That's definitely part of the answer, at least regarding my experience. E.g. in Norwegian, which doesn't have cases (well, they have different cases, but if I remember correctly, only two, which is much less than Russian), you can't change the word order wo changing the meaning of the sentence. So I think, it has much to do with the cases, indeed. :)
I was rereading the Tips and Notes section for this branch of the course -- Phrases2 -- and read:
CONTRARY TO WHAT MANY NATIVE SPEAKERS HAVE COME TO BELIEVE IN THE LAST TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS, THE POLITE "YOU" IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY CAPITALIZED IN RUSSIAN, AND NEVER WAS. SUCH CAPITALIZATION IS USED IN SOME FORMAL STYLES.
I had run across something to the same effect earlier, but had forgotten where I had seen it. So, I Googled it and came across a page that contained the following:
"Вы" referring to a single person should be capitalized in official letters, and can be capitalized as a sign of extraordinary respect.
Во избежа́ние штрафны́х са́нкций Вам* сле́дует погаси́ть задо́лженность до 15 сентября́ 2010 го́да.
(To avoid penalties, you must repay the debt before September 15, 2010.)
*We haven't gotten to this yet, but вам is вы in dative case.
The page contained quite a lot of interesting information on the use of вы and ты. For example, do you know how to address God, angels, and other supernatural beings in Russian? How about animals? If you would like to find out, click on the link below:
Does anyone else have the issue of hearing the sound (vig de) for ты где? Every other time где sounded like "Vidya" or "vid ee uh". In either case of trying to explain the different sounds I'm hearing, they are in fact DIFFERENT. Is that a mistake here or does the addition of ты cause где to sound completely different?
I probably can't give a really satisfying answer, but I've made the experience that in sentences, certain words "melt together", so it might be a mix of a regional dialect of the chosen speaker for the course and that "melting together"..