Chapter published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2017: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' 31, Bucharest
Edited by Alexandru Nicolae and Adina Dragomirescu
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 355] 2021
► pp. 92–109
Is there a dative alternation in Romanian?
Remarks on the cross-categorial variation of datives in ditransitive constructions
Against recent claims that Romance languages lack a genuine dative alternation since they lack a genuine Prepositional Dative Construction (e.g., Pineda 2012), we bring evidence that, in Romanian, even in Recipient ditransitive constructions, datives manifest either DP or PP properties. In order to establish this result, we examine both the (internal) structure of the Romanian inflectional dative, and the prepositional dative, marked by the preposition la “at”/“to” and show that both forms require a ‘dual categorial analysis’, in order to allow licensing of their case and person features. While the default interpretation of datives in Recipient ditransitive constructions is that of DPs (whence the possibility of clitic doubling (CD)), there is a class of contexts (e.g., double datives, featuring a possessive dative and a Goal/Recipient dative), where the Recipient must be projected as a PP, since otherwise it cannot be licensed. The dual categorization of the Recipient as a DP/PP proves the existence of a genuine dative alternation in Romanian.
Keywords: dative alternation, inflectional dative, prepositional dative, re-analysis
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