Datapoint Klamath / Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb ‘Give’

Discuss WALS Datapoint Klamath / Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb ‘Give’.

One Response to “Datapoint Klamath / Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb ‘Give’”

  1. Geoffrey Caveney Says:

    Gatschet 1890: 467, 471-474 states and shows very clearly that Klamath actually has a secondary-object construction, whereby the recipient or addressee of the ditransitive verb takes the same case suffix -ash as the direct object of a simple transitive verb, and the formal direct object of the ditransitive verb does not take this case suffix. It is true that animacy-marking is also involved here, as only persons and quadrupeds are marked with this case suffix -ash at all, whether as the direct object or as recipient / addressee. Naturally, in the vast majority of ditransitive verb constructions, the recipient / addressee is animate and the object given or thing told is not animate.
    For the record, although it is not included in WALS yet, the related Plateau Penutian language Ichishkíin (Sahaptin) has the same secondary-object construction (Jansen 2010: 324), again based on the human object taking the case suffix, in this case -nan. But in Ichishkíin, unlike in Klamath, an inanimate direct object of a simple transitive verb *does* take this case suffix -nan (Jansen 2010: 160), although there are particular grammatical constructions where a human or topical object is marked with -nan but other objects are not.
    It is notable that dependent-marking languages with inflectional noun case affixes and such a secondary-object construction are extraordinarily rare: WALS only identifies a few languages in Australia and in Papua New Guinea as having this combination of features.

Leave a Reply

*