This paper examines some non-notionally motivated (i.e., syntactically motivated) Dative--case contructions in Old Church Slavic (OCS), including the Dative Subject of Infinitive and the Dative Absolute, as illustrated, respectively, by sentences (1) and (2) below:
(1) byst" pribliziti se isusu v"erixo
it happened for JesusDAT to be approaching Jericho,
i.e., Jesus happened to be approaching Jericho.
(2) nedostav"su vinu glagola mati isusova k" njemu vina ne imot"
since there wasn't any wineDAT, Jesus' mother said to him, "they have no wine"...
An important function of the Dative case in OCS is its use as a substitute Nominative, or what will be called the Dative of Deferral. It is deferred to by the Nominative as the next case down in the case hierarchy, when the Nominative is prohibited due to processes set in motion by the incorporation of one clause into another. Examined instances of the Dative of Deferral, and their licensing conditions, are the following:
1. The Dative Subject of Infinitive can occur when:
a. a BE sentence occurs after a verb of direct speech.
b. a BE sentence is incorporated into the syntax of a verb of belief.
c. a BE sentence is incorporated into the syntax of a verb of naming.
d. a personal sentence is incorporated into the syntax of a verb of occurrence.
e. a personal sentence is incorporated into the syntax of an experiential predicate.
2. The Dative Absolute occurs when the Nominative subject of an incorporated clause is different from the Nominative subject of the incorporating clause.
The present study is made against the backdrop of case assignment in OCS in general, according to a model of notional case grammar which will be described in sufficient detail for the analysis to proceed. One of the effects of this study is to solidify in OCS case grammar the notion of a case hierarchy, in which the Dative occurs after the Nominative and before the Accusative, Instrumental, and Locative.