The Fundamentals of Case Grammar:    An Interview with Dr. J.C. Strangelove


This interview should be required reading for Russian linguists and serious linguists in all languages. Case Grammar provides the theoretical basis for most advanced Russian grammar courses, including RU-202 and RU-203. In addition, Case Grammar terms and concepts are employed throughout the RLM Grammar Review and Mailbag.

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By Way of an Introduction

"Everything I know about grammar and syntax, I learned from Dr. J.C. Strangelove," said the Spanish instructor.
"I didn't realize that he taught Spanish."
"He doesn't. His speciality is Case Grammar and, you know, Language Universals."
"Language Universals?"

And so began my quest for Dr. Strangelove. I finally found him partially hidden behind what he calls "the patina of his workplace" - the piles of books, magazines and newspapers that cover his desk.

The following interview article represents the kernel of his teachings. The article is somewhat lengthy and has been divided by topics into six parts to facilitate reading:

Part 1: Surface Structure/Deep Structure
Part 2: The Phantom "It" of English
Part 3: Case Notions
Part 4: The Deep Cases
Part 5: Case Frames
Part 6: "Final Oral Exam"