temporary Recipient marking

Randy John LaPolla (Prof) RandyLaPolla at NTU.EDU.SG
Wed Sep 3 03:00:04 UTC 2014

Dear Michael,
There is a distinction like this in the Qiang language (Tibeto-Burman; Sichuan, China): if the third argument is seen as a recipient, the genitive marker is used on the noun, but if the argument is seen as a location to which the object moves, then the allative/locative marker is used. I'll attach the pages from my Qiang grammar on this.

All the best,
Prof. Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (罗仁地)| Head, Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies | Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-80, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332 | Tel: (65) 6592-1825 GMT+8h | Fax: (65) 6795-6525 | http://sino-tibetan.net/rjlapolla/

On 3 Sep, 2014, at 5:24 am, Michael Daniel <misha.daniel at GMAIL.COM<mailto:misha.daniel at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:

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 connection.

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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