Differential object marking in Basque varieties

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This chapter studies Differential Object Marking (DOM) in nonstandard varieties of Basque. DOM in Basque overtly resembles a common DOM pattern of coding direct as indirect objects in both case and agreement, that is absolutives as datives, according to their animacy and specificity, as in Spanish and Hindi-Urdu. However, Basque DOM is also sensitive to properties of the clause such as tense. In both respects, there is variation across Basque. Some varieties let us probe the nature of DOM datives, and reveal systematic patterning with non-DOM absolutives rather than with indirect object datives. This includes robust diagnostics for structural Case, such as ECM and absolutive-dative alternations. We propose a structural Agree/Case mechanism for DOM datives that brings out their relationship to absolutives and allows sensitivity to properties of both the object and the clause.


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