Dative = prospective
Desalegn Workneh
March 2023

Since the development of a fine-grained syntax of the DP and the IP projection in the 1980s, striking similarities, and correspondences across those two types of projections have been further noted. These similarities have been a topic of interest in several works. In recent years, one of the most serious attempts to explain the correspondences across the nominal and the verbal domains is Wiltschko’s 2014 Universal Spine Hypothesis (USP). According to USP, the verbal and nominal extended projections are unified at an abstract syntactic level. They emerge from a single abstract projection that gets instantiated by different categorial units of individual languages. In this paper, I will present a piece of supporting evidence for Wiltschko’s hypothesis by arguing that the prospective aspect of the verbal spine and the dative case feature of the nominal spine are unified at an abstract level. The evidence is mainly from the Amharic language. But, I will also suggest that the same analysis can be extended to the English infinitive marker to, which also happens to be a dative marker.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006568
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Work in progress: comments are welcome
keywords: amharic; dative; prospective; universal spine hypothesis, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v3 [March 2023]
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