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Partitive case is a instance of inherent case. Partitive case is optionally assigned by unaccusative verbs, such as Italian arrivare, to a post-verbal subject, which is in fact the internal argument:

(i) E' arrivato Gianni
    is arrived Gianni
    'Gianni arrived'

According to Belletti (1988), partitive case can be assigned if no case (Nominative or Accusative) is assigned otherwise.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Belletti, A. 1988. The Case of Unaccusatives, Linguistic Inquiry 19-1, pp. 1-35