From syncretism to a model of grammar: the case of datives, allatives and locatives.


CAHA Pavel

Year of publication 2018
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In the talk, I focus on a typological generalisation that concerns the marking of datives, allatives and locatives, known as Blansitt's generalisation (Blansitt 1988). A relevant part of the generalisation says that if the dative is the same as the locative, so is the allative. Following a line of analysis going back at least to Jakobson's pioneering work, my goal will be to explain this generalisation from a hypothesis about the meaning (de)composition of the categories in question. I will argue that in order to capture the generalisation, we need privative (rather than binary) features, and I further provide reasons to think that the individual features are organised in a hierarchy, known in the generative literature as the so-called "functional sequence" (Cinque 1999).
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