Applicatives without verbs

  • Ane Berro
  • Beatriz FernándezEmail author


In this paper, we argue that Applicatives can occur without verbs, more specifically, internal to nouns and adjectives, as previously proposed by Ingason (2015, 2016). We extend Ingason’s theory and separate the noun-internal Root-Selecting Event Applicative of the Icelandic type (Applexp) from another Root-Selecting Applicative attested in Basque (referred to here as Applgoal). Evidence supporting this hypothesis comes from two empirical domains: (i) result/process nominals taking datives attested in the syntax of headlines, where no v is projected at all; and (ii) predicative configurations headed by adjectives and process nouns taking internal datives. On the basis of distributive and morphological evidence, as well as constituency tests, we argue that the presence of these internal datives is independent from v. On the other hand, we depart from Ingason’s analysis in that the Root-selecting Applicative of the Basque type, although related to an event, does not strictly correspond to Pylkkänen’s High Appl projection, but rather resembles the Low one in that it introduces goal/source datives. Finally, we show that the Appl projection introducing experiencer datives in Basque is in fact dependent on the projection of v.


Applicatives Root-selecting applicatives Event-naming Roots Verbs Nouns Adjectives 



We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on a previous version of this paper. We would also like to thank Jon Ortiz de Urbina for discussion and valuable comments and José Ignacio Hualde for feedback. The authors also acknowledge the research funding received from the Basque Government (IT665-13), the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (FFI2014-51878-P) and Agence National de la Recherche (ANR-17-CE27-0011-01). The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613465.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of DeustoBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)Vitoria-GasteizSpain

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