The applicative voice is a grammatical voice which promotes an oblique argument of a verb to the (core) patient argument, and indicates the oblique role within the meaning of the verb. Applicatives have a degree of overlap with causatives, and in some languages are realized identically; this isomorphism can be found in Kinyarwanda [Kimenyi 1980: 164], Yagua, Malay, and Dyirbal [Croft 1990: 242].
While differing from true applicatives, a similar construction known as dative shifting occurs in other languages, including English. Two subtle differences between applicative and dative-shift constructions are: (1) applicatives involve some marking on the verb whereas dative-shift constructions do not; and (2) dative-shift constructions typically allow only recipients and benefactives to become direct objects whereas applicative constructions normally advance instruments and perhaps other obliques. [Payne 1997: 186-192]