Question about head-marked datives

Wolfgang Schulze W.Schulze at LRZ.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Tue Oct 23 08:48:53 UTC 2007

Dear Enrique,

What about West Caucasian, e.g. Abkhaz [pure head marking], compare (<E> 
= schwa):

sará            a-xwEč’-k’wá        a-šwqw’-k'wá         *rE*-s-t-o-yt’ 
I:EPMPH  ART-child-PL          ART-book-PL         
'I give the books to the children.'

or Sumerian [both head and dependent marking], e.g.

<ma-*ra-*an-dug4> = /mu-*ra*-n-dug4/ [Gudea]
'He has spoken to/for me.'

Best wishes,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Enrique L. Palancar" <epalancar at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 23:50:47 -0500
> Subject: Question about head-marked datives
> Dear Colleages,
> Lately, I have been wondering about head-marked datives. Chickasaw (also 
> Choktaw) (Muskogean) has been described in Munro (1999) and Munro and Gordon 
> (1982) to have a special set of dative pronominal affixes on the verb. The 
> set appears to have emerged from the fusion of older object encoding 
> pronominal prefixes with the dative applicative. These head-marked datives 
> do in Chickasaw quite a lot of the same things that dative case does in 
> other languages; besides, it also marks external possessor as in many 
> European languages, and it also reminds one of the dative subjects in 
> Icelandic/Old Norse and Dravidian lgs.
>      Otomi (Otopamean; Otomanguean) is another family of Amerindian 
> languages that has head-marked datives. The feature has always struck me as 
> odd typologically, but it was never more than a gut-feeling. I wanted now to 
> pursue a better perspective on the subject in order to understand it a 
> little bit better, and I thought it’d be good to send the following question 
> to the list:
> Does anybody know of other languages with similar datives?
> Needless to say, Spanish, along with other Romance lgs., could count as such 
> one language if one takes dative verbal clitics as part of verbal 
> inflection.
> Thank you very much for your help and for your knowledge,
> Enrique Palancar
> -Munro, Pamela. 1999. Chickasaw Subjecthood, in Doris L. Payne and Immanuel 
> Barshi, External Possession, pp. 251-292. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John 
> Benjamins.
> -Munro, Pamela and Lynn Gordon. 1982. Syntactic Relations in Western 
> Muskogean: A Typological Perspective.  Language, 58:1, pp. 81-115.



*Prof. Dr. Wolfgang 


/Primary contact: 

Institut für Allgemeine & Typologische Sprachwissenschaft     

Dept. II / F 13                  

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München                                 

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1                                         

D-80539 München                                  

Tel.: 0049-(0)89-2180-2486 


Fax:  0049-(0)89-2180-5345                                       

Email: W.Schulze at 
<mailto:W.Schulze at> /// Wolfgang.Schulze at 
<mailto:Wolfgang.Schulze at>       

Web: http://www.als.lmu/de/mitarbeiter/index.php                 

Personal homepage:



Katedra Germanistiký        

Fakulta humanitných 

Univerzita Mateja Béla / Banská 


SK-97401 Banská 


Fax: (00421)-(0)48-4465512   

Email: Schulze at 
<mailto:Schulze at>                                                                             




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list