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Dative verbs

A crosslinguistic perspective

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This paper investigates the argument realization options shown by dative verbs across languages through case studies of English, Hebrew, and Russian. Its starting point is M. Rappaport Hovav and B. Levin's (2008) verb-sensitive approach to the English dative alternation, which factors the problem in two: i) the possible associations of individual verbs with event schemas and ii) the possible morphosyntactic realizations available to each event schema. M. Rappaport Hovav and B. Levin distinguish three major subtypes of dative verbs, represented by English give, send, and throw, and two event schemas, caused motion and caused possession. This paper shows that these two event schemas show the same distribution across the three verb types in English, Hebrew, and Russian. However, the argument realizations attested in these three languages for each event schema — and, indirectly, each verb type — are shown to differ as the morphosyntactic resources of languages differ; the primary differences reside in the realization of the recipient in the caused possession schema and of the goal in the caused motion schema.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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