A Lexical Semantic Explanation for ‘Quirky’ Case Marking in Hindi Journal Article uri icon



  • The case canonically assigned to subjects across languages is nominative or ergative case. In a number of languages including Tamil, Russian, Finnish, Icelandic, Malayalam and Hindi, subjects can receive dative case marking. This phenomenon, labelled ‘quirky’ or ‘lexical’ case‐marking, is generally accounted for in terms of the association of dative case with an argument bearing a particular thematic role in the lexical entries of individual verbs (Zaenen, Maling & Thrainsson, 1985). Such an account does not account for all the data, neither does it explain why certain thematic roles should get dative case marking. In this paper, I show that the case‐marking patterns in Hindi can be accounted for in a principled manner in terms of the interaction of the aspectual characteristics of the construction, its adicity, and the relative prominence of the arguments of the verb on the Thematic Hierarchy. My account of this phenomenon is formulated within the framework of Role and Reference Grammar (Foley & Van Valin 1984; Van Valin 1991, 1993).

publication date

  • April 1, 1998

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 14, 2015 8:34 AM

Full Author List

  • Narasimhan B

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0039-3193

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9582

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 48

end page

  • 76


  • 52


  • 1