Latin datives with prefixed verbs and beyond: A view from the theory of applicatives

Víctor Acedo-Matellán


I discuss the syntax and semantics of dative DPs with a spatial (Ground) interpretation, focusing on those dependent on prefixed verbs, in Early and Classical Latin. I assess and discard the two main previous approaches: the one in which the dative realizes an argument of the preverb (its Ground) and the one in which it corresponds to a benefactive/malefactive dative. I propose an analysis whereby the dative is introduced by an applicative head below the eventive head. In the case of predicates headed by a prefixed verb, I assume that the preverb originates in an embedded PP that involves a null nominal of relational semantics. Being under the scope of the dative, the nominal can be interpreted as inalienably possessed by its referent, whence the inference that the dative identifies the Ground of motion. A felicitous prediction is that the spatial dative should not be licensed by unprefixed manner-of-motion verbs, since they do not encode a resulting location.


applicatives; argument structure; change-of-location predicates; change-of-state predicates; dative; event structure; Latin; PP; prefixed verbs; preverbs

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