Towards an understanding of dative objects in Basque: a logistic regression analysis

Cathryn Donohue

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Most work on case marking has focussed on the standard or 'default' case patterns, however more recent work has examined the marginal instances where non-standard cases are used to mark core grammatical relations. In this paper I investigate the use of logistic regression as a tool for validating competing analyses proposed to account for one such case pattern in Basque: transitive clauses where the object bears dative case. Several explanations for this dative marking have been proposed, appealing to notions such as telicity, animacy, and the 'person' of the subject/object. To evaluate these different proposals a database of naturally occurring sentences was created from existing corpora and coded for these different possible variables. Following Bresnan et al (In: Bouma G, Kraemer I, Zwarts J (eds) Cognitive foundations of interpretation. Royal Netherlands Academy of Science, Amsterdam, 2007) and others, a logistic regression model was fit to the data using these predictor variables to ascertain the most important factors determining the use of the dative case for Basque objects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-497
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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