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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A unified analysis of “Dative shift” in English and the applicative construction in Chichewa
by Rill, Justin, M.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011, 59; 1500742
Abstract (Summary)

Many languages exhibit alternate syntactic realizations of ditransitive verbal constructions. For example, English features both a prepositional construction (Mary gave candy to the children) and a Double Object construction (Mary gave the children candy), a phenomenon known as “Dative Shift” (Larson 1988). In Chichewa, the “applicative construction” is a similar syntactic alternation (Baker 1988, Marantz 1993). The primary aim of this thesis is to present a unified analysis of Dative Shift and the applicative construction for both of these typologically distinct languages.

The proposed unified analysis features an identical argument structure for both languages, as well as isomorphic morphosyntactic processes. It accounts for several asymmetries previously observed between benefactive and instrumental ditransitives in Chichewa. These asymmetries serve as the basis for a corollary hypothesis about natural sub-classes within the class of “oblique” arguments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hendrick, Randall
Commitee: Pertsova, Katya, Smith, Jennifer
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 50/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Applicative, Chichewa, Dative shift, Ditransitive, Double object, Oblique
Publication Number: 1500742
ISBN: 978-1-124-94302-2
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