Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics (Jan 2007)

The French ethical dative. 13 syntactic tests

  • Mélanie Jouitteau,
  • Milan Rezac

Journal volume & issue
Vol. IX, no. 1
pp. 97 – 108


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We discuss the properties of ethical datives in French, assembling diagnostics to differentiate them from other datives and to establish their properties. Ethical datives are introduced above the thematic and Case/A-movement domains, and do not participate in these systems, unlike both core and extended (benefactive, possessor) datives. They are also independent of the C-system properties of Force, Finiteness and Tense. However, they are nevertheless integrated into the morphosyntax of the clause.