Steven Pinker ( The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language ) contrasts the English dative with the same form in Kivunjo, spoken in Tanzania:

“The English construction is called the dative and is found in sentences like She baked me a brownie and He promised her Arpege, where an indirect object like me or her is placed after the verb to indicate the beneficiary of an act. The corresponding Kivunjo construction is called the applicative, whose resemblance to the English dative . . . ‘can be likened to that of the game of chess to checkers.’ The Kivunjo construction fits entirely inside the verb, which has seven prefixes and suffixes, two moods, and fourteen tenses; the verb agrees with its subject, its object, and its benefactive nouns, each of which comes in sixteen genders.”

He adds that “the complex Cherokee pronoun system seems especially handy. It distinguishes among ‘you and I,’ ‘another person and I,’ ‘several other people and I,’ and ‘you, one or more other persons, and I,’ which English crudely collapses into the all purpose pronoun we.”

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