The German Dative of Inaction


  • Solveig Bosse East Carolina University


A German applicative argument interpreted as a Dative of Inaction (DI) seems to denote an indirect, unintentional causer. However, I argue that no such causative event is actually present in the derivation of the DI structure by comparing the behavior of clearly causative sentences and DI sentences. I provide a mono-eventive analysis of the DI building on Pylkkänen’s (2002) high applicative template. Furthermore, I show that the fact that DIs can only occur with certain unaccusative verbs follows from a selectional requirement that prevents agentive Voice to merge with the DI projection.