An Argument against PP-Shells for Benefactive DPs in German


  • Solveig Bosse East Carolina University


The relationship between free datives and prepositional phrases has often been discussed. In this paper, I argue that German free datives with a benefactive interpretation are not PPs, but just DPs. This goes against Rezac’s (2008) proposal that all DPs with theta-related case are included in a PP-shell. My argument is built on a comparison of German free datives and German prepositional phrases with synonymous interpretations and their behavior in different syntactic transformations, especially extraposition. Differences in the behavior between the PPs and the free datives are taken as support for the latter being DPs without a PP-shell.