Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Probus

International Journal of Romance Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Wetzels, W. Leo


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.435
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.830

CiteScore 2018: 0.85

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.255
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.668

Online
ISSN
1613-4079
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Ahead of print

Issues

From dative to accusative. An ongoing syntactic change in Romance

Anna PinedaORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2810-9302
Published Online: 2019-05-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/probus-2019-0001

Abstract

In several Romance languages, including Catalan, Spanish, Asturian and Neapolitan, several verbs (‘phone’, ‘answer’, ‘shoot’, ‘rob’, among others) can take a dative- or accusative-marked complement. I argue that this alternation is indeed a transition from dative to accusative; that is, it is a process of syntactic change, with different stages of evolution depending on the dialectal or even idiolectal variety. The relevant verbs, being a priori dative-taking intransitive verbs, are analyzed as unergatives, made up of a light verb and a nominal, ‘phone= do+phone call’. When the complement ‘to somebody’ is added, a ditransitive structure is obtained, where I assume that the direct (‘phone call’) and the indirect (‘to somebody’) objects are related via an applicative head. The properties of this functional applicative head allow me to explain the change from dative to accusative case in the first stages of syntactic change. Likewise, I show that the completion of the syntactic change results in a true transitivization of the structure.

Keywords: dative; accusative; case alternation; syntactic change; applicatives

References

  • Andriani, Luigi. 2011. Differential Object marking, Clitic Doubling and Argument Structure in Barese. Research Master Thesis, Leiden University.Google Scholar

  • Arad, Maya. 1998. VP-structure and the syntax-lexicon interface. PhD dissertation, University College London.Google Scholar

  • Baker, Mark C. 1988. Incorporation: A theory of grammatical function changing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

  • Baker, Mark C. 2008. The macroparameter in a microparametric world. In Biberauer (ed.), The limits of syntactic variation, 351–374. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Barðdal, Jóhanna. 2001. Case in Icelandic: A Synchronic, Diachronic, and Comparative Approach. PhD diss., Lund University.Google Scholar

  • Beavers, John. 2007. Deconstructing Affectedness: A Hierarchical Approach. Ms, University at Buffalo.Google Scholar

  • Bilous, Rostyslav. 2011. Transitivité et marquage d’objet différentiel. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto.Google Scholar

  • Bleam, Tonia. 1999. Leísta Spanish and the Syntax of Clitic Doubling. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar

  • Blume, Kerstin. 1998. A contrastive analysis of interaction verbs with dative complements. Linguistics 36(2). 253–280.Google Scholar

  • Bonet, Eulàlia. 1991. Morphology after syntax: Pronominal clitics in Romance. PhD dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar

  • Bordelois, Ivonne. 1974. The grammar of Spanish causative complements. PhD dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar

  • Chomsky, Noam. 1986. Knowledge of language. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar

  • Chomsky, Noam. 2005. Three factors in language design. Linguistic Inquiry 36(1). 1–22.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Chung, Sandra. 1978. Case marking and grammatical relations in Polynesian. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar

  • Company, Concepción. 2003. Transitivity and grammaticalization of object. The struggle of direct and indirect object in Spanish. In Giuliana Fiorentino (ed.), Romance objects. Transitivity in Romance languages, 217–260. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Cuervo, María Cristina. 2003. Datives at large. PhD dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar

  • Cuervo, María Cristina. 2010. Against ditransitivity. Probus 22(2). 151–180.Google Scholar

  • Diaconescu, Constanţa Rodica & María Luisa Rivero. 2007. An applicative analysis of double object constructions in Romanian. Probus 19. 209–233.Google Scholar

  • Diccionari de la llengua catalana, 2nd edition (DIEC2), Institut d’Estudis Catalans. Available online: https://mdlc.iec.cat

  • Diccionario de la Lengua Española (DRAE), Real Academia Española. Available online: http://dle.rae.es

  • Dixon, Robert M.W. 1994. Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Dizionario italiano di Tullio De Mauro. Available online: http://dizionario.internazionale.it

  • Dowty, David R. 1991. Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. Language 67. 547–619.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fábregas, Antonio. 2013. Differential object marking in Spanish: State of the art. Borealis: An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics 2(2). 1–80.Google Scholar

  • Fernández-Ordóñez, Inés. 1999. Leísmo, laísmo y loísmo. In Ignacio Bosque & Violeta Demonte (eds.), Gramática Descriptiva de la Lengua Española, Vol. I. 1317–1397. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.Google Scholar

  • Fillmore, Charles J. 1968. The case for case. In Emmon Bach & Robert T. Harms (eds.), Universals in linguistic theory, 1–90. New York: Holt.Google Scholar

  • Fournier, David H. 2010. La structure du prédicat verbal: une étude de la construction à double objet en français. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto.Google Scholar

  • Grande Dizionario Hoepli Italiano. Available online: http://www.grandidizionari.it

  • Hale, Kenneth & Samuel Jay Keyser. 2002. Prolegomenon to a theory of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Hopper, Paul J. & Sandra Thompson. 1980. Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language 56(2). 251–299.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Jónsson, Jóhannes Gísl. 2013. Dative versus accusative and the nature of inherent case. In Beatriz Fernández & Ricardo Etxepare (eds.), Variation in datives. A microcomparative perspective, 161–188. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Kittilä, Seppo. 2007. On the encoding of transitivity-related features on the indirect object. Functions of Language 14(1). 149–164.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kroch, Anthony S. 1989. Reflexes of grammar in patterns of language change. Language Variation and Change 1. 199–244.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kroch, Anthony S. 2001. Syntactic change. In Mark Baltin & Chris Collins (eds.), The handbook of contemporary syntactic theory, 699–729. Blacwell: Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Ledgeway, Adam. 2000. A comparative syntax of the dialects of Southern Italy: A minimalist approach. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Ledgeway, Adam. 2009. Grammatica diacronica del napoletano. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Marantz, Alec. 1984. On the nature of grammatical relations. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Marantz, Alec. 1993. Implications of asymmetries in double object constructions. In Sam Mchombo (ed.), Theoretical aspects of Bantu grammar, 113–150. Standford: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar

  • McFadden, Thomas. 2004. The Position of Morphological Case in the Derivation: A Study on the Syntax-Morphology Interface. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar

  • McGinnis, Martha J. 2008. Applicatives. Language and Linguistics Compass 2(6). 1225–1245.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Morant, Marc. 2008. L’alternança datiu/acusatiu en la recció verbal catalana. PhD dissertation, Universitat de València.Google Scholar

  • Navarro, Josep Lluís. 2013. Els verbs tocar i cridar com a sinònims de telefonar. Aula de Lletres Valencianes 3. 129–160.Google Scholar

  • Nueva Gramática de la Lengua Española (2009) = Real Academia española and Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. 2009. Nueva Gramática de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.Google Scholar

  • Ormazabal, Javier & Juan Romero. 1998. On the syntactic nature of the me-lui and person-case constraint. International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology 32(2). 415–434.Google Scholar

  • Palmer, Frank Robert. 1994. Grammatical roles and relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Pesetsky, David & Esther Torrego. 2001. T-to-C Movement: Causes and consequences. In Michael Kenstowicz (ed.), Ken Hale: A life on language, 355–426. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna. 2016. Les fronteres de la (in)transitivitat. Estudi dels aplicatius en llengües romàniques i basc [published and revised version of the PhD dissertation]. Barcelona: Institut d’Estudis Món Juïc. Col·lecció Cum Laude, 6.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna. In press a. El complement directe. In Josep Martines & Manuel Pérez-Saldanya (eds.), Gramàtica del català antic. Barcelona: Empúries.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna. In press b. El marcatge diferencial d’objecte en català (i Fabra). In Miquel Ángel Pradilla (ed.), La lingüística de Pompeu Fabra. Tarragona: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna. In press c. La (in)transitivitat en Fabra: Aspectes clau. In Josep Murgades, Eloi Bellés & Neus Nogué (eds.), Fabra, a la Universitat i de la Universitat. Barcelona: Edicions UB.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna. In press d. Double object constructions in Romance: the common denominator. Syntax.Google Scholar

  • Pineda, Anna & Carles Royo. 2017. Differential indirect object marking in Romance (and how to get rid of it. Revue Roumaine de Linguistique LXII(4) (Special Issue: Differential Object Marking in Romance: some more pieces of the puzzle). 445–462.Google Scholar

  • Pylkkänen, Liina. 2002. Introducing arguments. PhD dissertation, MIT. [Also Pylkkänen, Liina. 2008. Introducing arguments. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.]Google Scholar

  • Ramos, Joan Rafel. 2005a. Les alternances acusatiu/datiu: Perspectiva normativa i dialectal. Jornades de la Secció filològica de l’IEC a l’Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana, 151–159. Barcelona: IEC, IIFV.Google Scholar

  • Ramos, Joan Rafel. 2005b. El complement indirecte: L’alternança datiu / acusatiu. Estudis romànics / publicats a cura de A.M. Badia i Margarit i Joan Veny 27. 94–111.Google Scholar

  • Rapoport, Tova. 1993. Verbs in Depictives and Resultatives. In James Pustejovsky (ed.), Semantics and the Lexicon, 163–189. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar

  • Romero, Juan. 2012. Accusative feminine datives. In Fernandez, Beatriz & Etxepare, Ricardo (eds.), Variation in datives: A microcomparative perspective, 283–300. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Royo, Carles. 2017. Alternança acusatiu/datiu i flexibilitat semàntica i sintàctica dels verbs psicològics catalans. PhD dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona.Google Scholar

  • Sáez, Luis. 2009. Applicative phrases hosting accusative clitics. In Ronald P. Leow, Héctor Campos & Donna Lardiere (eds.), In little words: Their history, phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and acquisition, 61–73. Washington: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar

  • Smith, Michael Brockman. 1987. The Semantics of Dative and Accusative in German: An Investigation in Cognitive Grammar. PhD diss., University of California.Google Scholar

  • Svenonius, Peter. 2002. Icelandic case and the structure of events». Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 5. 197–225.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Thráinsson, Höskuldur. 2013. Ideal speakers and other speakers: The case of dative and some other cases. In Beatriz Fernández & Ricardo Etxepare (eds.), Variation in datives. A microcomparative perspective, 161–188. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Torrego, Esther. 2010. Variability in the case patterns of causative formation in Romance and its implications. Linguistic Inquiry 41(3). 445–470.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Torres Morais, Maria Aparecida & Heloisa Maria Moreira Lima Salles. 2010. Parametric change in the grammatical encoding of indirect objects in Brazilian Portuguese. Probus 22. 181–209.Google Scholar

  • Troberg, Michelle. 2008. Dynamic Two-place Indirect Verbs in French: A Synchronic and Diachronic Study in Variation and Change of Valence. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto.Google Scholar

  • Wang, William S.-Y. (ed.). 1977. The Lexicon in phonological change. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Williams, Edwin. 1980. Predication. Linguistic Inquiry 11. 203–237.Google Scholar

  • Woolford, Ellen. 2006. Lexical case, inherent case, and argument structure. Linguistic Inquiry 37(1). 111–130.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Yang, Charles. 2000. Internal and external forces in language change. Language Variation and Change 12. 231–250.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Yang, Charles. 2004. Universal Grammar, statistics or both? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8(10). 451–456.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Yang, Charles. 2010. Three factors in language variation. Lingua 120(5). 1160–1177.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Anna Pineda

Dr. Anna Pineda is a postdoctoral researcher in linguistics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Catalonia (2018-present). Just before that, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS-IKER) in Bayonne, France (2016-2017) and also spent two months as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge, England (2017). She has won several academic and research awards, such as the Cum Laude Award to the best dissertation in Human Sciences written in Catalan and defended in any of the universities of the Catalan-speaking countries. She has contributions in several prestigious journals and publishing houses and has organised and participated in many scientific events.


Published Online: 2019-05-21


Citation Information: Probus, ISSN (Online) 1613-4079, ISSN (Print) 0921-4771, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/probus-2019-0001.

Export Citation

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in