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On 11/22/05, Reilly Schlaier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> one of my older conlangs has: Nom., Accu., Dative, Benefactive,
> Genitive, Posessive, Ablative, Allative, Vocative and Insrumental.
> how many in you personal opinions is too many?

I should think it depends on the nature of the conlang,
and your purposes for it.  If you're planning to become
fluent in it as you develop it, you might want to keep
the number down; but if it's a philosophical experiment,
why not 81 cases (IIRC that's how many Ithkuil has)
or 100 (Arüven)?  There are at least a couple of
natural languages with more than 20 -- Hungarian,
and a language of the Caucasus, I think,
whose name begins with a T, unless it doesn't.

If the case markings are invariant suffixes
or prefixes, I don't see why you shouldn't
have as many of them as most languages have
of prepositions or postpositions.  Even if they're
not invariant, you might can handle a fairly
large number if the variations are phonologically
conditioned, synchronically predictable,
and not too complicated (i.e., sandhi occurring
at boundaries between roots and case affixes).

More at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declension
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphosyntactic_alignment

--
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/conlang.htm
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