Goal and DOM datives

Ludovico Franco, M. Rita Manzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


In a range of Indo-European languages (Romance, Albanian, Iranian, Indo-Aryan), the same oblique case (‘dative’) is associated with indirect objects and with animate/definite direct objects, independently of the particular morphology employed to spell out the oblique (inflectional or pre/postpositional). We argue that there is a syntactic category dative coinciding with the morphological one and encompassing both goal dative and definiteness/animacy dative. We provide a characterization of goal dative as an elementary predicate introducing a part-whole (i.e. possession) relation, arguing that the definiteness/animacy dative is an instance of this elementary predicate. Evidence sometimes used against the unification proposed (e.g. passives, agreement) admits of, or requires, other explanations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-240
Number of pages44
JournalNatural language & linguistic theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Agreement
  • Case
  • Dative
  • Differential object marking
  • Indo-Iranian
  • Oblique
  • Romance


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