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.
|Number of pages||44|
|Journal||Natural Language and Linguistic Theory|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2016|
- Differential object marking