Call for papers


This workshop aims to explore different notions surrounding dative structures in languages belonging to the Romance family and beyond –including, also, Basque.
Abstracts are invited for oral presentations (30 minute presentation, plus 10 minute question period) on any topic (also with a diachronic perspective) that contributes to improving our understanding of dative structures, especially on the topics sketched below:

(i) Case alternations involving dative case
(ii) Case vs Pre/Postposition alternations
(iii) Ditransitive constructions and double object constructions
(iv) Applicative heads
(v) Possessor raising constructions
(vi) Quirky Subjects

Abstracts should be at most two pages long (A4 paper), including examples and references, with 1 inch/2.5 cm. margins on all sides and 12 font size. The abstract should have a title but should not identify the author(s). Submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract per author. Abstracts must be submitted electronically only in PDF format to the following address: <>.

The deadline for submission is October 1st 2016. (Notification of acceptance: October 30th 2016)

Some questions are provided here in order to suggest some issues for discussion, but not to restrict the spectrum of matters to be discussed in the workshop.

(i) Case alternations involving dative case
On the one hand, agentive verbs with one single argument display DAT/ACC or DAT/ABS alternations in the marking of their complement in several languages, and different explanations have been provided. See for example Fernández-Ordóñez (1999) and Sáez (2009) for Spanish, Ramos (2005) and Morant (2008) for Catalan, Ledgeway 2000 for Neapolitan, Troberg (2008) for French (on a diachronic perspective), and Pineda (2014) for a comprehensive Romance view including Catalan, Spanish, Asturian and Italian varieties. Different analysis have been provided, sometimes reducing the alternations to case-confusing phenomena (laísmo/loísmo/leísmo), sometimes proposing two different structures for the dative option and the non-dative one, and yet sometimes assuming a hidden ditransitive structure behind agentive verbs (help someone = give help to someone) (following Torrego 2010) and analyzing the alternation as an ongoing syntactic change involving different applicative heads with different case-assigning properties.
Outside the Romance family, alternations in the case-marking of objects are also found, for example, in Icelandic (Maling 2002, Jónsson 2013) and Basque (Etxepare 2003, Creissels 2008, Mounole 2012, Fernández & Ortiz de Urbina 2012). Also, in the spatial domain, several languages (e.g. Germanic) show interesting dative/accusative alternations, where notions like Place, Path and Direction seem relevant (see Den Dikken 2010).
On the other hand, psychological verbs also display case alternations in the marking of their subject. See, for example, Mateu & Cabré (2002) and Royo (forthc.) for Catalan, and Fernández-Ordóñez (1999) for Spanish. In the non-Romance linguistic domain, a well-studied language is Icelandic, whose Experiencer Subjects alternate between accusative and dative case (see for example Jónsson & Eythórsson 2005).

Q. What factors constraint these case alternations? Are notions such as affectedness, aspect or others relevant? Do we cross-linguistically find alternations with a similar group of verbs? How can intra-speaker variation be accounted for?

(ii) The Dative Case vs Pre/Postposition alternation
The status of the Romance IO (DP or PP) has been a matter of discussing for long (e.g. Jaeggli 1982 and subsequent works). Many authors have shown that the Romance a/à/la, etc. is ambiguous: it can be dative case marker and a preposition. Differences left aside, this has been proposed, among others, by Demonte (1995) and Cuervo (2003) for Spanish, Diaconescu & Rivero (2007) for Rumanian, and Torres Morais & Salles (2010), Fournier (2010) for French. Some of them link the case-marker status to the presence of a dative clitic doubling, whether others do not (Demonte 1995, Cuervo 2003, Ormazabal & Romero 2013). Yet other authors consider that a is a preposition even when it introduces a clitic-doubled IO or a differently marked DO (Kayne 2005, Ordóñez & Roca in press). Also, basing on evidence from a range of Indo-European languages (Romance, Albanian, Iranian, Indo- Aryan), Manzini & Franco (2016) argue that there is syntactic category dative corresponding to both goal datives (indirect objects) and animate/definite direct objects.
In Basque, although apparently the distinction between dative case marker (nori) and goal-like postpositions (including benefactive norentzat and personal allative norengana postpositions) is clear, it has also been proposed that a homophonous nori postposition exists (Arregi 2003).

Q. Which analysis of dative case-markers/prepositions fits best with Romance and/or non-Romance data? Do we have compelling evidence in any direction? Is the marking of dative arguments, clitic-doubled dative arguments, and direct objects featuring DOM substantially different?

(iii) Double Object Constructions
The literature on Double Object Constructions (e.g. John gave Mary the book), normally focused on English, is abundant (Larson 1988, Oehrle 1976, Kayne 1984, Jackendoff 1990a,b, Pesetsky 1995, Harley 2002, among others). Though Double Object Constructions have been traditionally considered absent in the Romance area (Kayne 1984), several researchers have claimed that Spanish does indeed have it (Masullo 1992, Demonte 1995, Romero 1997, Bleam 2003). More recently, on the basis of Pylkkänen's (2002) work, on applicatives the existence of DOC in Spanish has again surfaced (Cuervo 2003), and the proposal has been extended to other Romance languages, such as French (Fournier 2010), Portuguese (Torres Morais & Salles 2010) and Rumanian (Diaconescu & Rivero 2007) and Catalan (Pineda 2013, 2014). However, there is no consensus as to whether a doubling dative clitic is a sine qua non condition for DOC: in this point, Romance languages offer an interesting landscape regarding the possibility of having a doubling dative clitic in ditransitive constructions: it is possible in Spanish, Catalan and Rumanian; it is not possible in French and Standard Italian; it is compulsory in some American varieties of Spanish (Río de la Plata / Chile / Caracas) (Parodi 1998, Senn 2008, Pujalte 2009); and Trentino (Cordin 1993).
Another point of controversy has to do with the (non-)existence of an English-like dative alternation (John gave Mary the book, John gave the book to Mary) in Romance: some authors defend that the existence two different ditransitive constructions, the double object one (with clitic doubling) and the prepositional one (without clitic doubling), featuring structural differences (opposite c-commanding relations between objects) and semantic differences (successful transfer of possession or not). However, other authors have challenged this claim showing that the purported structural and semantic differences between clitic-doubled and non-clitic doubled ditransitives constructions are not as robust as pretended (see Perpinán & Montrul 2006 for Spanish and Pineda 2013, 2014 for Spanish and Catalan).
As for Basque ditransitive constructions, different views exist. Montoya (1998), Elordieta (2001) and Oyharçabal (2010) claim that ditransitive constructions are always DOC and that no English-like dative alternation exists in Basque. However, Fernández & Ortiz de Urbina (2009, 2010), basing on the alternation between dative-marked DPs (Joni) and benefactive PPs (Jonentzat), argue that all ditransitives with dative-marked argument could be instances of DOC, regardless of the existence of an alternating postposition. Likewise, Arregi (2003) and Arregi & Ormazabal (2003) show that the DP vs PP alternation (that is, an English-like dative alternation) exists beyond benefactives, with some instances of Goal/Recipient-like IOs which can feature dative case (Joni) or a personal allative postposition (Jonengana). Finally, for those instances where a dative-marked DP (Joni) seems not to have any alternating postposition, Arregi (2003) proposes that a homophonous postposition (Joni) exists. Also, in their works on North-Eastern Basque varieties, Etxepare & Bernard Oyharçabal (2009a,b, 2010) relate the existence of agreeing and not-agreeing datives with an English-like dative alternation.

Q. Are the structural asymmetries found e.g. in English DOC expected to be found cross-linguistically or are they rather a matter of language internal variation? Should we aim to define a universally minimal pattern for DOC (with a core meaning, following Goldberg 1995) so that it can be easily identified in a major number of languages? In the particular case of Romance and other clitic-doubling languages, is the clitic really a sine qua non condition for DOC?

(iv) Applicative heads
Three main different analyses have been proposed for construccions with dative arguments, especially ditransitive constructions: (i) extra structure above the lexical V (see Marantz's (1993) Applicative Hypothesis for Bantu and English, Anagnostopoulou (2003) for Greek, Miyagawa & Tsujioka (2004) for Japanese, or Miyagawa & Jung (2004) for Corean, a.o.); (ii) extra structure inside the lexical V (Small Clause, Kayne 1984; Zero Morpheme, Pesetsky 1995); and (iii) a consensus proposal distinguishing Low and High Applicative Hypothesis (Pylkkänen 2002), with extra structure above V for High Applicatives (those whose interpretation doesn't involve a Goal argument) and extra structure inside V for Low Applicatives (those whose interpretation involves transfer of possession). Since Pylkkänen's work on Applicatives in English, Finnish and Jappanese, the use of this syntactic heads has been further developed and have given rise to an important number of works on a variety of languages (McGinnis 2001 for Albanian and Icelandic, Cuervo 2003 for Spanish, McIntyre 2006 for German, Fournier 2010 for French, Pineda 2014 for Catalan). Also, more types of Applicatives have been proposed (for example, Cuervo's 2003 Affected Applicatives).

Q. What kinds of applicative heads exist in a language? Does this have consequences in other parts of the grammar? How do applicative heads interact with case (for example, Low Applicatives behave differently in English, where there is no inherent dative case available, and in Romance)?

(v) Possessor-raising constructions
Constructions with possessor datives, where dative arguments behave as a syntactic argument of the verb but are interpreted as the possessor of the direct object, have been an important challenge for long. Alternatively to possessor-raising analysis, Pylkkänen (2002) notes that Low Applicative heads (subtype from) can successfully account for possessor datives: with examples of Korean, French and Spanish, she notes that all the differences between possessor datives and traditional double object constructions reduce to the reverse directionality (to vs. from) of the applicative relation». In the case of Spanish, together with possessor-raising analysis (Demonte 1995, Landau 1999), proposals using Applicative heads (including a new type, Affected Applicatives) have come up too (Cuervo 2003).

Q. Does the (Low / Affected) Applicative-analysis find support in all languages with possessor datives?

(vi) Quirky subjects
Dative-marked subjects of psychological (and other) verbs have been considered in some languages an instance of Quirky Subjects, see for example Zaenen, Maling & Höskuldur Thráinsson (1985) and Sigurðsson (1989) for Icelandic, Belleti & Rizzi (1988) for Italian and Masullo (1993) and Fernández Soriano (1999) for Spanish. However, these claims have been challenged by a number of authors.

Q. Are quirky subjects (subjects bearing oblique case) a cross-linguistically quite common category, or they should rather be restricted to a smaller group of languages (especially Icelandinc) with a more specific behaviour? Which diagnostics should we base on?


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