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Reading: Dative (first) complements in Basque


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Research Paper

Dative (first) complements in Basque


Beatriz Fernández ,

University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
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Jon Ortiz de Urbina

University of Deusto
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This article examines dative complements of unergative verbs in Basque, i.e., dative arguments of morphologically “transitive” verbs, which, unlike ditransitives, do not co-occur with a canonical object complement. We will claim that such arguments fall under two different types, each of which involves a different type of non-structural licensing of the dative case. The presence of two different types of dative case in these constructions is correlated with the two different types of complement case alternations which many of these predicates exhibit, so that alternation patterns will provide us with clues to identify different sources for the dative marking. In particular, we will examine datives alternating with absolutives (i.e., with the regular object structural case in an ergative language) and datives alternating with postpositional phrases. We will first examine an approach to the former which relies on current proposals that identify a low applicative head as case licenser. Such approach, while accounting for the dative case, raises a number of issues with respect to the absolutive variant. As for datives alternating with postpositional phrases, we claim that they are lexically licensed by the lower verbal head V.
How to Cite: Fernández, B., & Urbina, J. O. de . (2012). Dative (first) complements in Basque. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 11(1), 83–98. DOI:
Published on 29 Jun 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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