF-one flower-ACC give-PFV-PST

“Raja gave a flower to his wife.”

6. raɟa-ɸ tar bou-ke ek-ʈa pʰul-ɸ di-ecʰi-l-o (Bangla)
raja-NOM his wife-DAT One-CLF flower-ACC give-PFV-PST-3

“Raja gave a flower to his wife.”

Keywords: Rava, Bangla, Case Marking, Animate