On the syntax of datives in unaccusative configurations

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The paper examines a class of Dative-Nominative <i>psych constructions based on light unaccusative verbs</i>. Unaccusative Datives contrast with Datives in ditransitive structures. One sharp difference is the <i>obligatory presence of the Dative clitic</i>, while the clitic is <i>optional </i>in ditransitive structures. A second difference regards <i>nominalizations</i>. Dative constructions of ditransitives permit nominalizations, but the nominalization of unaccusative <i>psych </i>constructions is impossible. We analyze these unaccusative configurations as <i>applicative constructions</i>, with the Dative licensed by an <i>expletive applicative head</i>. The Dative merges as a Goal/Location in a position where it cannot value case. The clitic is required to pull the Dative out of the <i>v</i>P, to a position where case may be valued. The clitic also contributes a Person feature, so that <i>the Experiencer interpretation</i> of this Dative is derivationally constructed. Nominalization is impossible because the functional structure of the nominalization is not rich enough to accommodate the obligatory clitic.


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