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>  Maybe the fa-ative
> tends to be nominative and the feative is accusative,

The feative is often the material (I know there is a name for that one)
or the possesive, too. Also it is the speciesive for living things.

> but by the time you're
> at the 3rd or 4th place the meaning is completely context-dependent.

The fiative is often the dative, when it makes sense to have one.

> Hmm.. it would be interesting to pretend the FA's were proper cases, and do
> a study of the gi'uste to see what the fo-places have in common -- a likely
> bizarre and lojbanic way of classifying the world. :-)

It's impossible. Even if you look only at classes of words at a time, there
usually are arbitrary exceptions. For example, one would expect that all
animals would follow the pattern "x1 is a *** of species x2", but there
are at least two exceptions: tigers and sheep.