Applicative Voice ( Concept )

      |_ Abstract
            |_ Linguistic Property
                  |_ Morphosyntactic Property
                        |_ Voice Property
                              |_ Applicative Voice


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]

Usage Notes

Language Code: mam In Northern Mam, the applicative derives transitive stems from noun roots.
2009-06-04 13:28:06
gather firewood

England 1983:103

Language Code: kin Examples from Kinyarwanda (Bantu language spoken in Rwanda)
2010-06-14 13:55:08

a. Umugabo a-ra-andik-iiš-a umugabo íbárúwa.
man 3Sg-PRES-write-CAUS-ASP man letter
"The man is making the man write a letter."

b. Umugabo a-ra-andik-iiš-a íákármu íbárúwa.
man 3Sg-PRES-write-CAUS-ASP pen letter
"The man is writing a letter with a pen."

Kimenyi 1980: 164 in Payne 1997: 190-191


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