Ditransitive constructions in Ainu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper shows that there are two ditransitive alignment types in Ainu, viz. a frequently-used double-object construction (DOC) and infrequently-used indirective object construction (IOC). Ainu ditransitives encoded by the DOC are unusual cross-linguistically because all of them, including the verb kor-e [have-CAUS] 'give', are derived by causative, applicative or applicative-causative derivations. I argue that the IOC is possible in Ainu only either with those verbs which have no applicative (three-argument) counterparts or with ditransitive verbs of a slightly extended ditransitive case frame including Source/inanimate Goal instead of Recipient proper. Comparing the formal properties of the DOC-encoded ditransitives and those of other three-argument constructions, I claim that Ainu presents a counterexample to KITTILÄ's (2006) Universal 1, since the so-called most typical ditransitive verb 'give', viz. the derived verb kor-e lit. 'make/let sb have sth' in Ainu, is outranked in formal transitivity by the underived three-argument verb o 'put/place sth (PL) on sth' of a non-ditransitive case frame.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-255
Number of pages19
JournalSTUF - Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Derived 'give'
  • Ditransitives
  • Double-object construction
  • Indirective construction

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ditransitive constructions in Ainu'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this