Applicative constructions in the Northwest Caucasian languages
This chapter describes applicative constructions in the polysynthetic Northwest Caucasian languages, which are typologically unusual in several respects. First, these languages possess an extraordinarily rich system of applicatives whose semantic functions range from benefactive, comitative and malefactive to fairly specialized spatial meanings. Second, the Northwest Caucasian applicatives invariably introduce indirect objects, thus almost never affecting the ergative-absolutive alignment of core arguments and serving as important and often only means of integrating peripheral
participants into clausal structure. We describe the morphology, syntax and semantics of applicatives, as well as a range of non-trivial phenomena such as the semantically empoverished and morphosyntactically special “dative” applicative and the uses of applicatives in agent demotion and clause combining.