temporary Recipient marking

Michael Daniel misha.daniel at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 2 21:24:58 UTC 2014

Dear all,

most East Caucasian (alias Nakh-Daghestanian) languages have two options to
mark the Recipient with the verb 'give'. One uses the dative case and may
be called the dative strategy of Recipient marking. The other uses one of
the spatial, more specifically (al)lative forms (there are many), and may
be termed the lative strategy. A similar construction is also attested in
another language of the Caucasus, Ossetic, which suggests an areal

The difference between the two strategies is often explained as the
difference between permanent and temporary Recipients.

"I gave Mohammed-Dat the book"
'I gave (offered) the book to M.'


"I gave Mohammed-Lat the book"
'I gave (lent) the book to M.'

Of course, I omit a great lot of language specific details; one important
note, however, is that the opposition may also be interpreted as that of
transfer (of possession) vs. caused motion - something like 'give' vs.
'hand'. In a sense, these languages distinguish two components in the
semantics of give, that are (almost) always inseparable - that of caused
motion and that of transfer.

My question is - could anyone give me references for or just mention
language names that do the same or similar kind of distinction on nouns -
by means of case or adposition or other means. Any other grammatical means
to express this opposition (or opposition close to this) is also very much
welcome as a typological background. (I can probably think of a variation
in the marking of the Theme - the Given Object).

Michael Daniel

I am aware that a similar contrast or at least a related metaphor has been
proposed for the opposition between the English. This is the parallel I am
aware of (even though I do not think it works well here).

If anyone is interested in the data from or reference for East Caucasian, I
will be happy to provide it.
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