Marking of function R on nouns

This parameter considers the morphological strategies[1] used to mark the recipient of a ditransitive verb. Ditransitive verbs require three arguments: the subject (S), the theme (T), otherwise known as direct object, and the recipient (R), otherwise known as indirect object.[2] The verb ‘give’ is a prototypical ditransitive verb that can be used to analyze the typological behavior of ditransitive verbs across languages. For this parameter, the sentences examined should have the agent as their topic, with the other elements of the sentence as comment. R should appear as a full noun, rather than a pronoun.


Neutr: The case marking alignment is neutral; the functions T and R are not marked.

NoRMark: The function T is marked explicitly, while the function R is marked with a zero morpheme (∅).[3]

RAff: The function R is marked with the use of an affix (prefix or suffix).

RAdp: The function R is marked with the use of an adposition (preposition or postposition).

When a language displays more than one type of marking, two values can be listed. If one type is dominant, a slash (/) can separate the two values, with the dominant value appearing first; if neither is dominant, the two are listed with an ampersand (&) separating the two.


[1] The use of word order alone, even if obligatory, does not constitute a strategy for marking R.

[2] In the sentence The boy gives the girl a flower, the flower is T and the girl is R.

[3] The use of a zero morpheme should not be confused with R being unmarked, as in neutral alignment.