Dative constructions in the Spanish of heritage speakers
in the Netherlands
Irizarri van Suchtelen, P.
Dative constructions in the Spanish of heritage speakers in the Netherlands. In Z. Wąsik, & P. P. Chruszczewski (Eds.
), Languages in contact 2011
(pp. 103-118). Wrocław: Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław Publishing.
Spanish can use dative as well as non-dative strategies to encode Possessors,
Human Sources, Interestees (datives of interest) and Experiencers. In Dutch this optionality
is virtually absent, restricting dative encoding mainly to the Recipient of a ditransitive. The
present study examines whether this may lead to instability of the non-prototypical dative
constructions in the Spanish of Dutch-Spanish bilinguals. Elicited data of 12 Chilean
heritage informants from the Netherlands were analyzed. Whereas the evidence on the
stability of dative Experiencers was not conclusive, the results indicate that the use of
prototypical datives, dative External Possessors, dative Human Sources and datives of
interest is fairly stable in bilinguals, except for those with limited childhood exposure to
Spanish. It is argued that the consistent preference for non-dative strategies of this group was
primarily attributable to instability of the dative clitic, which affected all constructions, even
the encoding of prototypical indirect objects