Two strategies of case marking in natural languages are discussed. These are defined as two violable constraints whose effects are shown to converge in the case of differential object marking but diverge in the case of differential subject marking. The discourse prominence of the case-bearing arguments is shown to be of utmost importance for case-marking and voice alternations. The analysis of the case-marking patterns that are found crosslinguistically is couched in a bidirectional Optimality Theory analysis.

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