Dative as the unmarked unmarked case in Hungarian

Název: Dative as the unmarked unmarked case in Hungarian
Zdrojový dokument: Linguistica Brunensia. 2020, roč. 68, č. 2, s. 27-44
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type: Článek

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Hungarian nominative and dative DPs alternate in particular constructions. We show standard theory, where cases are licensed by heads, is unable to cope with the data and present a different analysis of the distribution of these cases within Dependent Case theory in which nominative and dative are unmarked cases in different domains. The unmarked nominative domain is identified as the complement of a canonical final projection head (C, D and P) but the unmarked dative domain seems to lack a unifying property. We conclude that it is the elsewhere domain and dative is therefore the unmarked case of the unmarked domain. This has the advantage of giving a more explanatory account of the distribution of nominative and dative forms, including data with non-verbal predication.
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