Original scientific article
Page 453 - 474

Dative of external possession in Croatian: From an areal-typological perspective

Motoki Nomachi
E-mail: mnomachi@slav.hokudai.ac.jp
Hokkaido University

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Abstract: External possession constructions are defined as constructions in which a semantic possessor-possessum relation is expressed by coding the possessor as a core grammatical relation of the verb and in a constituent separate from that which contains the possessum. One construction representative of this phenomenon is that with the dative case as a marker of the possessor, which is known as the dative of possession (DP) and is widely attested in European languages as an areal feature. In this article, I analyze the DP in Croatian, both its standard variety and dialects, particularly from a (micro-)areal-typological perspective, to locate the place of Croatian among Slavic, paying special attention to the correlation between the use of DP and its areal tendency. My analysis led me to conclude that Croatian occupies a place between West Slavic and Slovene, which tend to have a narrower sphere of the use of DP, and Balkanized Slavic, which has a wider sphere of it. This finding can be explained by the fact that West Slavic and Slovene are more habere-type languages than Croatian, which still preserves more esse-type language features that can be also found in the Balkanized Slavic languages.
Keywords:
possession, dative, Croatian, Standard Average European, Balkan Sprachbund,
Article data in other languages: Croatian