Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Unified Analysis of "Dative Shift" in English and the Applicative Construction in Chichewa

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. In Chichewa, the applicative construction is a similar syntactic alternation. 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.