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From an academic/historical/linguistic perspective, is there any interesting background for why a case that only changes one gender remained in the language and did not become disused?

Pardon my ignorance on this subject, but it would seem to the absolute layman that languages do tend to follow a path of simplifying themselves (I know, not an absolute rule by any means) - and it is my assumption (could be incorrect) that it is something that's evident with how Genitiv is sometimes replaced with a Dativ construct. Again, apologies for the massive assumptions of someone very interested but with nearly zero in-depth knowledge of the subject.

I vaguely remember that one "use-case" of cases was giving more flexibility (sentence structure and order), because the declension provides additional information. Akkusativ provides absolutely no additional information 66% of the time.

And also, why the masculine? Why not any of the other two? Is there any linguistic/historical precendent in other, earlier languages for this?

P.S. I am painfully aware of the amount of assumptions I am making, but my curiosity absolutely got the better of me. Please forgive me and I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong/incorrect on all of them.

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  • Brace yourself for half assed patronizing answers from would be linguists who venture past their expertise. And for a good reason, to wit: "... the amount of assumptions I am making, [...] I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong/incorrect on all of them." That's just not how this works, so I'm voting to close. How and why are different questions. I'd recommend you start asking "Is there any linguistic/historical precendent in other, earlier languages for this?"
    – vectory
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 13:38
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    IIRC, the reason is that in the old times feminine and neuter nouns tended to be not the subjects of a clause. So it's not accusative that shares markers with nominative for those nouns but other way round.
    – Janka
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 16:44
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    This boils down to a question about historical linguistics and PIE. At least for neutrum, the equality of nominative and accusative is PIE heritage that has been passed down in pretty much all IE languages. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:39
  • @Janka When is "old times"?
    – fdb
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 17:19
  • If they close this question (for whatever reason) you might want to repost it in the "Linguistics" group.
    – fdb
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 17:30

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