Monday, October 22, 2018 - 13:30

From syncretism to a model of grammar: the case of datives, allatives and locatives

Pavel Caha (Masarykova univerzita, Brno)

In the talk, I focus on a typological generalisation that concerns the marking of datives, allatives and locatives, known as Blansitt's generalisation (Blansitt 1988). A relevant part of the generalisation says that if the dative is the same as the locative, so is the allative. Following a line of analysis going back at least to Jakobson's pioneering work, my goal will be to explain this generalisation from a hypothesis about the meaning (de)composition of the categories in question. I will argue that in order to capture the generalisation, we need privative (rather than binary) features, and I further provide reasons to think that the individual features are organised in a hierarchy, known in the generative literature as the so-called "functional sequence" (Cinque 1999).